COVENTRY CITY 1-1 CRYSTAL PALACE TUE MARCH 6THTH AT Ricoh Arena
City: Murphy, Keogh, Cranie, Clarke (Christie 84), Cameron, Norwood, Baker, Deegan (Clingan 56), McSheffrey, Nimely, Platt (McDonald 56). SNU Dunn, Thomas
Palace: Speroni, McShane, Gardner, McCarthy, Parr, Zaha, Girvan, Jerdinak, Ambrose (Moxey 79), Easter (Murray 53), Martin (Appiah), SNU: Price, O’Keefe.
HT CCFC 0-1 CPFC FT CCFC 1-1 CPFC. NOTS (Number Of Tickets Sold) 12,054
Referee M.Brown. Assts Carl Dunn and Ryan Newman
Booked Clarke, Cameron, McSheffrey, McShane, Zaha
Goals Darren Ambrose (3 pen), Cody McDonald (78)
Man Of The Match Richard Keogh took the votes
CITY SUPPORT: City supporters from as far away as Poole were present. Although not massively noisy, the support was good .
Andy Thorn made two changes from the team which lost at Leicester with Nathan Cameron coming in at centre half and Carl Baker in for David Bell.
Coventry City came back to snatch a point off Crystal Palace on a night where three points would have helped their chances of avoiding the drop.
A reasonable crowd at the Ricoh Arena had not long taken their seats and welcomed the teams onto the pitch when the City supporters were berating the referee when he awarded Palace a penalty with only a minute and 47 seconds gone.
From my vantage point in the ground, it was certainly a foul by Richard Keogh, playing at centre half alongside Nathan Cameron on Chris Martin but I could not categorically say 100% as to whether the offence was committed inside the penalty area or not.
The referee Mr Brown from East Yorkshire, wasn’t either and sought the opinion of the assistant on the East Stand side. Eventually, the conglomerate of officials decided on a penalty and Darren Ambrose stepped to easily beat Joe Murphy.
Keogh did his best to get City level with a run and shot which Speroni had to push round for a corner and Gary McSheffrey had the ball in the net after the official on the Main Stand had his flag up before Keogh made a cracking tackle.
Jordan Clarke, looked happy in his natural role of right back and he sent over a cracking cross which was volleyed at Speroni. Another good cross from the youngster from Coundon won a 23rd minute before he picked up a caution for the only bad foul of the night when he took down Wilfred Zaha, who he had been keeping quiet.
Zaha did get in one shot which Murphy dived to his left to push away as the City supporters started to vent their anger at the assistant on the East Stand side who clearly was not watching the game twice when the ball went out of play down his side and in first half stoppage time, the biggest cheer of the game so far, came when Mr Brown who had given the Sky Blues nothing in the opening forty five minutes, decided to give City a free kick which Gary McSheffey curled not far wide.
Carl Baker had his best game for some time and was involved straight after the restart when Alex Nimely went close with a shot on the turn.
City won two corners against Palace side whose only tactic was to try and catch City on the break before Mr Brown was informed by the City support that he did not know what he was doing.
Andy Thorn went for a double change. Gary Deegan who had a reasonable game was replaced with Sammy Clingan and Clive Platt who had been struggling to make the game but played anyway was replaced by Cody McDonald.
In the 67th minute, there was more abuse for the referee when a foul on McSheffrey brought a booking for McShane. Speroni flapped at the free kick and Nathan Cameron was clearly shoved. Mr Brown was in a good position to see it along with his assistant on the East Stand side but nothing was given.
The City players chased the referee to complain but all Cameron got was a yellow card.
McSheffrey joined him in the book in the 72nd minute for a foul on Zaha who was lucky not to still be on the pitch after raising his hands to the Coventry born midfielder.
City pushed forward winning three corners, the third of which came in the 78th minute and saw the ball fall for Cody McDonald inside the area and he lashed the ball powerfully into the net to draw City level.
Both managers made their final change as Palace won two corners and had Zaha flash a shot past Murphy’s left hand post as City failed to get the win they needed.