Wed Oct 23, 2019 10:12 pm
Goals from Amadou Bakayoko and Zain Westbrooke in the second half cancelled out Paddy Madden's early strike
Coventry City bounced back to winning ways in style by battling back from a goal down to beat in-form Fleetwood Town and move back up to fourth place in the division.
The Sky Blues had slipped to ninth after Tuesday night’s League One programme but took the full three points at St Andrew’s to take The Cod Army’s spot in the table.
Second half goals from Amadou Bakayoko and a Zain Westbrooke penalty cancelled out a ninth minute opener from Paddy Madden in an entertaining game full of character from Mark Robins’s men.
City got off to the worst possible start when they were caught out at the back with just eight minutes on the clock.
Josh Morris sent a cross into the six yard box that was met by the unmarked Ched Evans who had nipped in ahead of the centre-backs and got ahead of Marko Marosi to hit the ball onto the near post, only to see it bounce out and roll back along the line where Madden – who had initially looked off-side – was on hand to slot over the line.
The goalkeeper, meanwhile, pulled off three first half saves to deny two 25-yard free-kicks, one brilliantly pushed away low to his right and the other to his left, while also showing impressive reactions to push away a Kyle Dempsey header.
Robins’s men responded to the early setback with some determined attacking play, Callum O’Hare hitting a fierce effort from the left that rolled along the top of the crossbar while Jordan Shipley appealed for a penalty for hand ball in vain.
But for all Coventry’s possession – of which they enjoyed 61 per cent of the first half – and intricate approach play they had just four shots, only one of which was on target in the opening 45 compared to Fleetwood who had 11 attempts on goal, six of which were on target after playing largely on the counter attack.
Robins reverted to Plan B after the break when he sent on striker Max Biamou and centre-half Kyle McFadzean and switched to what looked like a 5-2-1-2 formation with O’Hare operating centrally just behind the front two, and Dabo and McCallum deployed as wing-backs.
Skipper Liam Kelly followed in the 56th minute, adding further experience and leadership against a Town side packed with men rather than boys.
And two minutes later Coventry were level when Bakayoko fired home after Sam McCallum’s ferocious goal-bound shot hit a defender and bounced into the striker’s path – the big man catching the ball beautifully to rifle home.
More pressure from the ‘home’ side resulted in Biamou being brought down in the box by centre-back Jimmy Dunne and Westbrooke stepping up to take responsibility, thumping home from 12 yards to give the Sky Blues a 69th minute lead.
City had to weather a late storm from Joey Barton’s men but they battled manfully to the end, including four long and nervous minutes of added time, to record their first win in four games and reassert their promotion credentials.
Attendance: 4,672 (196 away)