Sat Feb 16, 2019 3:29 pm
Sat Feb 16, 2019 6:21 pm
Sky Blues triumph with goals from Bakayoko, Hiwula-Mayifuila and Enobakhare
First half goals from Amadou Bakayoko and Jordy Hiwula helped Coventry City finally put a team to the sword in League One.
And there was no better way to achieve that than in a local derby against relegation threatened rivals Walsall who had twice beaten the Sky Blues in the league and cup earlier in the season.
Former Saddlers’ striker Bakayoko put Mark Robins’s side in front on the half hour with a brilliant header before Hiwula scored a fine individual goal, beating two players and slotting home confidently nine minutes from the break.
The home side then secured their victory with a 72nd minute Bright Enobakhare penalty after wave after wave of second half attacks that could have seen City win by five or six on the day as they were denied by the keeper three times and guilty of one glaring miss.
Liam Kelly tested the Walsall keeper for the first time in the 25th minute with a hard and low effort that Liam Roberts got down well to push away for a corner as Coventry dominated possession at the Ricoh Arena.
The home side knocked the ball about well, often from side to side in the final third patiently trying to break down their opponents, and that calm approach paid off on 29 minutes when Dujon Sterling sent in a near post cross which Bakayoko met brilliantly on the apex of the six yard box to head home with the keeper having no chance.
Hiwula then doubled City’s lead seven minutes later with a fine individual goal that showed just what the striker is capable off when he puts his mind to it.
Winning the ball and leaving Matt Jarvis on the deck on the left wing, Hiwula charged forward into the box where he bamboozled centre-back Dan Scarr with a quick step over before hitting his shot which took a deflection on its way to the far bottom corner – the 36th minute strike coming as Hiwula’s second in as many games and making him leading scorer on eight goals.
The visitors came out looking a bit more determined in the second half, forcing City to defend in numbers in their own half but ten minutes into the restart and it was Coventry who almost found the back of the net again.
Bright Enokakhare slipped the ball inside to tee up Tom Bayliss for a lovely shot that looked to be heading in until Roberts flung himself to his left and make a brilliant save.
Enobakhare then wasted a chance to add the third when Hiwula broke into the box on the left, beat his marker and pulled the ball back for the play-maker who lifted his shot over the bar from seven yards out.
Hiwula was then slipped through by Bakayoko, turned Scarr again but, with just the keeper to beat, his shot wasn’t far enough away from Roberts who got a firm hand to deny the striker his second of the afternoon.
City were now creating chances at will, virtually every time they broke forward and finally got their third when Enobakhare was tripped in the box and referee Anthony Backhouse pointed straight to the spot.
The Wolves’ loan man stepped up and hit a powerful penalty to the keeper’s right, Roberts getting a hand to it but unable to prevent it going in as Coventry chalked up three goals alone in a game for the first time this season.
Roberts then pulled off another save to deny substitute Conor Chaplin getting in on the act ten minutes from time, and save his side from a more humiliating scoreline.
Attendance: 10,646 (821 away)