COVENTRY CITY 3-1 MIDDLESBROUGH SAT JAN 21TH AT Ricoh Arena
City: Murphy, Keogh, Christie, Hreidarsson, Cranie, Clingan, Deegan (Bell 46), Thomas, Nimely, McSheffrey, Platt (Eastwood 79). SNU Dunn, Wood, Baker
Middlesbrough: Coyne, Bennett (McManus 69), Hoyte (McMahon 69), Bates, Williams (Smallwood 69), Thomson (sent off 38), Haroun, Robson, Arca (Sent Off 91), McDonald, Emnes. SNU Martin, Ripley.
HT CCFC 1-0 MFC FT CCFC 3-1 MFC NOTS (Number of Tickets Sold) 14,112
Referee Gary Sutton. Assts M.Dexter & P.Hobday
Booked Deegan, Thomson X2, Williams, Haroun, Hreidarsson
Sent Off Arca
Goals Gary McSheffrey (35), Alex Nimely (56), Clive Platt (61), Scott McDonald (65)
Man Of The Match – Alex Nimely and Clive Platt took the votes with nominations for McSheffrey and Keogh
City supporters from as far away as Ireland, South Wales, Poole and Kent provided the team with some good backing.
John Clarke and Tim Fisher were in the Directors Box.
Andy Thorn, as expected gave debuts to Hermann Hreidarsson and Alex Nimely who have both joined the club until the end of the season.
Andy Thorn saved himself from getting the sack, something, which was discussed at a board meeting yesterday, if unconfirmed rumours are to be believed, as Coventry City beat high-flying Middlesbrough 3-1 at the Ricoh Arena.
City went into the game, fielding new signings Alex Nimely and Hermann Hreidarsson and took to the Ricoh Arena on a cold January afternoon needing at least twelve victories from their remaining games in order to have any chance of pulling off another feat to more than rival previous great escapes which have become woven into the club’s history.
Today, there seemed a more positive air around the Ricoh Arena than there has been in previous weeks and although, Middlesbrough had the vast majority of the play early on, they were either stopped by Joe Murphy making a save or by the likes of Richard Keogh and Cyrus Christie getting involved to clear for corners.
Murphy did make one superb save pushing over a Bennett pile driver in the 23rd minute whilst up the other end, Clive Platt reminded me of Mick Ferguson with the way he won everything in the air and was able to nod down to the smaller Ian Wallacesque figures of Gary McSheffrey and Alex Nimely who looked happy playing in a forward’s role.
City had not done a lot but in the 35th minute, they delighted the support in the home areas by taking the lead. Platt did well to nod down to Nimely to expertly pick out Gary McSheffrey who finished past Danny Coyne with aplomb.
Kevin Thomson had been booked for one foul but in the 38th minute, went lunging in again and referee Mr Sutton promptly reduced the Teessiders, who had been unable to play Lukas Jutkiewicz due to a gentleman’s agreement between the two managers, to ten men.
Gary Deegan followed him into the book but at half-time, the Irishman was replaced by David Bell.
Starting the second half attacking the CT Stand end, the City players were up for it from the start. Alex Nimely used his feet well to win a quick corner and in the 53rd minute, so did David Bell with a deep cross that caused major panic in the Middlesbrough defence.
In the 56th minute, a foul by Rhys Williams who was booked, gave City a free kick. When the ball came back in after a scramble. Alex Nimely got up from six yards and sent a header towards the net as Williamson tried to clear. The loanee from Manchester City did not even look round at the assistant referee who had signalled that the ball had crossed the line and had run over to Block 27 of the CT Stand to celebrate with the City supporters before turning and pointing to his name and number on the back of his shirt.
Surely, City couldn’t get three goals for the first time this season could they? Oh yes they could and in the 61st minute, David Bell whipped in a cracking cross and in dived Clive Platt to get what looked like from our angle the merest of touches to send the ball off Matty Bates and into the net.
There we were in Sky Blue Heaven, three goals up against one of the best teams in the division and one who hit back in the 65th minute when Hermann Hreidarsson whose lack of match time started to show a bit late on, failed to stop Scott McDonald from giving the 1541 away fans something for their trip down from the North East when he fired past Murphy.
Tony Mowbray went for a triple change and in the 79th minute, Clive Platt got a standing ovation when he was replaced by Freddy Eastwood, who came on to a large cheer from a jubilant City support.
Still the Sky Blues kept going forward. They won two corners and a third followed in the 86th minute when Danny Coyne pulled off a breath-taking save to deny Nimely who had cutely taken the ball round his marker to get in a shot inside the area.
Cyrus Christie had another effort blocked by Coyne before the game went into stoppage time and saw Julio Arca piled into Sammy Clingan who like the rest of his team-mates had a very good game, quicker than the captain of the Costa Concordia getting off his ship.
There was no messing about from Mr Sutton and the red card in his hand was there for all to see and Middlesbrough were down to ten men for the remaining minutes before the City team, whose next game is away to Blackpool on January 31st, were able to celebrate a job well done.