2nd Jul, 2022

REPORT: Sky Blues fall at first Caraboa Cup hurdle against Blackburn Rovers

FOOTBALL: A FIRST half volley from Corry Evans coupled with deflected goals from Richie Smallwood and Dominic Samuel saw the Sky Blues make a premature exit from the Caraboa Cup on Tuesday night.

Mark Robins’ men only had new recruit Duckens Nazon’s first half strike to celebrate as City went down to Blackburn – now managed by former Sky Blues boss Tony Mowbray.

A crowd of 5,372 watched the Sky Blues in their second competitive fixture of the season.

Rovers were lucky not to concede early on when Jordan Shipley’s set-piece met the head of Maxime Biamou, whose header went straight to the hands of David Raya in the Blackburn goal.

The visitors were ahead after 16 minutes though when Corry Evans placed a half-volley effort over Liam O’Brien in the far top corner.

Former Sky Blues man Dominic Samuel was unlucky not to double Rovers’ lead moments later when forcing two good saves from O’Brien.

On full debut, Nazon put the Sky Blues back into contention with a strike on 21 minutes.

The loanee pounced on a forced rebound as a result of an earlier strike from Jack Grimmer.

Nazon then came close to making it two goals in five minutes after getting the better of Derrick Williams at wing-back and charging forward into the area. His shot at goal pinballed around the six-yard box before somehow being hooked clear by Charlie Mulgrew.

Richie Smallwood put Rovers back in front on the half hour mark though. The former Middlesbrough man hit an optimistic effort from far out which found its way into the net.

The Sky Blues started the second-half strong, but Nazon was left to rue his missed chances yet again when Samuel appeared in the area to make it 3-1.

Manager Mark Robins admitted his exposed their weaknesses.

“I think they stretched us a little too often but that was just a cast of us being na├»ve,” said Robins.

“We know Tony Mowbray likes to play on the floor and it was something I wanted to expose Biamou and Nazon to because they need to learn to how to work that way and make sure that we can try and stop teams from playing. They were decent at it.

“After they took the lead we had to work really hard to get back into it, which we did through what was a fairly well taken goal after it bounced back off the goalkeeper.

“We then had a period of play where we were toe-to-toe with them before we gave a silly goal away. We surrendered possession in a poor area and they punished us for it.”

The Sky Blues are back in action on Saturday afternoon against Grimsby Town where they will hope to build on Saturday’s 3-1 win against Notts County.

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