Bent ends mini-drought

DARREN Bent got one over one an old friend and ended a mini-goal drought in a man-of-the match display against Coventry City.The England Under-21 striker banged in two goals against on-loan Manchester United keeper Luke Steele, who has been a rival since his young school days.

By Derek Davis

DARREN Bent got one over one an old friend and ended a mini-goal drought in a man-of-the match display against Coventry City.

The England Under-21 striker banged in two goals against on-loan Manchester United keeper Luke Steele, who has been a rival since his young school days.

Steele, who started his career at Peterborough United before moving to Old Trafford and is now with City on a season long loan, denied Bent at Highfield Road earlier in the season - but the Ipswich striker was the emphatic winner on Saturday.

Bent said: “I had a little word at the end of the game and said it was one-one now as I didn't score at their place.

“We have known each other since we were kids playing against each other around Cambridgeshire.

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“Luke joined Peterborough very early on but we used to muck about together and when we are both back in that area we still hang around.”

The first of Bent's brace came as a relief, not just for Town who were trailing at the time, but for the young forward who had not found the net since he scored the vital goal against Wigan five matches ago.

Bent admitted: “I have not scored for a while so it was like a massive weight coming off my shoulders when that one went in. I was happy with the two goals but I'm happier about us winning.”

Bent was never worried about losing his place, as it was obvious manager Joe Royle would not split a partnership that has yielded 26 goals between them so far this season.

Bent confirmed: “The manager never said anything about resting me. All he has said to me was keep getting in the positions to score then one of the chances will go in.

“He told me he was happy that I was still working to get in the positions and once I stopped doing that then he wouldn't be happy.”

Being in the right place at the right time saw him get on the end of a Fabian Wilnis cross to poke in from six yards, while the second goal had a real touch of class about it.

Bent said: “I saw Fabian putting the ball in and I knew that I had to get rid of my man to try and get on the end of it which I was able to do

“The second was pleasing. It was a tight angle so I tried to lift it over him and at first I thought it was going wide but then it hit a post and went in.”

Not content with two Bent went looking for a hat trick but it never quite worked out.

He said: “Every time I got the ball towards the end I was shooting hoping one would go in but it didn't. The main thing though was that we got the three points.”

The winner came through the hard-working Shefki Kuqi from an unorthodox Kelvin Davis clearance.

Bent said: “It was a bit of an unusual goal. Mind you I have had a few chances when a Kelvin kick has come straight through to me. One was due to go in and luckily enough it came for Shefki against Coventry.

“Shefki did very well, his work rate is incredible - I don't know where he gets his energy.”

And the Blues hit-man paid tribute to City, who have now been doubled by Town but can feel a little hard done by.

He said: “Even when we scored they came straight back at us. They made it difficult for us but we managed to keep going and it paid off.”

Bent will be looking to move off 13 strikes for the season after scoring his 50th senior goal in 122 Blues appearances.

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