A LATE surge of goals saw Coventry United ease through their preliminary pound FA Cup tie at home to a hard working Lichfield City with United progressing thanks to a 5-1 victory at Sphinx Drive, reports Keith Green.
Josh O’Grady scored twice for the Red and Greens, with Muzzy Nduna, Matty Brown and Kevin Thornton also getting on the scoresheet.
Manager Terry Anderson took the opportunity to rotate the squad, resting Brian Ndlovu, and giving Brown and Antonio Williams the chance to spearhead the attack.
In a tight first half, a superb curled O’Grady strike from 20 yards split the teams but the wind did not help though and stifled the play from both sides.
The second half saw both sides create chances and it took a great save from Richard Morris on 60 minutes to maintain United’s lead.
Nduna was beginning to impose himself on the right and went close twice before a hard-working Antonio Williams almost struck for the home side. The rebound fell to Brown who was left with an easy finish to double the lead and calm the home fans’ nerves.
Lichfield were not out of it though and were constantly testing the height of the United back four. A low cross then caught the hosts unaware and Lichfield’s Craig Marshall cooly slotted home to give the away team a lifeline.
It was threatening to be a nervy end for United but with ten minutes left they brought the impressive Kevin Thornton on and he stamped his class on a tiring opposition as United ended up running away with it.
A measured through ball and an unselfish cross from Thornton gave simple goals to O’Grady and Nduna, before Nduna turned creator.
He slipped his marker just inside the 18-yard box and won a penalty with an exquisite turn which Thornton took and fired home from the spot to wrap up a comfortable 5-1 win, although the scoreline was slightly flattering.
The win sets up a local tie in the next round against Bedworth United at Sphinx Drive on September 3.