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01:06 9th December 2012
By  Andrew Poole

Set-back for Saddlers at Sky Blues...


THE SADDLERS stepped out at the Ricoh Arena for the first ever time eager to get back into action after a two-week break.

A foul on Febian Brandy in the opening exchanges gave us a free-kick which Jamie Paterson curled in and Andy Butler headed just wide.

There was an opening for the home side as Franck Moussa fought off the attentions of Richard Taundry to break through only for Aaron McCarey to be alert to block well.

It was a lively start for The Saddlers who gave the home defence plenty to think about early on.

Just before the quarter-hour mark, David McGoldrick freed himself from Andy Butler to slot inches wide.

The Saddlers took the lead on 15 minutes when an inviting cross from Andy Taylor on the left was flicked on by Will Grigg for Blair Adams to head past his own 'keeper.

A pacy break by into the area by Gary McSheffrey saw his teasing low ball into the danger zone cleared at the crucial moment by Richard Taundry as McCarey eventually got hold of the ball.

The next raid by The Sky Blues saw McGoldrick put the ball across the face of goal, just ahead of the out-stretched leg of McSheffrey in the middle.

The home side were starting to turn the screw and Moussa's pace caused problems as he won a corner which was only half-cleared and Carl Baker was able to guide the ball home at the near post for the equaliser just before the half-hour mark.

A neat move from Walsall on the left saw Sam Mantom feed Paterson who made room for a whipped in ball that was headed clear at the near post.

Coventry took the lead when The Saddlers lost the ball in midfield and the home side were able to break through Carl Baker who teed up David McGoldrick who made no mistake in the 39th minute.

Within minutes McGoldrick had his second and Coventry's third but it came in controversial circumstances as he appeared to push Taundry in the build-up.

There was a booking for Brandy who let his frustrations get the better of him.

A free-kick right on the edge of the area was fired low through the wall and narrowly wide by Carl Baker.

HALF-TIME: Coventry City 3 Walsall 1

The second period started with Will Grigg looking to lift the ball over former Saddlers' loanee, Joe Murphy, but he was just off target.

At the other end, McGoldrick clipped the post with an effort from distance.

A foul on Brandy gave Walsall a free-kick in a good position which Westcarr delivered to the far post as the ball was scrambled clear under pressure.

The fourth goal arrived just past the hour when Cyrus Christie cut in from the right and curled the ball home beyond the reach of McCarey.

There was a booking for Andy Butler for his part in a melee as players from both sides came together just inside the Walsall half.

The first change of the afternoon by Dean Smith saw Adam Chambers replace Paterson.

A snap-shot from Sam Mantom was pushed out by Murphy with 77 minutes on the clock.

Will Grigg was hauled down on the edge of the area to give The Saddlers a free-kick which Mantom drilled through the wall and as the ball fell to Dean Holden, he forced it home but the effort was ruled out for offside.

There was a second yellow card for Butler which saw him dismissed with nine minutes left on the clock.

The home side extended their lead when Carl Baker found the net from distance after he was not closed down properly.

In the wake of the goal, Paul Downing replaced Brandy before a couple of minutes later, Ashley Hemmings took the place of Featherstone.

Right at the death, Andy Taylor was booked for kicking the ball away to complete a miserable afternoon.

FULL-TIME: Coventry City 5 Walsall 1


    For the first 50 years of their existence, England played their home matches all around the country.