After all the off field drama this week I was never expecting such a high scoring win, or even a good performance. But as always I was wrong, the first 20/25 minutes though we were awful, but after that I couldn’t criticise one player, such a good team performance.
On a less cold day at the Ricoh Arena, Mark Robins kept the same side that won that heroic penalty shootout against Sheffield United mid-week. It was the away side that started the better with pacey winger Febian Brandy doing the early runs, Coventry fan Jamie Paterson looked good as well, it was the home side to have the first sight of goal as David McGoldrick cut inside the Walsall right side of defence and hitting a weak effort which led to a easy save for keeper Aaron McCarey but good early pressure by the home side. They should definitely have been a head next though as Franck Moussa got through the Walsall back line and started running to the goal; his shot was well saved by McCarey with his legs, should have hit it earlier or at least squared it to Gary McSheffrey. The next chance sent me to my feet as I thought we scored, McGoldrick again tricked his way around the right hand side and poked a shot on his weaker foot past the incoming McCarey only for it to go narrowly wide. Coventry would be kicking themselves for the wasted opportunities after that as Jamie Paterson cross to the back post was unfortunately put into his own net by Blair Adams. Coventry’s captain Carl Baker wasn’t really having a good day and it shown as he was booked for pulling keeper McCarey down after an attempted breakaway which means he will miss Saturday’s game at Doncaster after picking up a 5th booking of the season. The home side was inches away from levelling as McGoldrick’s low cross was inches away from the sliding McSheffrey at the back post. Coventry were certainly the dominate force after going behind as the right side of the saddlers defence was being run ragged again, this time Moussa collected a long ball over the top and his cross aiming for James Bailey was headed over. From the resulting corner Coventry levelled through Carl Baker, who definitely proved me wrong, thought he was poor but he was brilliant for the rest of the game, the short corner was took by McSheffrey to Baker who dribbled past a defender and fired a shot into the net. Coventry just pressed on after that which led to them going in front as Baker started the move winning the ball and sending City on the counter, his pass to Bailey who played in McGoldrick to slot home past McCarey to put the home side in the lead. He immediately gave Coventry a two goal advantage as Baker floated cross to the back post landed at McGoldrick who chested it down and fired home past McCarey. The away side was certainly getting frustrated as Brandy was booked for a challenge on Moussa. Coventry nearly scored from a free kick just outside of the box on the stroke of half time as Baker low shot just went wide of the left hand side.
Walsall started the same as the first with some good pressure on Joe Murphy goal but McGoldrick almost got his hat trick on 54 minutes as Bailey passed the ball to the on loan striker who curling effort struck the outside of the post. The away side with a following of 1072 fans for this Midland derby were embarrassed as right back Cyrus Christie made it 4-1 as Baker set him free down the right hand side and he beat of any attempt of a tackle, moving into the box changed onto his left foot and curled a shot around a city player and past thankfully McCarey in the Walsall goal, that was Christie’s first ever league goal. Nicky Featherstone, Andy Butler and David McGoldrick were next to go in the book, particularly McGoldrick and Butler who were booked after some hot tempered shoving after William Edjenguele had been fouled. Walsall tried to change things with Jamie Paterson going off for Adam Chambers, Paterson getting a few claps from the home support with him being a City fan also. Richard Wood almost made it five as a Baker free kick was sent to the back post to an unmarked Gary McSheffrey who volleyed cross was put wide by a sliding Wood. Coventry made a double substitution with Franck Moussa and Gary McSheffrey going off with standing ovations from the city support, who were replaced by John Fleck and Cody McDonald. With around 13 minutes to go Walsall created their first real chance of the half with Sam Mantom forcing a great parried save from Joe Murphy. Walsall thought they’d pulled one back shortly after that as Mantom free kick in a similar position to Baker’s was saved by Murphy who spilt it to Dean Holden who tapped home only for the assistant referee raising his flag for offside. It was a terrible day for the saddlers as Andy Butler was given his marching orders after a second booking for pulling substitute Cody McDonald down. It was soon to be an all-round bad day at the office for the away side as Carl Baker curled a cracking shot from outside of the box with keeper McCarey no chance. That was it after that, Walsall I presume were glad to hear the final whistle. A great performance by the skyblues to round off a great week of 3 wins out of 3, with all the off field trouble it was nice to shut up all the negative disputes and put the positives on the pitch. 10986 turned up at the Ricoh with most getting their money worth, just hope we can continue our form and climb the table! Now onto a tough game at Doncaster Saturday, hope it can be my first away game witnessing a win! VERY UNLUCKY FAN! PUSB