Poor City Beaten By Cardiff

Last updated : 28 January 2009 By Kev Monks at the Ricoh Arena


Westwood, Hall, Turner, Ward,Fox, Gunnarsson,Sawyer, McKenzie, Mifsud (Thornton 60), Eastwood, Morrison SNU Marshall, Beuzelin,Doyle, Wynter

Encklemann, McNaughton (Comminges 23), Rae, Gyepes,Bothroyd, Parry, R.Johnson,Ledley (McPhail 69), Kennedy,Burke, McCormack SNU Heaton, Purse, E.Johnson

HT CCFC 0-1 CCFC FT CCFC 0-2 CCFC ATT 14,922GOALS Jay Bothroyd (32), Ross McCormack (61)
MAN OF THE MATCH -Keiren Westwood took the votes
Chris Coleman said he had no qualms about throwing in loanee from Chelsea Lee Sawyer so he did with Beuzelin dropping to the bench. Elliott Ward was back in defence and Michael Doyle was dropped to the bench with Aron Gunnarsson taking his place in midfield.

Shot shy Coventry City allowed Cardiff City to leave with an easy 2-0 victory at the Ricoh Arena tonight.

On a damp, not particularly nice Wednesday evening, only 13,700 hardy Coventry supporting souls turned up to see Loanee from Chelsea Lee Sawyer given his debut in midfield.

Attacking the Jewson Stand where the 1,155 Cardiff followers who had an horrendous journey up the M4 and and M5 occupied the bottom section, the Sky Blues struggled to cope with Cardiff's strong midfield.

David Jones had done his home work and his side once they had got the ball off front runner Leon McKenzie who was playing in a forward three with Clinton Morrison and Freddie Eastwood, they attacked Danny Fox. Chris Burke who had joined Cardiff on a free from Rangers was the architect of most of the visitors attacks.

One in the 13th minute found Paul Parry who fired not far wide after Encklemann at the other end had denied Freddie "I'll be better next season" Eastwood.

Gunnarsson showed all his usual Icelandic spirit but tonight, he tried too often to cry wolf in front of the referee Mr Bates who was having none of it. His throw in, in the 16th minute, did cause problems and fell nicely for Morrison to get in a shot which had to be hacked away.

Jay Bothroyd danced his way through a static City defence before firing just wide of the far post in the 25th minute and three minutes left, it was only a tremendous save from Keiren Westwood which denied Ross McCormack who hit a stunning volley from the edge of the area.

Then in the 32nd minute, Cardiff,who now fancy themselves for a promotion place, took the lead and to many City supporters surprise it was Jay Bothroyd who got it. Mark Kennedy swept the ball over from the left and Bothroyd headed it down only for his effort to be blocked. When the ball came into the net, he lashed an unstoppable shot into the net.

Just before this, Bothroyd had been called a fat fatherless person or words to that effect by a City supporter in the centre blocks of the CT Stand and he took his revenge by making an obscene gesture,after cupping his ears and then giving it the biggie. A few got up, quite willing to remonstrate with him but all Bothroyd received from the referee was an order to get on with the game which he duly complied with.

Three minutes after the goal, the City support who were becoming more disgruntled, were appealing for a penalty when Clinton Morrison went down inside the area. It was not the night of City's biggest wage earner following the departure of Kevin Kyle as his effort in the 36th minute from a corner was cleared off the line.

The side managed by Coventry City Former Players Association Member David Jones could have been even further ahead by the time we went in to the half-time interval when Chris Burke went wide with two efforts and Keiren Westwood saved from McCormack.

The second half saw Coventry going in forward. A 47th minute Eastwood cross was met by a downward header from Ward which went into the arms of the Cardiff keeper.

Three minutes later, young Sawyer who had shown he has a good pair of feet and a good engine as he did the box to box role pretty well, was sent flying. Danny Fox,some thirty yards out tried a curler but could only manage an easy catch for the former Villa keeper.

On the hour mark, Michael Mifsud who has been the subject of a £300,000 bid from Barnsley and displayed the odd bit of pace was replaced by Kevin Thornton.

Super Kev had been on the pitch for less than a minute when Cardiff wrapped up the match. Lee Sawyer stood on the ball, it was cleared to Ross McCormack who raced away before bearing down on goal and beating Westwood with a low drive.

The visitors danced and sang as the home support sat looking bewildered at another poor performance from the Sky Blues.

Gunnarsson and Eastwood both had efforts but City were second rate. A loud shout of "What A Load Of Rubbish" from someone in the Tesco Stand in the 75th minute, summed it up but was not sang by anyone else as Clinton Morrison raced down that side of the pitch and delivered a cross into the direction of the incoming Sawyer who slipped at the crucial moment.

In darkness, there is always humour and it came in the 78th minute when Mr Bates limped off injured. "You're Not Fit To Referee" sang the Coventry fans. Stuart Linnell announced the new referee but seconds later had to announce that he had got it wrong and the senior assistant Declan Ford was now in charge with the fourth official Ian Smedley on the line in front of the Main Stand. "We preferred the other ref" was Cardiff's response to Mr Linnell's gaff.

In the 81st minute, City had their best chance of the game, it was Aron Gunnarsson who misses the next two matches due to suspension, who danced his way round two defenders before drilling a low shot against the foot of the post.

In stoppage time, Mr Ford should have shown his red card when Jay Bothroyd clearly retaliated but by then it was too late and Coventry were well beaten.