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Report: Town 1-1 Coventry

30 August 2014

SWINDON TOWN earned a point thanks to Raphael Rossi-Branco’s 72nd minute equaliser against Coventry, writes Adrian Smith.

The visitors had taken the lead in the 41st minute after a mistake by Josh Lelan saw Josh McQuoid fire home from close range but the Brazilian defender Rossi-Branco’s powerful close range header was enough to earn a point for Mark Cooper’s injury hit team.

Mark Cooper was forced into a late change of line up when Michael Smith withdrew during the prematch warm up so Connor Waldon made his first start of the season. Joshua Lelan was also
included in place of the suspended Nathan Thompson having had his loan from Derby extended.

Coventry kicked off playing towards the Town End and enjoyed plenty of possession before Swindon started knocking the ball and it took until the 9th minute for the first shot of the game by Yaser Kasim which deflected off a Robins player and the ball went out for a goal kick.

Town continued to build pressure without being able to get close to the Coventry goal with the visitors happy to sit back and stifle the Robins defence as the half wore on.

Nathan Byrne left the field briefly holding his groin after a challenge on the right wing but he was able to continue after a short break on the touchlines.

Byrne was then involved in some neat play in the 29th minute  tricking his was past two defenders on the right wing before sending a good cross  to the back post aimed for Williams but a defender intervened and chested the ball back to the keeper.

The best Town move of the match so far saw Luongo send a measured pass down the right touchline for Byrne to chase and his cross into the area only just evaded Connor Waldon and although the ball ran loose, a defender cleared the danger for Coventry.

Another neat move in the 36th minute saw Luongo and Waldon combine on the edge of the penalty area  but Waldon was crowded out before the loose ball was passed forward but a Town player was ruled offside.

Town continued to probe for an opening in front of goal and Massimo Luongo fired in a powerful shot which struck the keeper’s foot and was eventually cleared.

Disaster struck in the 41st minute when the ball was lost by Lelan who passed it straight to a Coventry player and Lelan then just failed to cut out the ball when it was crossed for Josh McQuoid who nudged it forward and he just beat the onrushing  Foderingham to give Coventry the lead.

Yaser Kasim had a free kick from 30 yards in added time after Williams had been fouled but his curling effort was easily caught by Allsop and that proved to be the last action of the half.

Town’s first attack of the new half resulted in a corner after when Luongo flicked the ball off a defender but the resulting cross fizzed across the area and was missed by the Town attackers and the visiting defence and the ball was cleared.

Coventry’s response saw Ryan Haines cross to the far post from the left wing where the ball was headed over by  Marcus Tudgay.

A misplaced pass by Lelan saw Tudgay go close in the 56th minute when he sidefooted just wide after McQuoid had passed to him in the Town penalty area.

Reda Johnson was cautioned for a foul in the 61st minute after having previously been warned by the referee when he had committed a foul.

A double substitution by Coventry saw Marcus Tudgay replaced by Simeon Jackson and the Coventry goalscorer Josh McQuoid was replaced by Shaun Miller in the 62nd minute.

George Barker replaced Waldon shortly afterwards having recovered from his injury sustained against Brighton.

A fantastic save by Foderingham from a close range header by Andy Webster saw the Town keeper somehow keep the ball out of goal which led to a great run down the left wing by Luongo who passed to Brad Smith but his effort from the edge of the area went well wide.

Turnbull was cautioned for disputing a throw in as the match entered the 67th minute although it did appear that the officials had got the decision wrong.

Town earned a corner in the 72nd minute when Byrne’s cross was deflected behind and that led to a goal after the short corner routine saw the ball eventually played back to Byrne from the left wing who crossed to the back post where Raphael Rossi-Branco headed powerfully past Allsop.

The goal lifted the Robins with Coventry now on the back foot and the Robins had four corners in quick succession without getting a clear shot on goal.

Nathan Byrne’s tenacity led to another corner for the Robins but the resulting cross was cleared. Ben Gladwin replaced Luongo in the 77th minute and the Australian midfielder left the field to good applause

A breakaway attack by Town in the 83rd minute saw them awarded a free kick in a central position but Kasim’s curling kick struck the defensive wall and the ball went out for a corner and when that was crossed, Luongo’s header only just went over the bar.  

Shaun Miller, who had earlier joined play having been a substitute, was replaced by Danny Swanson in the 87th minute for Coventry.

Coventry had a rare attack in the 88th minute which led to a corner and that was eventually cleared downfield by Byrne which led to some frantic defending by Coventry as the ball pinged around before being cleared.

The visitors had another corner as the match entered the 90th minute which saw Johnson head well over and there was another scare for Town when Jackson fired wide from close range deep in added time.

A late free kick for Coventry saw Foderingham punch the ball clear and that was the last main action of the game so the point gained moves Town onto 8 points from 5 League matches played.

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