FOOTBALL: AN EARLY goal by former Coventry City midfielder Kevin Thornton earned Coventry United all three points at home to Shepshed Dynamo in the Midland League Premier Division.
The tail end of Storm Doris led to a very windswept Sphinx Drive and made for difficult football conditions on Saturday, but United coped the better and Thornton’s early strike proved to be the difference.
The opener came with just six minutes on the clock when Josh O’Grady saw his low shot spilled by the keeper and Thornton was in the right place to bundle the rebound home at the second attempt.
Thornton thought he had scored a second when after beating his man he unleashed a 20-yard shot which beat the keeper but whistled just past the post.
Facing the wind in the first period, Shepshed were pinned into their own half and any glimpses of attacks were quickly snuffed out by the impressive centre-back duo of Jamie Coleman and Lewis Ison.
At half time, United manager Terry Anderson was forced to make a change with Muzi Nduna replacing the injured Courtney Cameron.
And the substitute wasted no time getting in on the action when he found space from a long cross field ball from Moudime before crossing for Halton who found Pearson quick off his line to gather comfortably.
Playing against the wind had not suited Shepshed’s direct approach in the first half, but it was a different story in the second as they routinely looked to drift balls over the top for attackers to run onto, but time and time again the Coventry defence stood strong.
The visitors had a second half goal ruled out for an offside infringement and they also had a strong shout for a penalty turned down.
Frustrations for the visitors looked like spilling over at this point in the match with centre back and captain Jake Betts cautioned for catching Morris as he tried to throw the ball out.
A further yellow card for Shepshed soon followed as a midfield battle between Joel Carta and United’s Jean Dakouri ended with the former pushing out only for Dakouri to retaliate himself.
A few minutes passed by before Dakouri seemed to get a final warning from the referee for a bit of afters following a challenge.
The Coventry bench reacted by getting substitute Gift Mussa warmed up, but it proved too late for Dakouri, who got another yellow along with his marching orders for a further foul in the heat of the moment.
Coventry defended resolutely to the end of the game, getting a little bit of luck when a Shepshed shot from a corner slammed straight against the inside of the post and clear, but overall United were good value for the 1-0 victory.