Sat Aug 25, 2018 2:58 pm
Sat Aug 25, 2018 5:18 pm
Robins left frustrated as Jonson Clarke-Harris strike cancelled out
Coventry City are still looking for their first win on the road after failing to take maximum points from a much improved performance at Gillingam.
The Sky Blues took the lead at Priestfield Stadium with a superb early second half header from the returning Jonson Clarke-Harris, but failed to hang on to their advantage.
The Gills fought back with an Elliott List reply 21 minutes from time to spark an end to end climax to the game.
City had looked largely in control during a determined first half and certainly deserved their lead when it came after creating 13 chances in the opening 45, two of which hit the target.
Boss Mark Robins had demanded a response from his players after their dismal midweek performance at Blackpool and they certainly upped their game. And, had they been more clinical, could have come away with the full three points.
Robins made five changes to his side, restoring goalkeeper Lee Burge to the starting line-up for the first time this season in place of Liam O’Brien, who had been at fault on Tuesday night at Bloomfield Road.
The ever popular Jack Grimmer was also handed his first league start of the campaign on a day when Dujon Sterling was missing, presumed injured, while Clarke-Harris made his first start of the campaign, leading the line in the absence of Max Biamou on a day when City’s most recent attacking additions, Jordy Hiwula and Amadou Bakayoko, were included on the bench.
And it was Clarke-Harris who gave City the lead, pouncing with a terrific header just 20 seconds into the start of the second half to give the visitors a deserved lead and the 692 rain-soaked travelling fans something to cheer.
The big centre-forward headed narrowly wide shortly after and the impressive Tony Andreu dragged an effort wide as City looked to kill off their opponents.
The Gills, however, coped with the pressure and launched a sustained fight-back with a string of set pieces before substitute Elliott List was allowed to cut in at the byline and equalise from a seemingly impossible angle.
Both sides attempted to win the game with attacks at both ends, Robins sending on Reise Allassani who hit the side netting before adding Jordan Ponticelli and Amadou Bakayoko in the dying minutes.
But City just couldn’t find a way through and were left to reflect on missed opportunities and a moment of poor defending for the fact that they went home with just a point.