Coventry 2-0 Portsmouth- Report
Report of match 24th March 2012
Coventry 2-0 Portsmouth- Report.
Sky Blues sink Pompey
Second-half strikes from Gary McSheffrey and Oliver Norwood helped Coventry boost their survival hopes with a 2-0 victory over fellow strugglers Portsmouth at the Ricoh Arena.
Winger McSheffrey netted his eighth goal of the season 10 minutes after half-time and, after a spell of pressure from Pompey, midfielder Oliver Norwood made the three points safe against the run of play 14 minutes from the end.
The result sees Andy Thorn's side end a run of four consecutive draws and, despite staying in the relegation zone, move to within a point of Bristol City, who held Middlesbrough to a 1-1 draw.
However, things look bleak for Portsmouth, whose best chance came via Chris Maguire, but his free-kick crashed against the post.
Michael Appleton's side failed to build on their impressive midweek defeat of promotion contenders Birmingham and stay bottom, six points adrift of safety.
A frantic start to the game saw both goalkeepers tested as Sammy Clingan fired in a free-kick that needed a strong parry to safety from Jamie Ashdown and Chris Maguire's 20-yard strike tested Joe Murphy.
Maguire had another shot saved by Murphy while, at the other end, Clive Platt headed straight at Ashdown, who then produced a superb save to deny the striker following good play by defender Richard Keogh as Coventry started to take control.
Portsmouth could have taken the lead, but Luke Varney headed Greg Halford's cross over the top from close range.
Six minutes before half-time, experienced defender Tal Ben-Haim tried his luck from distance, only to see his shot fly over the crossbar and Varney also fluffed his lines once again.
Portsmouth continued where they left off in the first half, Murphy having to be alert to keep out Joel Ward's 20-yard strike.
Boss Thorn replaced Conor Thomas with Gael Bigirimana at half-time and his side showed more urgency as Keogh headed on to the roof of the net from another teasing Clingan set-piece.
Left-back Hussey, recalled to the side at the expense of Nathan Cameron, tested Ashdown while Norwood, who netted a stoppage-time equaliser on Tuesday to salvage a 2-2 draw with Cardiff, fired wide.
But Coventry soon broke the deadlock as Hussey's scuffed shot from distance fell at the feet of McSheffrey, who side-footed into the net from 12 yards.
Portsmouth tried to respond as Maguire brought another save from Murphy, but Clingan almost doubled his side's advantage with a free-kick that was well parried by Ashdown.
The visitors enjoyed a spell of possession that almost brought a goal, but Maguire's 20-yard free-kick crashed off the post and, after some dogged defending, the ball was cleared.
McSheffrey tried to net his and Coventry's second, firing over from distance, before Norwood found the top corner from six yards in the 77th minute to make the game safe.
Murphy denied George Thorne and Marko Futacs consolations late on.
|Competition: npower Championship Date: Saturday, 24th March 2012 Kick off: 15:00 Venue: City of Coventry Stadium|
|2 - 0||Portsmouth
|3||Chris Hussey (Christie 79)|
|32||Conor Thomas (Bigirimana 46)|
|34||Gael Bigirimana (Thomas 46)|
|31||Cyrus Christie (Hussey 79)|
|26||Tal Ben Haim|
|2||Joel Ward (Etuhu 63)|
|19||David Norris (Futacs 63)|
|16||Scott Allan (Scapuzzi 83)|
|24||Luca Scapuzzi (Allan 83)|
|9||Marko Futacs (Norris 63)|
|14||Kelvin Etuhu (Ward 63)|
|Coventry City cards shown|
|67 mins||Richard Keogh||Unsporting behaviour|
|75 mins||Gary McSheffrey||Unsporting behaviour|
|Portsmouth cards shown|
|81 mins||Chris Maguire||Unsporting behaviour|