No Tangerine Dream At The Ricoh

Last updated : 17 January 2009 By Kev Monks at the Ricoh Arena


Westwood, Wynter, Gunnarsson, Turner, Fox, Tabb, Doyle, Beuzelin, Mifsud (McKenzie 72), Eastwood (Simpson 78), Morrison. SNU Walker,Thornton,Marshall

Rachubka, Barker, Edwards, Evatt, Harte, Taylor-Fletcher, Cox, Southern (Owens 80), O'Donovan, Campbell, Burgess (Vaughan 63). SNU Nardiello, Gilks ,Coid

HT CCFC 0-1 BFC FT CCFC 2-1 BFC ATT 15, 551
GOALS DJ Campbell (24), Guilluame Beuzelin (47), Michael Mifsud (50)
BOOKED Gunnarsson, Southern, O'Donovan
MAN OF THE MATCH Curtis Wynter took the votes from Ben Turner
Again injuries and suspensions meant a changed pack for Chris Coleman's team. Curtis Wynter played at right back with Aron Gunnarsson at centre half. Robbie Simpson had recovered enough from a deadleg to get a place on the bench.

Blackpool caretaker boss Tony Parkes fielded former City youngster Roy O'Donovan and Cov kid Ian Evatt. The other Cov kid Danny Nardiello was on the bench whilst Claus Jorgensen and Stephen McPhee were both injured.
Considering Blackpool are the worst supported team in the division, it was an not unexpected turn-out and one only boosted by the club giving out a good number of kids tickets for a quid.

Like Government Ministers, Coventry City supporters are very wary of talking about the green shoots of recovery but the Sky Blues have now lost only once in eight matches after coming back to beat Blackpool 2-1 at the Ricoh Arena.

This was a completely different game to that seven days ago at Queens Park Rangers when the City players had put in a brilliant battling performance against eleven players and a referee.

Talking of referees, Mr Pawson in his first ever Championship game should have booked Roy O'Donovan in the second minute but having missed the elbow which most of the City support saw, he gave nothing apart from allowing the trainer on.

Very early on, Coventry attacking the stand where the 900+ Blackpool fans including an irritating drummer were, worked the ball well. This led to four corners for the Sky Blues before the ninth minute.

Aron Gunnarsson struggled very early on at centre half and was cautioned for clipping O'Donovan. Where the Irishman found that sort of speed from I don't know. But if he had displayed it and behaved a touch better during his days with City Reserves, Micky Adams would probably not have released him.

Suddenly, the Ice Man got the hang of his role and his marker started to become less of a threat and in the 23rd minute, it was only a brilliant tackle from Gunarsson which stopped Ben Burgess from getting a shot in on goal.

What by now had gone to pot was City's passing and a misplaced pass in the 24th minute led to the ball falling for DJ Campbell who was allowed to slip into the penalty area and side-step Keiren Westwood before stroking the ball into the empty net.

That was the only real mistake from the City defence. Curtis Wynter, on his Football League home debut grew stronger as the game progressed and a lovely bit of skill to take the ball round a Blackpool midfielder and pass it to Beuzelin drew applause from the City support including a section in the CT Stand which can be vociferous.

It was boos which greeted the half time whistle and one can only guess at the sort of language used by Chris Coleman and Steve Kean in their half-time team talk for what had been a turgid first half for the Sky Blues.

Whatever, was said did the trick as within eighty seconds of the restart, City were level. Many of the Sky Blue Army just getting back from whatever they do at half-time when Guilluame Beuzelin got the ball about thirty yards out and threaded the ball through two players for Jay Tabb to run on to, down the right.

The midfielder, who was watched by a scout from Reading, cut the ball back. A Blackpool player missed the ball as did Morrison and there was the Frenchman to stab it into the net.

Beuzelin and his team mates celebrated in front of the CT Stand and four minutes later, they were all celebrating again when Michael Mifsud put the Sky Blues in front.

Clinton Morrison, wearing luminous green boots, broke down the side nearest the Tesco Stand. He could have shot but spotted Michael Mifsud in a better position and the Maltese international slotted the ball into the bottom left corner of Rachubka's goal.

Blackpool have surprised a few teams this season and they had the ball in the net in the 56th minute. Thankfully, the assistant on the Main Stand side had his flag up.

They remained a threat right through the remainder of the game which should have been put beyond them in the 63rd minute when Freddie Eastwood, who had a very quiet game, danced his way into the area and flashed the ball high over the bar, when a short pass to Mifsud or advancing a few more yards may have been a better option.

Blackpool won three corners on the trot, so Chris Coleman sent on Leon McKenzie for Michael Mifsud and in the 78th minute, replaced Eastwood with Robbie Simpson.

Keiren Westwood had not been tested bar the goal and with ten minutes to go, made a great save to deny Barker,who for me was Blackpool's best player.

The Seasiders attacked once more but this time, Wynter was on the line to clear a corner which had been headed forwards by Coventrian Ian Evatt.

Blackpool were doing the attacking but it was the City fans doing the singing with a very loud "Sky Blue Army" chant and a good chorus of "City Till I Die".

With three minutes left, there were a few expletives let out by the City support as Blackpool got the ball in the net once more. The away fans went mental before everyone looked at the assistant on the Main Stand side who stood with his flag out indicating an offside and the goal, much to our relief was ruled out.

Things continued to be a bit nvery but City held out and went on to record a welcome victory.