Sat Dec 08, 2018 3:25 pm
Sat Dec 08, 2018 6:34 pm
Sky Blues stunned by late goals from a familiar face
Coventry-born Luke Leahy hit two late goals to crush his home town club who had looked set to take the full three points at Walsall.
The Saddlers’ wing-back cancelled out Luke Thomas’s first half opener a minute into added time and then slammed home the winner from the penalty spot two minutes later to see the Saddlers complete a league and cup double over the Sky Blues to further dent confidence in the camp.
Just a month after knocking Mark Robins’s men out of the first round of the FA Cup, the Saddlers took the full three points off their Midlands rivals to extend City’s winless run to a worrying seven games, five of which have been in the league.
City started the game superbly well, on the front foot from the first whistle on a day when Robins had made five changes – the biggest of which was dropping skipper Michael Doyle for Liam Kelly.
And Kelly was outstanding, deployed just in front of the back four where he won possession and passed the ball off brilliantly to get City on the attack.
Thomas, meanwhile, was on fire and constantly took on and beat players to cut into the area to cause problems for the home side, and found himself in the right place to execute a fine finish from a cleared Junior Brown cross in the 18th minute.
The Saddlers were limited to just three shots, none on target, in the first half when the closest they came to causing any concern was when Cook went down in the box claiming a penalty.
But the home side came out fighting after the break when they looked a lot more lively, forcing City to play more on the counter attack as they attempted to get themselves back in the game.
Jonson Clarke-Harris went on for Conor Chaplin just after the hour in a tactical change to provide fresh legs and a presence in both boxes as City were coming under increased pressure from set pieces and crosses into the area.
And the big man almost set up a City second when he counter attacked down the left and sent a low ball in that fell to Thomas on the right, only for the winger to be denied by the legs of keeper Liam Roberts.
City desperately defended two corners and then cleared the ball upfield for Clarke-Harris to chase with four minutes remaining.
The big man drove past the last man and shaped to shoot but sent his effort agonisingly wide of the far post, unable to kill the game.
But City then conspired to shott themselves in the foot when they allowed Leahy to head home in the box as Burge came rushing out.
And the Coventry-born player wrapped things up minutes later from the penalty spot, sending the keeper the wrong way to hand a dramatic late win to the home side who had been losing for 90 minutes of the game.