COVENTRY CITY 2-4 SOUTHAMPTON
SAT NOV 05 AT The Ricoh Arena, Coventry
City: Murphy, Keogh, McPake (Willis 62), Cameron, Christie, Thomas, Deegan (Bell 46), McSheffrey, Clingan, Jutkiewicz, McDonald (Platt 67). SNU Dunn, Baker
Southampton: Davis, Richardson, Fonte, Fox, Schneiderlin, Cork, Chaplow (Hammond 73), Hooiveld, Lambert, Lallana (De Ridder 79), Do Prado (Connolly 88). SNU Bialkowski, Martin
HT CCFC 0-2 SFC FT CCFC 2-4 SFC ATT 15,620
Referee M.Naylor Assts Martin Dexter & Chris Kavanagh. Booked - Christie
Goals – Richard Chaplow (33), Adam Lallana (38), Lukas Jutkiewicz (47), Clive Platt (69), Guly Do Prado (76), Steve De Ridder (84)
Man Of The Match – Richard Keogh took the votes with nominations for Nathan Cameron, Conor Thomas and Cyrus Christie.
CITY SUPPORT: Plenty of school kids and Saints fans to push up the attendance to over the 15,000 mark. There was plenty of noise from both sets of fans throughout.
DIRECTOR WATCH: John Clarke and Ken Dulieu watched from the Directors Box
CITY TEAM NEWS
Andy Thorn lost Richard Wood pre-game to a calf injury and brought back Cyrus Christie into the starting eleven and Carl Baker was dropped to the bench and replaced by Gary Deegan whilst Coventry City U18’s skipper Jordan Willis was pulled out of the U18’s side and given a place on the bench.
Poor defending saw Coventry City beaten 4-2 Championship leaders Southampton at the Ricoh Arena.
After the defeat to Millwall on Tuesday night, City boss Andy Thorn had called for a reaction from his players on a grey afternoon at the Ricoh Arena which saw the floodlights on from the start of the game but against a Southampton side, which has maintained the momentum from getting promoted back into this division and included former Sky Blues Danny Fox and Jack Cork, who were pretty well received, City were really going to have to work to get something from this game.
Some of the doom and gloom merchants had been predicting a 6-0 drubbing for the Sky Blues who faced the away end for the first half and by half-time that really should have been the score-line.
Fox, Schneiderlin and Chaplow all could have put the Saints ahead inside the opening fifteen minutes as the Sky Blues midfield crumbled and the visitors found it all too easy to put the City defence under pressure.
The use of the offside trap by City worked well for a while, stopping even more attacks on the CT Stand goal whilst the best City could muster at the other end was a couple of half chances for Lukas Jutkiewicz.
Guly Do Prado really should have scored from a header on the half mark but three minutes later, as the seagulls (or was it vultures?) circled over the Ricoh Arena, Southampton took the lead when Richard Chaplow was allowed space in the area to turn and beat Joe Murphy with a low drive.
Murphy saved from Lallana but in the 38th minute, Adam Lallana was on the scoresheet when Do Prado got round the back of the defence, lost the ball, got given it back and crossed for Lallana to tap home from close range.
Some City supporters headed for the bars on the concourses around the ground and missed the team being given an almighty booing as the half-time whistle sounded.
Andy Thorn and Steve Harrison, who twice changed their formation in the opening half, must have treated the players to a halftime fireworks display of their own, giving them a rocket as the Sky Blues with David Bell on for the hapless Deegan came out fired up.
An early free kick lead to a corner. Sammy Clingan took it and delivered a great ball in for Lukas Jutkiewicz who fired past Davis to delight the City support who were still returning from their interval refreshments.
Like the support, City were also refreshed by this goal and there was nearly another in the 57th minute when Sammy Clingan got the ball back from a free kick and fired not far wide.
James McPake then injured his ankle again and limped off to be replaced by Jordan Willis. Normally a central defender, who has been in fine form for the U18’s this season, local lad Willis took over at right back and did a good job.
Willis certainly did not look over-awed and was soon finding his feet and seeing plenty of the ball unlike Cody McDonald who was replaced by Clive Platt in the 67th minute.
Jutkiewicz, who again did not have a lot of service, hooked over and then the ground erupted as City drew level when Willis started the move which saw a cross from the right come in and there was Clive Platt to make the most of a header down and fire home.
City nearly scored again a minute later when McSheffrey’s shot was pushed over the bar by Davis.
Now a point against the league leaders would have been a great result but the nightmare defending which has haunted City this season struck again.
In the 76th minute, Guly Do Prado was given far too much space and was able to headp the ball past Murphy to put the Saints back in front and eight minutes later, substitute Steve De Ridder who came on for Lallana in the 79th minute, could not believe his luck when Joe Murphy called for a ball. A defender left it and De Ridder scored a fourth to keep the Saints clear at the top of the league.
Some boos rang out and then a white with blue writing “SISU Out” banner appeared in the Main Stand close to Andy Thorn’s technical area. A few SISU Out chants had already been heard from both Singers Corner and the CT Stand during the game and when a Love City Hate SISU banner appeared in the Tescos Stand, there were more calls for the owners to go.
Thankfully, there were no action from the stewards and the City support were left to rue another home defeat.