22nd Feb, 2020

Coventry City destroy Bristol Rovers to book FA Cup tie with Birmingham City

Les Reid 14th Jan, 2020 Updated: 14th Jan, 2020

COVENTRY City destroyed Bristol Rovers with an thoroughly entertaining 3-0 win to book an FA Cup fourth-round tie at home to landlords Birmingham City.

They made five changes with Godden, Westbrooke, McCallum and Dabo seemingly rested and Shipley on the bench.

Josh Pask at right wing-back marked the first minute of his debut with a strong run and cross which was just too high for the returning Max Biamou to direct his header.

A fierce low shot outside the box from Walsh – exploiting the skiddy wet surface – was well parried by the keeper.

On four minutes, a pinpoint O’Hare through-ball put Biamou through on the keeper and he perfected his shot into the bottom right corner.

Biamou, making his first start in weeks after injury, was a handful from the start, winning headers and knock-downs, putting himself about and linking well with the forward-running and creative Jamie Allen and O’Hare, who took control of the first half from the whistle.

Rovers had not been in the game until the 13th minute when a great whipped corner was impressively clawed out strongly by Marosi.

Following more City attacking midfield dominance with Walsh also again linking well and catching the eye with his tenacity, Biamou missed a decent chance on 17 minutes with a back-post header he was slightly early on, after O’Hare stood up a floating cross.

City must have strung 30 passes together before the chance, a portent of what was to follow for the second half.

On 21 minutes, Biamou slid in at the back post from a Pask low driven cross, but it was just in front of him, and an open net, after more fine interplay between him, O’Hare and Allen.

Out of nowhere on 23 minutes, ex-City striker Jonson Clarke-Harris hit the bar with a header from a cross after Kelly mistakenly let the ball run on the edge of area. He then headed just over the bar as the ball came back in – again about eight yards out – the visitors’ only real chances of the half.

On 26 minutes, Hyam’s fine back post header from an Allen corner was well saved in the top corner.

Then Biamou attempted a trademark overhead kick in the box from a Pask cross, but didn’t quite connect well enough.

In the 38th minute, Biamou headed high and wide from an Allen free kick on the left that he could perhaps have connected better with, and the chance was gone.

O’Hare continued to play well off the shoulder of his opponents and made a great weaving run with half-time approaching that was deflected for a corner.

The last chance of a first half that City totally dominated again fell to Biamou who had yet again made an intelligent run into space in the box.

He failed to react to a lovely curling cross into the box from Allen.

The second half started as the first half had ended – with Coventry City on the front foot.

City’s second goal came on 49 minutes. Pask finished inside the box in space with a low drive after being put through by another fine O’Hare through-ball.

It was 3-0 four minutes later. Allen’s corner, won by O’Hare, found Walsh in space in the box who fired a pass in low for Biamou to finish first time low from six yards.

In the 58th minute, Callum O’Hare’s lovely run and shot was blocked as City must have exchanged 50 passes in Rovers’ half – to pantomime cheers from the crowd with each pass, as dispirited Rovers barely attempted to chase shadows.

On the hour, chief architect of the scintillating City performance, O’Hare, was replaced by Jodi Jones, to an appreciative send-off.

The game thereafter resembled a training ground match.


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