Coventry City 0-0 Ipswich Town - Half-Time
Sunday, 1st Dec 2019 15:00
Town’s FA Cup second-round tie against Coventry at St Andrew’s remains 0-0 at half-time.
Blues boss Paul Lambert made six changes from the team which drew 0-0 with Wycombe on Tuesday.
Town returned to the 4-3-3 system they employed against Lincoln City in the first-round replay victory with Will Norris back in goal.
In defence, James Wilson partnered Luke Woolfenden in the centre with Janoi Donacien at right-back and Luke Garbutt on the left.
In midfield Andre Dozzell and Flynn Downes played behind Jon Nolan with Will Keane the lone central striker, while Danny Rowe was on the right and Alan Judge on the left.
Strike pair Kayden Jackson and James Norwood were among those on a very strong Blues bench.
Downes, 20, skippered for the first time and and became the Blues’ youngest ever captain ahead of legend Kevin Beattie, who was 21 and a month when he wore the armband away against his hometown club Carlisle in January 1975.
Coventry made two changes from the team which drew 1-1 at Sunderland last week with Sam McCallum and Max Biamou returning to their side with Amadou Bakayoko and Brandon Mason dropping to the bench.
At a very empty St Andrew’s in an almost pre-season atmosphere, the Blues saw all the ball in the opening couple of minutes but almost inadvertently played Biamou, who was returning to the team after a three-game league ban, in on goal but Woolfenden dispossessed the Frenchman.
There was an even bigger scare for Town in the fourth minute when Zain Westbrooke was played in to the right of goal and cut it back to Biamou, who hit a low shot which Norris stopped to his left and claimed at the second attempt.
The Blues caused themselves another unforced problem in the eighth minute when Donacien’s throw-in from the right to Wilson on the edge of his own area was intercepted by Westbrooke, but fortunately his touch sent the ball through to Norris.
Coventry, who were having all the early chances, threatened again two minutes later, Garbutt heading over Sam McCallum’s cross from the left ahead of Biamou. From the corner, the ball was played back to Liam Walsh, who hit a well-struck shot straight at Norris.
Town were forced to make a number of blocks inside their area on 12, first a Biamou effort was stopped by Donacien, then the loose ball fell to Westbrooke, whose shot was charged through to Norris by several diving Blues players.
The Blues were seeing most of the ball and playing it out from the back but without causing the Coventry backline any problems, while gifting Sky Blues, pressing tenaciously even deep in the Town own half, most of their chances with sloppy play.
Garbutt scraped the Blues’ first shot of the game across goal and wide from the left in the 22nd minute.
Two minutes later, Keane tried to get on to a bouncing ball from deep just inside the area but a Coventry knee took it away from him and keeper Marko Marosi claimed.
The Blues began to play more of the game in the Sky Blues’ half but on 29 Walsh curled a freekick well over from not far outside the box after Dozzell had been adjudged to have handballed.
Town almost grabbed the lead in the 36th minute when Keane cut the ball back from the byline on the right to Downes, who turned just past the near post.
Two minutes before the break, Rowe scuffed a shot from 25 yards wide with the Blues continuing to see most of the ball but without particularly threatening.
Rowe hit another effort across the face before referee Anthony Backhouse ended the half after one minute of additional time.
Town had passed the ball around neatly but mostly unthreateningly and without too much tempo with Downes’s chance their only serious opportunity to go in front.
The Blues had caused more problems in their own area in the early stages by giving the ball away, leading to Coventry’s succession of chances in the opening minutes, however, this tendency had reduced the longer the half had gone on.
Coventry: Marosi, Dabo, Hyam, McFadzean, Rose, McCallum, Kelly, Walsh, Shipley, Westbrooke, Biamou. Subs: Wilson, Watson, Mason, Kastaneer, O’Hare, Bakayoko, Hiwula.
Town: Norris, Donacien, Woolfenden, Wilson, Garbutt, Downes, Dozzell, Nolan, Rowe, Judge, Keane. Subs: Holy, Edwards, Jackson, Norwood, Kenlock, Georgiou, Huws. Referee: Anthony Backhouse (Cumbria).
Photo: Action Images
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