COVENTRY CITY 2-2 BURY
LEAGUE ONE 25/08/12 at the Ricoh Arena
Team: Murphy, Hussey, Malaga, Wood, Brown, Baker (McSheffrey 68), Barton, Jennings, Kilbane, Elliott, McDonald (Ball 68). SNU Dunn, O’Donovan, Edjenguele, Willis, Daniels.
Bury: Carson, Skarz, Byrne (Marshall 58), Lockwood, Sweeney, A. Jones, Carrington, Hughes, Cullen, C.Jones (Elford-Aliyu 46), Healy (John Lewis 61). SNU Dibble, Picken, Bishop, Harrop
HT CCFC 2-0 BFC FT CCFC 2-2 BFC ATT 10,285
GOALS Adam Barton 17, Carl Baker 27, David Healy pen 55, Lennell John-Lewis 68
Referee A.Madley Assts M.Buonassisi & W.Porter, Fth D.Eaton
Man Of The Match – Adam Barton and Steve Jennings shared the votes with a nominaton for Steve Elliott
CITY TEAM: Andy Thorn kept the same starting eleven that had drawn with Sheffield United
WEATHER: A mixture of showers and sunshine
it was no surprise that Coventry City were booed off after letting Bury come back from two goals down to take a draw from their first ever visit to the Ricoh Arena.
You could see the Bury players apart from new signing David Healy, who had seen it all before with his 93 caps for Northern Ireland, taking in the views of the Ricoh Arena before the match kicked off and for the first half, Coventry had them in a daze.
Attacking the end where the 633 Bury fans were for the first half, City got straight on it with Kevin Malaga heading over for an unchanged City from a corner after only ninety seconds.
A great move, some five minutes later, sent Cody McDonald on his way and it was only thanks to a brilliant block by Trevor Carson that Andy Thorn’s side were not ahead. That brought the first of four successive corners.
In the 17th minute, the City support which had Singers Corners making some good noise early on, were rewarded when Carl Baker found Adam Barton who launched an absolutely stunning shot which flew from about 23 yards into the net.
Cody McDonald fired wide before the Sky Blues were awarded a 27th minute free kick on the edge of the area following a shove. This was pretty central, so Carl Baker took it and the midfielder make no mistake to put City two goals up.
Bury had their first chance of the game in the 28th minute when Peter Sweeney tamely headed at Joe Murphy but this was so one sided that City were able to coast through until half-time.
As you would expect, our thoughts at the interval, were that Bury were there for the taking and the Sky Blues were good for another two goals at least.
However, it was not to be. Bury caretaker boss Peter Shirtliff made a change at the break and after Stephen Elliott was unlucky not to get one of three penalty appeals, referee Mr Madley did give one to the visitors for a 54th minute shove by Richard Wood.
Upstepped David Healy and Bury were back in the game.
Reece Brown, might have had extra training for his right back role. But the loanee from Manchester United, much to the annoyance of the City support, was clearly struggling. When he did attack, his crossing left a lot to be desired and when he defended, he was often caught out by a Bury side which had replaced new boys Bryne and Healy with Marshall and John-Lewis, who immediately started to impress.
City won a corner, Baker went wide and Elliott fired over, but Bury were always looking like they could do something and in the 68th minute, they did. Brown allowed Skarz to get past him and cross for Lenell John-Lewis to head past Murphy.
Thorn went straight for the change, making a double with McDonald and Baker who had faded being replaced by Ball and McSheffrey.
Three people at the rear of Block 24 tried to spark the City support into life but when another over-hit ball from Brown went nowhere near the goal, you could clearly hear sections of the City support getting on the back of the players.
McSheffrey had a shot on the turn blocked but the boos started to ring out when first John-Lewis fired wide and a minute later, he easily beat Brown sent a ball across the goal with not a City player in sight.
Today the players deserved to be booed. They were the ones who had not performed in the second half and only by sheer poor finishing by the opposition, were they even able to take a point from this League One fixture.
It might be a long time since City were 2-0 up at half time in a league match but it is an even longer time since City played well as a team for ninety minutes.