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City on their way

Coventry City
2 - 1
Sunderland

Ricoh Arena

6 August 2006, 13:30

Attendance: 22,366

Referee:

A hard-fought opening day victory for the Sky Blues came after Daryl Murphy had given Sunderland the lead early in the second-half, sliding the ball home after an earlier shot had appeared to strike a home defender's hand.

The Black Cats had a decent early chance after Marcus Hall was caught napping from a throw-in but City came back well, with Stern John going close before forcing a smart save from Ben Alnwick just before half-time.

After Murphy's goal, City threw on Don Hutchison for the ineffective Dele Adebola and the veteran Scot made a difference with his ability to hold up the ball.

John curled in a superb equaliser, a 'world-class' finish according to Sunderland manager Niall Quinn who was less than pleased by his side switching off from a free-kick seven minutes later, leading to McSheffrey firing in by the aid of a deflection.

Most reports of the game had City down as deserved winners, the Daily Mirror saying: 'The size of the challenge in front of Quinn was hammered home when Stern John and Gary McSheffrey earned the Sky Blues a victory they undoubtedly deserved.'

The Sun commented: ' The Wearsiders were perhaps unlucky to leave the Midlands empty-handed as they did enough to earn at least a point.'

The Newcastle Journal report claimed: 'A Coventry team lacking in class came from behind to inflict a defeat that left Quinn, his players and more than 2,500 travelling supporters deflated.'

Star Player

Elliott Ward was very impressive at the back but Michael Doyle just pips him for the Vital Coventry vote.

Micky Adams on Gary McSheffrey's future

'Gary was brilliant today, a real threat who was full of running forward and back, put in some great crosses and scored a good goal as well.

'I've read that Birmingham are going to come back in for him but hopefully they will understand we don't want to sell.

'Every player has a price, but where will I find someone to replace Gary?'

Sunderland manager Niall Quinn

'Stern John's goal was world class and you can do very little about something like that.

'From the free-kick for their second we were caught napping. That's a glitch we had last season and has cost us dear again. It's something we can work on.

'But I do not want that to take away from our performance which was full of enthusiasm and for the most part, I think we outplayed Coventry.'


Writer:CCFC
Date:Monday August 7 2006
Time: 9:18AM

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League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
1 Sheff Utd 28 17 6 5 57 21
2 Scunthorpe 27 16 7 4 55 27
3 Bolton 26 15 5 6 50 16
4 Fleetwood 27 13 7 7 46 11
5 Bradford 28 11 13 4 46 11
6 Rochdale 27 14 3 10 45 5
7 Southend 27 11 9 7 42 5
8 Peterborough 26 11 8 7 41 9
9 Millwall 27 11 7 9 40 2
10 Bristol Rovers 28 11 6 11 39 -3
11 Wimbledon 27 9 10 8 37 5
12 Oxford 27 10 7 10 37 4
13 Walsall 27 9 10 8 37 -2
14 Charlton 26 8 12 6 36 7
15 Port Vale 26 8 8 10 32 -10
16 MK Dons 26 8 7 11 31 -3
17 Gillingham 27 8 7 12 31 -9
18 Northampton 28 8 6 14 30 -9
19 Swindon 28 7 8 13 29 -14
20 Shrewsbury 28 7 7 14 28 -13
21 Bury 28 7 5 16 26 -12
22 Chesterfield 28 7 5 16 26 -17
23 Oldham 26 4 10 12 22 -15
24 Coventry 27 4 9 14 21 -16
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