Town get lucky

FORTUNE favours the brave and once again the Blues got a touch of luck to go with their spirit and gain a precious victory.Town are not joint top on luck alone and they deserved to shade this entertaining game against a Peter Reid side who are finding things don't go with teams near the bottom.

FORTUNE favours the brave and once again the Blues got a touch of luck to go with their spirit and gain a precious victory.

Town are not joint top on luck alone and they deserved to shade this entertaining game against a Peter Reid side who are finding things don't go with teams near the bottom.

The Sky Blues had the chance to go ahead but were denied by rookie keeper Lewis Price, only in the side due to a Kelvin Davis injury.

They only lost the game because on-loan youngster Matthew Mills put past fellow young loanee Luke Steele.


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Inbetween, 18-year-old Dean Bowditch beat his England Under-19 team-mate Steele with a simple tap-in while substitute Patrick Suffo equalised for City and the game looked destined to finish a draw.

That would have been a tad harsh on Town, and in particular the experienced three-man midfield, who deserved to win only their second away game of the season.

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Davis was left out as a precaution after straining a ligament in his lower back in the draw with Reading in midweek, giving Price his third league appearance.

The Wales Under-21 keeper had nothing to do for 20 minutes but when he did, he pulled off a terrific penalty save.

Drissa Diallo had cut down Tim Sherwood as both went for a ball 10 yards in front of goal.

Trinidad and Tobago international Stern John struck his spot kick firmly enough but Price got down well to his left to push the ball away a yard inside his post.

The 20-year-old was well positioned to save a Steve Staunton low shot, also in the first half.

Price's opposite number Steele also made some important saves, twice denying Darren Bent. His first stop, on a goal-bound Bent touch after Shefki Kuqi had flicked on, rebounded out to Bowditch whose powerful drive crashed back from the underside of the crossbar.

Town twice had the ball in the net in the opening minutes, but both Bent and Kuqi were offside.

The Blues had their own call for a penalty when Bent went over Richard Shaw's legs but the ref gave neither a spot kick nor a caution for diving.

Richard Naylor almost popped up to score, hitting into side netting after the ball squirmed away from Steele 10 minutes after the break.

The on-loan Manchester United keeper produced a stunning save a couple of minutes later when he blocked a Kuqi shot as the Finn got on the end of a clever Kevin Horlock through ball.

The Blues midfielder was not far away moments later to connecting with a diving header.

Skipper Jim Magilton almost caught out Steele with a clever chip from 35 yards which skimmed the cross bar. But again the stopper was alert when tipping over a Bowditch shot.

From the resulting corner Steele gathered comfortably but then, under no pressure, gifted the clearance to Horlock. The Town No. 11 had a choice of three Town attacker to choose from as the goal was begging and you would have put your mortgage on England Under-21 striker Bent to finish from 14 yards in front of goal, but instead he skied it.

Bent made amends a minute later when he played in a fabulous low cross which evaded Kuqi, keeper and defender for Bowditch to side-foot in at the far post.

Kuqi had a shot blocked after a neat Magilton ball played him in and Tommy Miller's follow up was blocked.

The Finn was taken off and seconds later Coventry equalised when substitute Suffo, who had only been on four minutes, lobbed Price from distance.

Town's winner, three minutes from time also stemmed, indirectly from Suffo. He had headed just wide from a free-kick. Price's long goal kick was flicked on by Naylor and the unfortunate Southampton loanee Mills back passed, past his keeper and the ball trickled into the net.

The Blues now enjoy a break for international duty and many will used the time to recover from tired limbs and will enjoy sitting just behind Wigan at the top of the Championship.

derek.davis@eadt.co.uk

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