6th Jul, 2022

Ben Stevenson gets the plaudits as his first senior goal helps seal Sky Blues win

Steve Carpenter 19th Oct, 2016 Updated: 28th Oct, 2016

YOUNGSTER Ben Stevenson received high praise from manager Mark Venus after his first half wonder goal set the Sky Blues on their way to a first home league victory of the season against League One newcomers Oxford United.

Academy graduate Stevenson, 19, unleashed an unstoppable 30-yard shot which flew into the top corner of the net for his first senior goal and to put Venus’ side in front shortly before the half-hour mark.

The hosts were gifted a second just minutes before the break as Marvin Sordell made the most of a mix-up in the Oxford defence to poke the ball into an open goal.

Coventry kid Daniel Crowley set up a tense finish by pulling a goal back for Oxford but the Sky Blues held out for a second league win of the season to move off the relegation zone.

“I thought Ben was outstanding all game,” said Venus. “He was breaking up play, up and down the pitch, being positive in possession. It was just a complete performance from him.

“His all round game had a lot of identity to it, and his goal was a fantastic strike that got us on our way to a positive result. It was worthy of winning any football game.

“He is a good player who is still young. With all players you have to find the right system and right position for them to express themselves, but he is a player that we are really pleased to have signed an extension with the club.”

The Sky Blues came close to going in front with two minutes on the clock when Bigirimana played in Ruben Lameiras down the right and his cut back found Sordell whose first-time shot was well saved.

At the other end Lee Burge had to be alert to keep out Chris Maguire’s powerful half volley but it was Venus’ side who took a deserved lead in the 29th minute.

Stevenson was urged to shoot from the home support and he did just that by sending a superb right-footed shot crashing into the back of the net.

Two minutes before the break the lead was doubled after a mix up between defender and goalkeeper allowed Sordell to score the easiest goal of his career.

As expected Oxford pressed in search for a way back into the match after the break but they failed to really test Burge in the City goal.

Maguire tested Burge again from a free kick on the edge of the box but the City shot-stopper was at full stretch to palm the ball away.

Sordell twice came agonisingly close with two curling efforts after cutting inside from the right before Crowley volleyed home from the edge of the box but it proved to be little more than a late consolation.

“I really enjoyed watching the lads play,” Venus added. “It was positive, attacking and they really worked hard for each other.

“I think the second-half was also positive, as we’re a young team who are perhaps not used to riding games out.

“We expected Oxford to come on strong, but the lads stayed composed and calm under pressure during periods. Over the 90 minutes we more than deserved the victory and it’s vital we now push on from this.”

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