FOOTBALL: COVENTRY City avoided a potential banana skin on Sunday afternoon as Jordan Ponticelli helped Mark Robins’ men earn a two-goal win against non-league Maidenhead United.
Defender Jack Grimmer and winger Jodi Jones chipped in with assists on what proved to be a comfortable victory for the home side, though Robins admitted he’s still looking for more.
A missed chance to take the lead on ten minutes frustrated home fans as Maidenhead’s defenders were forced to scramble Marc McNulty’s close range strike off the goalline.
McNulty was unlucky not to score in the opening half as he later had a long range strike hit the crossbar.
City took the lead on the half hour mark though when Jack Grimmer, who had been the stand-out players all afternoon, raced down the right before cutting inside to find Ponticelli on the penalty spot.
The teenager curled the ball past Maidenhead keeper Pentney as the Sky Blues took the lead.
Ponticelli doubled his goal count 11 minutes later when Jodi Jones setup the youngster to double the Sky Blues’ lead.
Frenchman Max Biamou came on in place of Peter Vincenti at half time. Biamou made an immediate impression when he found Jones in a good position, but the former Dagenham man couldn’t pick out McNulty in the centre.
Maidenhead’s best chance of the game came with 20 minutes to go when Adrian Clifton’s header went over the bar from a tight angle.
After the game, manager Mark Robins said he was pleased to see his side avoid Maidenhead’s potential threat.
He said: “There was some really good stuff but the lads know that I am still looking for more.
“They (Maidenhead) had a game plan and they felt they could get a result. We managed to see that challenge off.”
Ponticelli made his first start at the Ricoh Arena, and by half time he had already hit the back of the net twice.
Robins said of the teenager’s performance: “It is great that Ponticelli got his two goals. We did want to see if we could get him a third because that would have been a perfect day for him, although it is a great start.
“His goals were very good. The move for the first goal was brilliant. Grimmer has done well down the right and Jordan has found some space in the box. That is what he is great at.
“The second one he got across his marker and put it in to give us some breathing space.
“These sides are hungry and they put you on the back foot.
“You can see why there are so many banana skins in this competition, but we did well today.”
Coventry XI: Burge (GK), Grimmer, Davies, McDonald, Haynes, Doyle (C), Shipley (Maycock 73′), Jones, McNulty, Vincenti (Biamou 45′), Ponticelli (Nazon 73′).
Maidenhead XI: Pentney, Clerima, Steer, Massey, Comley, Barratt (Hyde 45′), Pritchard, Clifton, Upward, Goodman, Smith (Mulley 58′).
Attendance: 3370 (716 away)