Crisis Talks as City Lose Local Derby

Last updated : 09 November 2004 By Kev Monks
Peter Reid and Mike McGinnity were locked in crisis talks after the final whistle which saw City beaten in the M69 derby 3-0.
For a game moved twice, once by the police and the second time by Sky Sports with only eight days notice which angered both sets of supporters and made for a low attendance, Peter Reid made three changes to the team that had drawn with Preston last week.
In came Gary McSheffrey for Eddie Johnson who presumably was injured as he was not even a sub, Dean Leacock replaced the injured Luis Carey and Neil Wood came in for Patrick Suffo who took his place on the bench.
Leicester who gave a half hearted welcome to new manager Craig Levein,stuck City and Villa reject Dion Dublin on the bench and brought in bookies mate Keith Gillespie.
It was obvious that from the first whistle that the team from the city which has a far lower life expectancy than Coventry and no history to speak of, were going to close down the five man midfield.
This they did as James Scowcroft won the first corner of the game in the third minute. As the City defence stood watching ,Gillespie blasted the half cleared flag kick over the bar from twenty yards.
With the Coventry fans making all the noise,the police dived in between the City and Leicester fans to our left.
The police had been only there for a minute when they were angered by chants that incest is allegedly rife in a city deemed to be of no significance during World War Two.
To be fair,the police and stewards did a good job in keeping the fans apart and there were only three ejections. One steward even told a very young City supporter to move his flag from in front of his seat and put it on the mesh separating the two sets of fans,so that it had more chance of being picked up by the television cameras.
Playing up front on his own, things were always going to be tough for Gary McSheffrey but he did well to win a ninth minute corner.
Now the term "derby" when used in a football context, normally means a match of blood and guts. However, not in this game, as there was no fire from the Sky determination to win this very important match for Coventry supporters and when Leicester wanted control of the midfield,Michael Doyle and Stephen Hughes were helpless to prevent it.
In the 17th minute,Leicester won their second corner when Doyle headed out a Gillespie cross. The ball was swung in by the Northern Irishman, headed down and Luke Steele grabbed it at the second attempt.
Five minutes later, referee Mr Clattenburg made the first caution of the game when Coventry's number 22 was booked for a foul on Leicester's number 22, Joey Gudjonsson.
When going forward,Craig Levein's team seemed to always been on the look out for the loose ball and in the 25th minute they made the most of it when Adie Williams failed to properly clear and Lilian Nalis drove a low shot past Steele and into the net.
City were clearly struggling with Neil Wood looking well out of his depth, judging by the amount of possession he conceded. If Peter Reid had bothered to attend reserve matches he would have known this but so far this season,the current City boss has only seen just over an hour of the friendly at Nuneaton Borough.
With the Coventry supporters demanding two up front whilst the home supporters shouted "Reid Out",a 42nd minute error by Wood let in Gillespie who centred. Luke Steele uncharacteristically flapped at the ball but recovered to make a save.
The game was now in stoppage time at the end of the first half and the home side increased their lead when after some woeful Sky Blue defending, Floren Laville lost the ball to David Connelly who knocked it back for Danny Tiatto to lash the ball past Steele from twelve yards.
Half-time was depressing to say the least with the look of despondency on the face of every Coventry supporter I spoke to and saw.
I was offered the chance of leaving the game and going home by my driver Steve and it took some deliberation for me to reject the idea and stay for the second period.
Despite Patrick Suffo coming on for Eric Deloumeaux and Richard Shaw replacing Laville, Coventry were only slightly better with Suffo heading wide a 47th minute corner and Michael Doyle firing well wide.
Stuart Giddings was doing his best but was clearly under too much pressure. However, a rare run down the left flank in the 55th minute saw him cross for Patrick Suffo to spoon a right footed effort high into the air. When it came back to earth, the rather portly Leicester keeper Kevin Pressman pushed it over the crossbar.
It looked like a corner but Mr Clattenburg through the ball was already over the crossbar when Pressman got his fingers to it and gave a goal kick.
In the 58th minute, Reid made his third and final change with Rohan Ricketts replacing the hapless Wood and two minutes later, City won one at the other end with Stephen Hughes long range effort flying wide of the goal.
After City had wasted a 65th minute corner, Gary McSheffrey powered his way through and hit a left footed shot which flew into the side netting.
Leicester were having an easy time of it and in the 71st minute, they wrapped up the match when Matt Heath rose to head in a corner with Steele stranded.
That was it for a number of City supporters who made for the exits and prompted a good few of the very many police and stewards to chase after them in case they got into the home areas.
Chants of "Reid Out", "Sack The Board" mixed with "Eric Black's Sky Blue Army" and "We're Sh*t And We're Sick Of It" boomed out of the away end.
"Sack The Board" chants were still going on as Ricketts created some space and hit a stunning drive against the foot of the post in the 81st minute.
As if in a manner of "If You Won't Entertain Us,We Will Do It Ourselves", the anti board and Reid chants sung by almost all the 1500 strong Coventry support ended and a chorus of "Twist and Shout" began.
City supporters took off their shirts and twirled them round their heads whilst jumping up and down and singing for all they were worth in a sight that left the home fans dumb struck.
The final whistle was not surprisingly met by boos and we headed away from the second rate food snack stadium,very very despondent at another woeful performance which leaves City in 20th place.
ATT 22,479
Goals - Lilian Nalis (26)
Danny Tiatto (46)
Matt Heath (71)
Booked Eric Deloumeaux
Man Of The Match - The 1500 Coventry supporters who were far more entertaining than any City player
Mare Of The Match - Every City player used
Steele,Leacock,Giddings,Williams,Laville (Shaw 46),Morrell,Hughes,Doyle,Wood (Ricketts 57),Deloumeaux (Suffo 46),McSheffrey SNU Shearer,Staunton