Pardew's Boys Throw It Away

By Rob Cooper
Last updated : 17 August 2002
Jay Bothroyd
Sub Jay Bothroyd scored the Sky Blues winner
Two Coventry goals in the space of eight second half minutes gave the Sky Blues victory over Reading at the Madejski Stadium.

After taking the lead early on it looked as if the Royals might hang on to their slender lead but some at times shaky defending and poor play in the midfield proved costly at the end of the day.

Again Alan Pardew's side showed their inability to play good football for ninety minutes. As against Sheffield Wednesday they raced out of the blocks and created some good early chances.

Martin Butler almost opened the scoring in the second minute but his header was cleared off the line by defender Mo Konjic following a good delivery by Igoe.

However, Coventry, a Premiership side two years ago, were always an attacking threat, £5 million striker Lee Hughes' sixth minute thunerbolt from thirty yards smacked against a helpless Phil Whitehead's post.

In the twelfth minute Sammy Igoe's excellent drive was well turned away by Hyldgaard in the Sky Blue's goal, from the resulting corner a clear handball by a Coventry defender was spotted by the referee who gave a penalty to the Royals.

Jamie Cureton, scorer of both Reading's Division One goals to date, stepped up and made no mistake, dispatching his kick to the left of the 'keeper.

Curo, who put in a good performance, had the chance to make it two shortly afterwards but his stunning volley was excellently turned over the bar by the Sky Blues goalie.

At the other end Coventry continued to create chances, John Eustace's seemingly poor looping header was tipped onto the bar by Whitehead. Big Phil put in a much better performance than on Tuesday night when his kicking was at times abysmal.

Andy Hughes
The Royals were pleased to get to half time in front, they had played some of the poor football that they demonstrated they had in their repitoire against Sheffield Wednesday. Andy Hughes in particular was particuarly culpable. His inability to get a tackle in was at times embarassing.

Attack minded in his playing days Alan Pardew seems unable to teach his players to put their foot in and make a tackle.

In the second half the Royals put in an improved performance and for a long time everything looked safe at the back.

Martin Butler's excellent effort from an acute angle, when fed through by Igoe, drew an magnificent save from Hyldgaard who managed to turn the shot around the post.

The game seemed to quieten down a bit thereafter, the visitors almost seemed resigned to losing the game, prompting Pards to bring off Cureton and replace him with Forster.

With hindsight the substitution was a mistake, Curo was having an excellent game and Fozzy, who hadn't featured to date because of illness was no where near match fit.

A foul by Shorey to the right of the penalty area earnt him a seventy-third minute yellow card and the Sky Blues a free kick. A good ball in from Safri allowed Calum Davenport to rise at the near post and crash an equaliser home past Whitehead.

Eight minutes later substitute Jay Bothroyd won the game for Coventry to the disgust of the Reading faithful. David Thompson played the ball into Hughes who chested the ball down for Bothroyd. The strikers slotted a low shot past Whitehead.

Butler missed a late chance for Reading but in truth the two quick goals had stunned Alan Pardew's team and there was no way back.

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