Poor Referee, A Defeat - Normal Service Has Been Resumed

Last updated : 22 October 2011 By Kev Monks at The Ricoh Arena

                         COVENTRY CITY 1-2 BURNLEY

                SAT OCT 15  AT The Ricoh Arena, Coventry

Team . Murphy, Keogh, Hussey, Christie, Wood, Bell, Thomas, Bigirimana (sent off 79), Clingan, Jutkiewicz, McDonald (O’Donovan 68). SNU Dunn, Baker, Deegan, Cameron.

Burnley: Grant, Trippier, McCann, Easton, Bartley, Edgar, Amougou (Mee 64), Stanislas, Wallace, Treacy (Austin 39), Rodriquez (Hines 74). SNU Stewart, McDonald 

HT CCFC 0-0 BFC   FT CCFC 1-2 BFC    ATT 12, 785 

REFEREE  Graham Scott  Assts David Plowright & Mark Russell from Bristol. Fourth Official - Marvyn Amphlett 

BOOKED Bell, Murphy, Bartley, Wallace, Rodriquez, Edgar, Hines. Sent Off Bigirimana 79

GOALS Cody McDonald 58, Ross Wallace 72, Charlie Austin 90+3 

MAN OF THE MATCH There were nominations for Joe Murphy, Cody McDonald, Richard Keogh, Sammy Clingan and Gael Bigirimana.



Just when you thought Coventry City had turned a corner after beating Nottingham Forest and coming back to draw against Leeds on Tuesday, the Sky Blues go and lose a game they should have won, a 2-1 home defeat to Burnley. 

Andy Thorn fielded the team, which finished the game at Leeds, on a sunny afternoon at the Ricoh Arena in front of a crowd of 12,785 that included for some unknown and not obvious reason - a fan dressed as a chicken who was sat, taking in the sun, in the end block of the Tescos Stand. 

Many of the City support had gone into the game thinking that surely City must win this match after two good performances and against Eddie Howe’s side, who have been struggling in recent times and even had fans calling for their board to go after the defeat at Barnsley on Tuesday. 

And for the first hour, there was nothing to change that viewpoint. City had the better of the possession and the likes of Hussey and Gael Bigirmana, on his 18th Birthday, working well together to spray the ball out for Cyrus Christie to send over an 8th minute deep cross which Lukas Jutkiewicz sent into the side netting. 

In the 29th minute, after firing well over, Cody McDonald got a chance for a one on one with Burnley keeper Lee Grant. Like his first effort, the signing from Norwich, fired wide of the goal nearest to the 987 officially recorded Burnley fans were. 

The Clarets finally mustered a shot in the 37th minute and when Charlie Austin came on for Treacy, Burnley had a little spell of pressure before the half ended. 

Attacking the CT Stand for the second half, with the sun high over where the away fans were and right in the faces of the CT Standers, Clingan, Bigirimana and Thomas with Hussey and Christie in support for the overlaps, chipped away at a Burnley side who were quite happy to get stuck in with their tackling. 

Something not recommended as the referee was none other than Graham Scott - the most card happy referee to have appeared in the Championship this season. The Oxfordshire based official had shown six red cards and a staggering 58 yellows in only 14 matches before this game and in the 52nd minute. had Marvin Bartley in the book, soon followed by David Bell. 

Then out of nothing, the City supporters were on their feet in celebration when Chris Hussey got down the left and delivered a 58th minute cross for Cody McDonald to dive and head past Grant for his first goal in Sky Blue colours. 

Joe Murphy did very well to push an Austin shot on to the post in the 62nd minute before the rebound eventually went out for a throw Five minutes later, Austin fired across the goal again. 

Now Cody McDonald must have been buoyed by his first goal and was doing well and if anyone was going to be replaced then surely Gael Bigirimana or Conor Thomas going off and Gary Deegan coming on to bolster the midfield would have been the option, many City supporters I spoke to after the game would have gone for. However, we are not the manager and the City management in their wisdom replaced McDonald with Roy O’Donovan. 

The Irishman had only been on the pitch for a couple of minutes when Burnley drew level thanks to Ross Wallace banging home from inside the area following a Rodriquez knock down. Rodriquez was hurt in that incident and replaced by former City loanee Zavron Hines. 

Sammy Clingan had a 77th minute free kick pushed over following a foul, which saw Edgar booked. 

Two minutes later, Mr Scott produced another card. This time it was not a birthday card for Gael Bigirimana, it was a red one for a two-footed tackle on Trippier, which was made worse by the Burnley players surrounding the referee.

Sending a player off for such a tackle is all well and good but if it happens again in the same match then the referee should repeat the action. When a two footed tackle came in on a City player a few minutes later and not even a card was shown, the Tescos Stand erupted along with City supporters in the other two stands and the referee got the abuse he deserved for his inconsistency. 

It was this inconsistency that saw many around me feeling that the referee was playing until Burnley scored. 

In the third minute of the six he added on (four was nearer the mark), Burnley had two quick attacks. After Murphy made another cracking save, a through ball picked out Charlie Austin, a player City supporters in both the Tescos and Main Stand who were level with play felt was clearly offside following some play which saw a corner not dealt with, and he fired past Murphy to give Burnley the win and condemn City to a defeat that for much of the game looked unlikely.