Ipswich Town 0-1 Coventry City - Half-Time
Saturday, 7th Mar 2020 16:04
Matt Godden’s 16th minute goal has given Coventry a 1-0 lead over the Blues at Portman Road at half-time.
Will Norris, Teddy Bishop, Luke Woolfenden, Cole Skuse, Gwion Edwards and Freddie Sears all returned to the starting line-up as manager Paul Lambert made six changes.
Norris replaced Tomas Holy in goal behind a back four of Edwards, Woolfenden, skipper Luke Chambers and Luke Garbutt.
In midfield, Skuse and Andre Dozzell were behind Jon Nolan with Bishop and Alan Judge either side of Sears up front.
Striker Will Keane missed out with a groin injury, while leaders Coventry named an unchanged team.
The Blues might have won a penalty in the sixth minute when Nolan appeared to be caught as he went inside a defender on the right of the box. However, referee Trevor Kettle wasn’t interested and the Town protests were relatively muted.
But Coventry, in their Two-tone tribute away kit, began to see more of the ball and in the 16th minute they went ahead via their first shot of the game.
After Nolan had been dispossessed a few yards inside the Blues half, Liam Walsh played a slide-rule pass into the path of Godden on the right of the box from where the Sky Blues’ top scorer hit a shot across Norris and into the corner of the net.
Having got their lead, Coventry began to dominate as they looked for a second. On 24 Kyle McFadzean looped a header over following a short corner.
The Blues were struggling to regain a foothold but in the 29th minute they carved themselves a golden opportunity with a well-constructed move from their own area down the right involving Woolfenden Edwards, Judge and Sears.
Eventually, Judge played a bouncing ball forward into the path of Nolan, who was through on goal and in acres of space on the edge of the box. The former Shrewsbury man had time to take it down and pick his spot but instead opted to head towards goal but only succeeded in finding Coventry keeper Marko Marosi’s hands. Moments later, Walsh was booked for a foul on Bishop.
The Blues started to see more of the ball as the game passed the half-hour mark and in the 40th minute Dozzell found Nolan midway inside the visitors’ half from where he played it on to Sears, who hit a low which failed to trouble Marosi.
Four minutes later, Skuse played a ball forward to Nolan on the left of the box, who again avoided a linesman’s flag but this time shot over.
In injury time, Bishop looked to be sent flying just outside the area but referee Kettle somehow saw no infringement.
As the players made their way off at the end of the half, Norris took his protests too far and was booked, frustratedly throwing a water bottle after being shown the card.
As a result, referee Kettle was roundly booed by the Sir Alf Ramsey Stand as he made his way off the field.
Aside from the goal, there hadn’t been too much between the sides with penalty area action a rarity at both ends.
Once again, the Blues were the architects of their own downfall, losing possession in a dangerous area of the field, but Coventry did well to make the most of it.
Town, who had had their fair share of the ball and were much better than in the first half against Fleetwood, will feel they should have been on terms with Nolan’s chances one which really should have been taken, the midfielder presumably not having realised quite how much time he had or how far from goal he was. His later chance was tougher.
However, those opportunities, showed that the Sky Blues’ backline is far from impenetrable, giving some hope for the second half.
Town: Norris, Edwards, Woolfenden, Chambers (c), Garbutt, Skuse, Dozzell, Nolan, Bishop, Judge, Sears. Subs: Holy, Earl, Wilson, Morris, Dobra, Huws, Simpson.
Coventry: Marosi, Rose, McFadzean, Kelly (c), Allen, Hyam, O’Hare, Walsh, Dabo, Godden, McCallum. Subs: Wilson, Biamou, Pask, Giles, Bakayoko, Westbrooke, Shipley. Referee: Trevor Kettle (Rutland).
Photo: Action Images
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