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Late Goal Denies U's

12 March 2013

Heartbreak at the death for Dunne's men.

The U’s made three changes to the side that was unfortunate to lose against Crewe at the weekend. Bradley Garmston returned in place of John White, Josh Thompson came in for the injured Tom Eastman and Michael Smith came in up top, with David Wright missing out.

A point before the game may have been one that many would have taken but, having been ahead, they'll be disappointed not to have seen the game out.

A fine display had them two goals to the good at the Ricoh Arena and it looked set to be all three points going back to north Essex, but City fought back to ensure they got something out of the game.
The U's were within two minutes of an important win on Tuesday night, only for late heartbreak as Coventry grabbed a point with one of the final kicks of the game.

The home side were the first to have a sight of goal. First, Moussa got away down the left channel and struck a shot that Walker turned away from danger. From the resultant set piece, it came to centre half Martin on the edge of the box and he pulled his effort just wide of the far post.

At the other end, Garmston miscued a cross that almost caught Murphy out, but the keeper shovelled it around the post for a corner.

But the Sky Blues were having the better of the early exchanges, and Baker sent McSheffrey away on nine minutes, where he seemed destined to score. His shot hit the foot of the post and, thankfully for the U’s, went to safety.

It was an open start and Garmston made the most of a Sky Blues mistake to get to the edge of the box, before sliding in a low shot that Murphy fielded low to his left.

The match settled down after that busy start, but the home side were a threat when pushing forwards with genuine width.

After great work by Morrison midway through the half, Clifford sent in a curling shot that forces a full length save out of Murphy and, from the resultant set piece, Massey forced the keeper to tip the ball over the bar.

Chances were now at a premium and it looked like Porter was set to embark on a run towards goal, but his first touch was just too heavy and it allowed Martin to nip in and shepherd the ball home to his keeper.

The U's took the lead with six minutes to go until half time. 

Garmston sent the ball down the channel and Smith did well to hold up the ball.  Massey nicked it off his toes to embark on a run towards goal. And, despite the attentions of three defenders, he maintained control of the ball before smashing home past the keeper.

The U’s retained their advantage into the half time interval, and they knew that they would have to see off a Coventry storm at the start of the second half.

They restricted the Sky Blues to long distance shots in that first ten minutes of the second half, with Bailey and Moussa not testing Walker in the U’s goal.

The home side were having more of the ball, and Walker pulled off a fine stop on the hour mark when a ball into the box found McSheffrey at the far post.

He smothered the low shot from just five yards out, turning it behind for a corner, catching the resultant set piece.

It was a warning shot for the U’s, and Dickinson got in a good position when muscling past Wilson, but the visiting defender just put him off enough for the Coventry left back to drag his shot well wide.

The home side were cranking up the pressure, but the U’s were defending manfully to keep the Sky Blues at bay as the midpoint of the second half arrived.

And that defensive hard work paid dividends when the U’s doubled their advantage with nineteen to go. 

Garmston played the ball forwards, Morrison flicked it on and Smith was the man put through into the box, keeping his calm to slot home past the keeper.

However, the game was not over. Callum Wilson got away down the right and beat Okuonghae with some good feet, driving home into the far corner to make it 1-2.

The U’s were under the cosh as the game entered its final ten minutes. Thompson pulled off a great block as Fleck got into the box, turning the ball over.

It was tough on the U's, but they'll go again when they go to Bury on Saturday.

But, deep into injury time, Baker grabbed an equaliser for the Sky Blues, smashing home a free kick into the top corner to make it 2-2.

The U’s made their second change not long afterwards, introducing Compton off the bench for Morrison who had worked hard once again and, as the game entered its final minute, White came on for the excellent Garmston.

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