No Hoot From Owls As Sky Blues Scrape Through

Last updated : 23 September 2004 By Kev Monks
Coventry City earned a Carling Cup Third Round trip to Middlesbrough on October 26/27 with a single goal victory over Sheffield Wednesday.
For part two of the South Yorkshire trilogy, Peter Reid rang the changes, resting Andy Morrell,Steve Staunton and Tim Sherwood. In came Neil Wood for the injured Stephen Hughes,Bjarni Gudjonsson,Patrick Suffo whilst reserve team left back Stuart Giddings made his first home start.
For Wednesday, things prior to the game had not gone well with a defeat against AFC Bournemouth on Saturday heralding the departure of manager Chris Turner. Mark Smith took over for the game assisted by former Sky Blue Chris Marsden who was named in their starting eleven. Only one man has been named as a likely replacement for Turner and that man Paul Sturrock was watching from the Main Stand.
Wednesday attacked the West Terrace in the first half and won a second minute free kick following a foul by Matthew Mills who had been given permission to play in the game by Southampton. Jon Paul McGovern took the kick from 25 yards and curled the ball past Luke Steele's right hand post.
City came back through Gudjonsson on the right and he found Stern John with a long ball. The former El Dorado striker controlled the ball neatly but could only hit a tame shot with Owls keeper David Lucas got down to block.
In the ninth minute,Wednesday broke through Lewis McMahon who teed in Adam Proudlock. The striker advanced and Luke Steele managed to get his legs in the way to block the ball which was then cleared by Mills.
With the fine rain now starting to come down,a 15th minute cross by Louis Carey was met by the head of Stern John on the penalty spot and once again,Lucas was on hand to catch the ball. The Wednesday keeper did not properly get rid of the ball and it fell for Michael Doyle to send the ball high across the face of the goal and out for a goal kick.
Stuart Giddings was having a fine game at left back and a minute later, he was on hand to make a superb saving tackle to clear the ball for a thrown in. When the throw came in Richard Shaw got himself in front of McMahon and the experienced City defender deflected the ball out for a corner.
The England U19 defender who had played 48 hours earlier at Arsenal reserves was on hand three minutes later,to get on the end of a Doyle pass from a free kick for a foul on Patrick Suffo. He sent over a cross to the far post,John and Suffo came in and referee Mr Armstrong felt there was a foul and gave the League One side a free kick.
Wednesday used it to their advantage and Adam Proudlock jumped over the diving Richard Shaw and played the ball out to McGovern on the left who curled the ball wide from sixteen yards.
Michael Doyle was having a fine game and he made an excellent tackle to win back the ball and find Graham Barrett on the left. The Irishman went past a defender before crossing to the far post where Stern John was waiting. John managed to turn with the ball but could only fire wide.
In the 26th minute,Gudjonsson who has disappointed many City fans supplied a ball for Graham Barrett at the far post. However, as usual it was slightly over-hit and Barrett was unable to prevent the ball going anywhere other than out for a goal kick.
On the half hour mark, we had the bizarre situation of an assistant referee forgetting the laws of the game. Wednesday had a throw in front of their 1500 strong support in the away section of the Sky Blue stand. The ball was thrown to Proudlock who was ahead of the last City defender. To everyone's amazement,up went the assistant referee's flag. "You don't know What You're Doing" sang the away supporters as referee Mr Armstrong had a word with his assistant and ordered the throw to be taken again.
This time it was cleared by the City defence but the visitors were straight on the counter attack and Louis Carey did well to beat Steve McLean to the ball and nod away for a corner.
When the kick was swung in, a Mills back header took the danger away and Carey was able to clear upfield.
The City supporters in a crowd of 8,362 were demanding a goal and in the 35th minute,they were rewarded. Graham Barrett had swapped wings with Gudjonsson and Barrett and he tried to go down the right just in front of the Main Stand. He was shoved onto the track by McLean. Michael Doyle took the free kick. He hit the ball long, it bounced inside the six yard area just in front of Stern John who had his back to the ball but still tried to get a touch on it. The bounce took it upwards where it crept past the unsighted David Lucas at the far post.
Doyle, who in his broad Irish accent later described it as a fluke, did not know whether to celebrate or not but a City goal is always welcome and so we celebrated for him.
Wednesday were fuming with this decision with one Owls players racing to confront the assistant referee, I think it was Bullen who was cautioned. but were even more livid three minutes later when they were reduced to ten men following Glenn Whelan being sent off for following through and stamping on Matthew Mills.
At half-time,Reid replaced Graham Barrett with Claus Jorgensen. Why I don't know as Barrett had certainly done nothing wrong and Jorgensen's form might have won him an international place with the "small town in Denmark" known as the Faroe Islands but for the Sky Blues,he has been sadly lacking since being signed last season.
After John had fired wide in the opening minute of the second period, Gudjonsson put a through ball for Jorgensen to get a foot to. Owls keeper Lucas made a one handed save to palm the ball back into the direction of the Whale Hunter. Jorgensen got his head to it and nodded it goalwards. However, Patrick Suffo got to the ball at the same time and headed wide.
To say,Jorgensen was livid was an understatement. The former Dane raced over to Suffo and shoved him whilst shouting what I believe to be obscenities at the rather portly Cameroonian who is unfortunately becoming a master at the bad miss.
Stern John was certainly trying and a minute after this talking point, he linked well with Giddings who sent over a cross which Lucas just beat the incoming Trinidadian striker to.
Gudjonsson drew more howls as he missed from twenty yards as things started to heat up in the Sky Blue Stand. Both sets of fans were singing at each other when the police moved into the section where the City supporters are housed. There was no ejections but this action provoked another line of stewards to race up the stairs and form another protective barrier in order to stop anyone trying to dive over and get at the opposing fans.
With Chris Brunt replacing Proudlock in the 61st minute,the new boy was soon involved trying to claim a penalty when a free kick from Paul Smith fell to him. He tried to turn Mills in the box and went down. Mr Armstrong was having none of it and waved played on much to the visitors annoyance.
Suffo and Jorgensen may have been at loggerheads earlier but in the 64th minute,Suffo provided a cross which Jorgensen headed at the keeper.
Nine minutes later,Jorgensen was at it again with a header which he sent wide from a Giddings cross.
To big cheers,Patrick Suffo was replaced in the 74th minute by Eddy Johnson and Peter Reid would be advised to loan out the Cameroonian and get him back when his form has improved. After all that is what he has done with Gary McSheffrey,so why not Suffo?
In the 76th minute,Wednesday won a corner, it fell for Brunt some thirty yards out and the substitute drove the ball just past the post.
Gudjonsson went into the book for a foul on Lee Bullen in the 76th minute. This allowed Wednesday to attack and win another free kick,just outside the penalty area and in the middle. McGovern jumped over the ball and Brunt drove the ball against the foot of the post and out for a corner.
With just over eight minutes left, Andy Whing came on for Giddings who applauded the City fans who were on their feet applauding a fine job by the youngster.
Whing is another popular player amongst the City support despite a lack of first team opportunities but in the 85th minute, he also fouled Bullen and was booked for it.Wednesday won a late free kick which was knocked back to Brunt who drove the ball against the foot of the post and out for a corner. Lucas went up for the kick but Steele caught with ease and with the last kick of the game,Lucas hoofed the ball forward and Luke Steele made sure he got to the ball first and held it firm as the referee blew the final whistle to send City though.
ATT 8,362
Goal - Michael Doyle (35 mins)
Booked Bullen,Gudjonsson,Whing
Sent Off Whelan (38 violent conduct)
Man Of the Match - Michael Doyle and Stuart Giddings shared the votes.
Mare Of The Match - Patrick Suffo and Bjarni again
Steele,Carey,Giddings (Whing 82),Mills,Shaw,
Doyle,Gudjonsson,Wood,Barrett (Jorgensen 46),John,Suffo (Johnson 74) SNU Shearer,Osbourne
Lucas,Bullen,Smith,Collins,Greenwood,Whelan (sent off 38),McMahon (Shaw 79),Marsden, McLean,McGovern,Proudlock (Brunt 61) SNU Poulter,Needham,Foster