Coventry City 0-0 Shrewsbury Town
THE SKY Blues began their 2016/17 League One home campaign with an entertaining goalless stalemate at home to Shrewsbury Town in match that both sides feel they could have taken all three points.
Tony Mowbray’s side created several clear cut chances in the opening period and dominated for most of the match but they were unable to find a breakthrough.
Shrewsbury themselves had chances on goal, particularly in the second period, and former Sky Blues midfielder Jim O’Brien could have won it for the visitors at the death on his Ricoh return but he wasted a glorious chance in the final moments of the match.
West Ham loan signing Lewis Page slotted in at left full-back for his home debut, while Kyel Reid was handed his first start of the season and Ben Stevenson’s impressive performance against Portsmouth in mid-week earned the youngster his league debut in the heart of the City midfield.
The first chance of the match fell to the Sky Blues with nine minutes on the clock. Ruben Lameiras did superbly well to slip in Vladimir Gadzhev inside the area but the Bulgarian could only hit his shot into the side netting.
Three minutes later Jordan Willis rose well at the far post but saw his header saved by Jason Leurwiler and a neat move down the left on 22 minutes saw Page deliver a dangerous cross which was met by Andy Rose however his header drifted wide of goal.
The opportunities continued to come and go for the Sky Blues but Mowbray’s side were unable to take advantage of them.
Just after the half-hour mark Lameiras set up Reid with a neatly worked corner but the former Preston winger fired his first-time shot high over the bar.
Shrewsbury had rarely threatened Reice Charles-Cook in the Sky Blues goal but two minutes after the re-start the young goalkeeper had to be alert to keep out Junior Brown’s effort on goal.
Charles-Cook then punched a free kick from substitute Ian Black into the feet of Louis Dodds but he fire over when perhaps he should have done better.
At the other end the chances dried up for Mowbray’s young side despite striker Marcus Tudgay being introduced.
Rose volleyed wide inside the are and the impressive Reid saw his deflected long range effort drift narrowly wide of goal, but Shrewsbury were looking dangerous on the break.
O’Brien almost silenced the home support but his 25-yard shot whistled just wide of Charles-Cook’s left-hand post.
There was a long break in play as summer signing and substitute Kwane Thomas was stretchered off and in the final minutes it was the visitors who looked like stealing all three points as they made the most of their one-man advantage.
In the final minute of normal time, former City man O’Brien did well to pick out Ivan Toney in the box and his first-time shot had Charles-Cook beaten but the home crowd breathed a sigh of relief as his effort came back off the crossbar and away to safety.
O’Brien came close again in the last minute of injury time but after being picked out at the far post he somehow fired wide of the target when it looked easier to score.
Attendance: 10,296 (530 away)
Teams: Charles-Cook, Ricketts (c), Willis, Harries, Page, Stevenson, Rose, Lameiras (Spence 66) , Jones (Tudgay 55), Reid (K. Thomas 74).
Subs not used – Burge (GK), Di. Kelly-Evans, Finch, Haynes.