FOOTBALL: THE SKY Blues ensured their name was in the hat for the second round of the FA Cup after drawing 1-1 away at Morecambe and interim manager Mark Venus feels a draw was a fair result.
Venus and his in-form side made the long trip up to the Globe Arena on Sunday afternoon and looked to be heading out of the historic competition at the first hurdle for the second year running after falling behind to a Dean Winnard goal shortly before the hour mark.
But Jamie Sterry extended City’s unbeaten run to five games by scoring the equaliser 18 minutes from time and more importantly denied Morecambe an FA Cup upset.
“I think we played with a bit more purpose and intensity in the second half and created a lot more,” said Venus. “We perhaps deserved to score more than just the single goal but that’s the way it goes.
“Even after our improvement in the second half they could have scored a couple themselves, particularly towards the end when they had a couple of good chances. Overall, it was a fair result.”
Morecambe headed into Sunday’s cup tie having not won in three league matches but the League Two side made a positive start and Lee Burge had a busy opening.
The young City goalkeeper was forced into action to deny Peter Murphy before producing an excellent fingertip save from a corner, while Aaron Wildig’s effort from the edge of the area was wide of the target.
The best chance of the half for the Sky Blues came ten minutes before the break when Andy Rose beat the offside trap and looked to pick out Andre Wright but instead the ball fell to Kyel Reid who could only fire his effort over the bar.
There was still time for the hosts to come close again shortly before half-time as a mistake at the back allowed Peter Murphy to strike the bar from a tight angle and soon after Jordan Willis made a superb block on the line to keep out Cole Stockton’s effort.
Jack McBean was introduced for his first competitive appearance after joining the Sky Blues on loan from LA Galaxy and he provided more of an attacking momentum for Venus’ side in the second half.
Five minutes after the re-start Marvin Sordell thought he had pulled the visitors level after being set up by McBean but his deflected shot hit the crossbar and a goalmouth scramble from the resultant corner was eventually cleared.
Somewhat against the run of play Morecambe got their noses in front with 59 minutes on the clock when an inswinging corner was flicked on by Stockton and Winnard was able to slot the ball past Burge at the far post.
Morecambe goalkeeper Barry Roche denied Andre Wright as the visitors pushed for an equaliser and they got their reward when Sterry fired home his first goal of the club in the 72nd minutes.
The full-back played a neat one-two with Andre Wright before closing in on goal and firing a curling shot into the bottom right-hand corner of the net.
Callum Maycock was introduced late on to become the 12th academy graduate to play in the first team this season as both sides pushed for a winner but it remained 1-1 at the final whistle.
“We perhaps lost our way a little at times and struggled to control the game like we usually do,” Venus added.
“I didn’t feel in the first half we played how we’re trying to play and that helped Morecambe grow into the game. I know where we are as a football team, we just have to keep on working to improve.”
Attendance: 1,742 (546)
Coventry City: Burge (GK), Di. Kelly-Evans, Willis (C), Turnbull, Sterry, Stevenson, Rose, Lameiras, Reid (McBean 45), Wright (Maycock 77), Sordell.
Subs: Charles-Cook (GK), Ricketts, Harries, Jones, Tudgay.
Support community journalism by making a contribution
Thanks for reading this and the Coventry Observer.