A winner with a champagne moment
Report of match Coventry City 1 Burnley 2 played 22nd October 2011
Reporter Jenny Holt
So once more to the soulless Ricoh Arena, where 12,000 fans rattle around in a third-full concrete bowl.
The Clarets lined up in the less familiar 4-5-1 formation, presumably in a bid to strengthen the midfield after the Barnsley debacle. This revised formation saw Charlie Austin drop to the bench, replaced by Keith Treacy on the left hand side, with Jay Rod asked to play as the lone striker.
|Charlie Austin - no mistake with close ranger winner|
To be honest, the first half could be summed up in one word… scrappy! Both sides failing to excite and appearing to find it impossible to retain possession for any meaningful length of time.
The Clarets’ signature corner routine looked to have paid off midway through the half, sadly Jay Rod completely scuffed his shot from Edgar’s step over and the ball was easily cleared. This sparked a short period of pressure by Coventry, culminating in McDonald heading a deep cross into the side netting.
Eddie lost patience with the impotence of the new formation and in the 40th minute Keith Treacy was hauled off to be replaced by Charlie Austin and a return to the old favourite 4-4-2. Austin’s impact was immediately noticeable, producing the first two Burnley shots on goal. However, the better chance of the half was to be Coventry’s. McDonald found himself one-on-one in the box, but Grant spread himself well to keep Burnley level.
The half-time tea must have had some pep in it and five minutes after the restart we had put the ball in the back of the net, as Austin despatched a Jay Rod through-ball. The dream start was not to be. The linesman adjudged Austin to have gone a fraction too soon and was called offside.
Stanislas, after a non-descript first half, was by now starting to make his presence felt. He forced a save from the keeper Murphy after a shot from distance and generally made a nuisance of himself on the left.
Unfortunately, in true Burnley style the sloppy mistakes and poor decision making were still never far away and after several let-offs we paid the price. Andre Amougou, did well to beat his man to the ball but then a loose tap presented it straight to the opposition. A near perfect cross from Hussey landed the ball on the head of McDonald in the six yard box and he gave Grant no chance. It was to be Amougou’s last mistake of the game (bar an odd rugby style grapple on the halfway line) as he was replaced by Ben Mee minutes later.
Burnley were able to muster a partial response to this setback with Austin hitting the post from a bouncing volley, but then painfully screwing the rebound wide from close range, to the extent that he conceded a throw-in.
Ben Mee played his part in the equaliser, hitting a long ball forward to Jay Rod who bravely won a knock-down that Austin side-stepped for Wallace, who banged the ball home. The goal came at a price with Jay Rod having to be replaced being been caught in the face and bleeding copiously.
Rather than kicking on again, several minutes more of sloppy play in the midfield followed and again the ball was lost to Coventry who broke well and a mistimed tackle by Edgar saw Burnley concede a free kick on the edge of the area.
Clingan stepped up to strike the ball and forced another good save from Grant for a Coventry corner. The corner came to nothing and the ball broke on the Burnley right, Trippier got to the ball first but was then caught by a two footed, off the ground tackle from Bigirimana which rightly resulted in a straight red. Coventry’s reaction to the dismissal will not have pleased their manager, and the ensuing panic allowed wave after wave of Burnley pressure.
After the late goal from Reading last week it was perhaps pleasing to inflict the same on another team. Four minutes into injury time a Clarets corner resulted in chaos in the Coventry defence. McCann turned and forced the ball through the crowd of players to Austin, who made no mistake from close range.
The champagne moment of the game was perhaps the goal celebration, which saw the whole team jump on Jason Tindall and Eddie Howe. At least we can take heart in the belief that the dressing room is still together.
The win perhaps hides the lack of shots on goal for 38 minutes and the excruciating periods of poor passing and lost balls. Alas, for me it cannot hide that fact that several of Eddie’s young charges are not showing evidence that performances to write home about are around the corner. We can only hope that we can continue to grind out more results like this, whilst the management works at forging a team that is greater than the sum of its parts. But for now, the 3 points snatched at the Ricoh indicates that what may be lacking in ability can at least in part be compensated for in togetherness and team spirit.
|Competition: npower Championship Date: Saturday, 22nd October 2011 Kick off: 15:00 Venue: City of Coventry Stadium|
|1 - 2||Burnley
|14||Cody McDonald (O'Donovan 68)|
|19||Roy O'Donovan (McDonald 68)|
|21||Andre Bikey (Mee 65)|
|26||Keith Treacy (Austin 40)|
|9||Jay Rodriguez (Hines 75)|
|23||Charlie Austin (Treacy 40)|
|16||Zavon Hines (Rodriguez 75)|
|36||Ben Mee (Bikey 65)|
|Coventry City cards shown|
|58 mins||David Bell||Unsporting behaviour|
|81 mins||Gael Bigirimana||Unsporting behaviour|
|87 mins||Joe Murphy||Timewasting|
|90+5 mins||Richard Wood||Dissent|
|Burnley cards shown|
|32 mins||Jay Rodriguez||Unsporting behaviour|
|53 mins||Marvin Bartley||Unsporting behaviour|
|67 mins||Ross Wallace||Unsporting behaviour|
|79 mins||David Edgar||Unsporting behaviour|
|90+6 mins||Zavon Hines||Unsporting behaviour|