Portsmouth 2 - 1 Coventry City

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Portsmouth 2 - 1 Coventry City

Postby dutchman » Tue Apr 23, 2019 7:20 am

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Re: Portsmouth 2 - 1 Coventry City

Postby dutchman » Tue Apr 23, 2019 7:24 am

Hiwula's opener cancelled out by Naylor and Pitman

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Coventry City gave automatic promotion chasing Portsmouth a run for their money after leading for 65 minutes at Fratton Park.

But, ultimately, Pompey proved to be a task too far for the Sky Blues who succumbed to a second half fight-back to leave their play-off hopes now looking over with two games to go.

The Sky Blues remain five points off sixth placed Doncaster Rovers who play Accrington Stanley tomorrow.

Jordy Hiwula gave City a sensational early lead, finding the top corner after being played in behind to unsettle the home side in a terrific first half display when Luke Thomas passed up the chance to double the lead.

The home side, however, upped their game after the break and equalised from a Tom Naylor header from a corner just after the hour.

And then striker Brett Pitman bagged the winner eight minutes from time when he connected with a loose ball that sat up nicely for him in the box.

But City kept plugging away and certainly did their 1,267 travelling supporters proud with an impressive performance on the road against opposition fighting for a return to the Championship.

Mark Robins made one change to his side, welcoming back Brandon Mason from injury to resume his place at left-back in place of Sam McCallum, who filled in for him against Bradford on Good Friday.

City almost conceded from Pompey’s first corner as early as the sixth minute when left-back Lee Brown sent the ball curling into the box and Lee Burge made a hash of his attempted punch, sending the ball spinning towards his own goal before Tom Davies hooked off the line at the last second.

But the ball was in the back of the net at the other end minutes later in the ninth when Bright Enobakhare drove forward and slipped a lovely pass to Hiwula in behind the Pompey defence where the striker hit a superb first time shot into the top corner to register his 13th of the season.

Burge spilled Pompey’s second corner and Davies had to clear again, albeit not on the line that time, before the outstanding Liam Kelly sent Luke Thomas racing upfield on a breath-taking the counter attack.

The wide man knocked the ball past the advancing keeper but with the goal wide open and his angle narrowed, Thomas opted to pull onto his left foot for his shot which hit the covering defender and bounced out to Kelly who went to ground from a shove from behind.

He appealed for a penalty but the ref, Darren Drysdale, was not interested.

Coventry continued to use the tactic of attack is the best form of defence as they grew in confidence in an impressive first half when Kelly ran the middle of the park and Enobakhare dazzled with his close control and ability to beat players.

Pompey, however, pushed for a second half equaliser with some sustained pressure and finally got themselves back in the game from their fifth corner of the game – City having looked vulnerable from set-pieces all afternoon.

Central midfielder Tom Naylor simply wasn’t picked up in the box as he was allowed to hit a clean header from a 66th minute flag kick as the home crowd erupted and lifted their team, who looked confident every time they ventured forward.

Thomas passed up the opportunity of restoring City’s lead when Amadou Bakayoko played him clean through on the right, only for the wide man to hit the side netting.

Robins made a double change for 16 minutes to go when he sent on home-town boy Conor Chaplin for Thomas and Jordan Willis for Davies, who had taken an elbow to the face earlier in the game.

But City slipped up from some second phase play from another set-piece when the ball was cleared out to Brett Pitman who hooked home his shot to beat Burge on 82 minutes.

The Sky Blues pushed forward and finished the stronger of the two side but couldn’t find a way.

Attendance: 18,884 (1,267 City)

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