Maynard Rocket Nets Point At The Ricoh
Ricoh Arena, Coventry
12 September 2009, 15:00
Nicky Maynard's red-hot form continued as the striker scored a stunning sixth goal of the season to grab a point at Coventry.
City will no doubt reflect on what might have been though, as the home side withheld a superb second half performance to deny the Robins a fourth consectutive win on Sky Blues turf.
Gary Johnson handed a debut to Costa Rican striker Alvaro Saborio alongside Maynard and it was Saborio who nearly opened the scoring early on.
City were spraying the ball around very nicely and the on-loan South American was unlucky to glance a header wide from McAllister's deep left wing cross.
Coventry, who must surely have the quietest home fans in the league, were nearly in front against the run of play on 15 when Gerken got himself into a right pickle!
He dropped an Isaac Osbourne shot straight into the path of Clinton Morrison only for the keeper to redeem himself and claw the ball away with the striker poised.
But the home fans didn't have long to wait as they took the lead three minutes later.
Brian Wilson afforded Marcus Hall far too much space down his side to swing his deep left wing cross in for Leon Best to loop his header past Gerken, despite claims for offside.
The goal galvanised the Sky Blues. Ben Turner's header forced a top stop from Gerken before the cocky Morrison thought he had doubled the lead only for his effort to be chalked off for off-side.
Saborio was putting in a good shift up front and really should have equalised just before the break.
A mis-cue by Turner allowed Maynard to scamper down the right side of the box and swing over an ideal ball for the Costa Rican, who could only shoot tamely at Westwood from six-yards out.
It was a good end to the half for the City who carried on that momentum after the break with the equaliser and probably Maynard's best strike in a Red shirt to date.
The ball came in from the left which Saborio did brilliantly to chest down and tee up Maynard who unleashed an absolute rocket past into the top corner, nearly breaking the crossbar on the way in!
The goal was nothing more than we had deserved having dominated large amounts of possession and enjoying the clearer cut chances.
City were on top again and Saborio had another glorious chance to open his account in England. Galloping onto a lost cause, he nipped in ahead of the unrushing Westwood, rounded him but could only find the side netting with the goal gaping.
At the other end, Morrison was up to his usual petulant antics and was lucky not to be giving his marching orders after swinging for Jamie McCombe right in front of the linesman. The arrogant tool escaped with a booking.
Elliott rampaged down the right side and hung up a pin point cross towards the far post. Cole Skuse looped his header towards the far corner only to be superbly denied by the fingertips of highly-rated Westwood.
City huffed and puffed for the winner but couldn't get past the inspired Westwood, who saved a close range McCombe header late on whilst Elliott was unlucky to see his deflected cross go just over the top with the keeper routed to the spot.
COVENTRY (4-4-2): Westwood, Wright, Cranie, Turner, Hall, Osbourne (Eastwood 77), Cork (Gunnarsson 78), Clingan, McIndoe, Best, Morrison.
CITY (3-5-2): Gerken, Carey, McCombe, Fontaine, Wilson (Orr 65), McAllister, Elliott, Hartley (Johnson 74), Skuse (Sno 74), Saborio, Maynard.
Referee: Neil Swarbrick (Preston)
Maynard was the best player on the pitch today. A real class above. He scored another tremendous goal, to add to the stunners he's already got this season, and was a real menace to their defence.
I just get the feeling that he's destined for bigger things so we've got to enjoy these performances whilst we've got him.
Dean Gerken 6
Brian Wilson 4
Jamie McAllister 6
Liam Fontaine 7
Jamie McCombe 7
Louis Carey 7
Marvin Elliott 7
Paul Hartley 6
Cole Skuse 6
Nicky Maynard 8
Alvaro Saborio 7
Bradley Orr 6
Lee Johnson 5
Evander Sno 6
Took a gamble with handing a debut to Saborio and it paid off. We passed the ball well after being a bit too direct in the first half. Saying that, we craved width late on and really could've used the pace of Sproule (as we have nobody else) to try and stretch the game. Also would rather see Ribeiro blooded at right-wing back ahead of the inept Wilson.
Not much to say other than he's in charge of a very poor Coventry side and must be sick of the sight of us! His side were lucky to escape with a point but don't know what tools he had to change it around. A long season lies ahead for him and his side, me thinks.
Two Points Dropped
Encouraging performance from the lads though, we passed the ball superbly in the second half, but we really should be beating the weaker sides like this if we're serious about the Play-Off's.