Tue Oct 02, 2018 7:56 pm
Tue Oct 02, 2018 10:32 pm
Sky Blues go down to Ronan Curtis goal
Coventry City couldn’t stop unbeaten Portsmouth extending their grip on the top of League One.
There was little to choose between the two sides in an entertaining first half at the Ricoh Arena where Jonson Clarke-Harris was denied in a one-on-one with the keeper before the league leaders got their noses in front in added time before the break.
Lively Pompey wide man Ronan Curtis pulled wide of Tom Davies to curl round Lee Burge to send the Sky Blues down the tunnel disappointed after a decent showing against the south coast club.
And despite a determined effort in the second half when Jodi Jones went on to liven up City’s attack, they lacked a cutting edge and ability to break down Pompey who maintained their unbeaten start to their League One campaign.
The game started at a frantic pace with end to end action, albeit very little in terms of clear cut chances until the half hour mark when a mix-up between the Pompey defence and keeper let in Jonson Clarke-Harris.
The big striker drove forward and towards the box but saw his left footed shot blocked by the advancing Craig MacGillivray’s legs in what was a terrific chance for City to take the lead.
City had three former Pompey players in their side and two of them, centre-backs Tom Davies and Dom Hyam hardly put a foot wrong until first half stoppage time when Brett Pitman peeled off Davies to nod down to Curtis who shimmied and pulled the ball onto his right foot before curling a precise finish round Burge.
City suffered a defensive blow when Dom Hyam failed to emerge for the second half, presumably injured, and was replaced by rookie defender Jordon Thompson who went on at right-back as Jordan Willis moved across to centre-half.
Manager Mark Robins threw on Jones early in the second half, replacing Jordan Shipley after 55 minutes as he looked to get his side back on level terms with pace and trickery on both flanks.
And the fans’ favourite was at the centre of everything City did going forward, often cutting inside from the left and trying to get shots off and pick his way through.
Forgotten man Jordy Hiwula was then thrown on for the last 18 minutes, the summer signing handed a big opportunity to finally make a name for himself in a City shirt in the absence of Conor Chaplin, but lacking any real service and up against a well drilled Pompey defence.
City continued to push for a goal in a game that produced just four attempts on target (three for Pompey and one for City) over the course of the 90 minutes as both sides stood relatively firm at the back.
And although Robins’s men couldn’t find a way through, it was another game where they could take confidence from going toe-to-toe with one of the top sides in the division.
Attendance: 11,102 (1,961 away)