Two Goal Victory Sees Coleman's City Career Off To A Flyer
Report of match Coventry City 2 Leicester City 0 played 23rd February 2008
Reporter Kev Monks at the Ricoh Arena
City beat Leicester 2-0
COVENTRY CITY 2-0 LEICESTER CITY BY KEV MONKS
Team Marshall, Osbourne, Ward,Hall, Fox, Tabb,S.Hughes (Thornton 2),M.Hughes,Gray (Andrews 86), Mifsud, Best (Simpson 83) SNU Konstantopolous, Dann
Alnwick,Chambers,McAuley (N'Gotty 51), Kisnorbo,Clapham (Hayles 81),Hume,Oakley,Clemence,Laczko (Mattock 44),Campbell, Howerd SNU Fryatt,Stearman
HT CCFC 1-0 LCFC FT CCFC 2-0 LCFC ATT 23,129
GOALS Elliott Ward pen (26), Leon Best (78)
Referee K.Stroud. Booked McAuley,Thornton, Best,Clemence
Man Of The Match - Kevin Thornton took the majority of the votes with nominations for Elliott Ward and Jay Tabb.
Chris Coleman brought back the patched up Stephen Hughes,Danny Fox and Julian Gray.
Gray S.Hughes M.Hughes Tabb
Fox Hall Ward Osbourne
It was always going to be interesting as to how many City supporters attended this game after the disaster that was the FA Cup defeat. Leicester brought just over 5,000 whilst 18,000 City supporters were in the ground.
There was a heavy police presence and reports of trouble in town and elsewhere around the City.
"We are well up for the game against Leicester" was the quote from Iain Dowie after City had lost 2-0 at the other end of the M69 earlier in the season. Now Iain Dowie didn't keep until his job until this game arrived but Chris Coleman made sure that his CCFC managerial career got off to the perfect start with a 2-0 win at the Arena, this afternoon.
Coleman, who was due to watch the U18's this morning but didn't, made three changes from the team that lost to West Brom and had to make another less than two minutes into the game on a cold afternoon at the Arena.
Marcus Hall tried to clear a ball and struck Stephen Hughes on the side of the head. The midfielder plummeted to the ground and lay completely motionless. A stretcher was called for as was a Doctor. Both duly arrived and Hughes was put in the recovery position. After a four minute delay, Hughes was lifted off the pitch and taken to hospital.
Kevin Thornton was sent on and his pace and willingness to take on players started to cause the visitors problems after a nervous start.
It was a foul on the young Irishman which led to City being given an eighth minute free kick that produced the first real effort on goal. Danny Fox took the resulting free kick and hot a shot which Alnwick had to beat away.
Chances might have been at a premium but in the 26th minute, City were awarded a penalty. A superb ball from Fox found the feet of Leon Best. The striker tried to turn inside the area and was pushed by McAuley. Referee Mr Stroud raced over and awarded a penalty kick.
Now 5,000 fans of all things relative, some of whom spent the game issuing death threats to teenage ball girls, might have been in the Jewson Stand End but Elliott Ward was not put off and slammed home the penalty, sending the Sky Blue support into a frenzy.
McAuley was booked for his shove and was soon joined in the book by Thornton and Best by the referee who also needed a few moments of treatment before the half finally ended.
Ian Holloway who could be replaced by Iain Dowie if various rumours are correct, ranted whilst Chris Coleman, attired in black suit,stood with his hands in his pockets looking like a guest at a wedding and let John Harbin and his assistant Steve Kean do the waving of arms and urging his players to keep up their efforts in a new 4-5-1 formation.
There was plenty of effort from the Sky Blues. Jay Tabb again ran himself into the ground whilst Elliott Ward pushed up on a number of occasions, even forcing Alnwick into a save.
Apart from a couple of corners just after the hour mark, Leicester looked a poor side and what mistakes, the Sky Blues did make went unpunished unlike last week, West Brom would have scored a goal out of it.
City might have had another penalty in the 76th minute when a Cox through ball found Leon Best who got in a shot hich Alnwick pushed around for a corner. Best got in a great header but the ball was deflected first by a head and then a hand away from the goal for another corner.
Two minutes later and the Sky Blues wrapped up the victory. Kevin Thornton got the ball on the right flank and superbly turned his marker to slip the ball to Best. A defender stepped back and when the ball fell for the former Southampton striker, he was onside with only Alnwick to beat and seven yards out. Before Alnwick had chance to move, Leon Best thumped the ball into the bottom of the CT Stand goal, sparking wild celebrations amongst the City support.
Goal here http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=bhFAi8CAhs0
Best earned a standing ovation when he was replaced in the 83rd minute and deep in stoppage time,Andy Marshall had another after brilliantly dealing with the only real shot on goal from the visitors when Iain Hume rifled a shot which looked a goal all the way.
A clean sheet and three welcome points against Leicester were the order of the day and tonight we can all celebrate this being successfully achieved.
This match report is dedicated to the memory of Peter Burnell who sadly passed away on Tuesday. Peter was City Till He Died and was the person who gave Brian Roberts the nickname of "Harry".