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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.'


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

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League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
P Wigan 45 24 15 6 87 40
2 Burton 45 25 9 11 84 20
3 Walsall 45 23 12 10 81 17
4 Millwall 45 23 9 13 78 23
5 Bradford 45 22 11 12 77 13
6 Barnsley 45 21 8 16 71 13
7 Scunthorpe 45 20 11 14 71 11
8 Gillingham 45 19 12 14 69 16
9 Coventry 45 18 12 15 66 16
10 Sheff Utd 45 18 12 15 66 7
11 Rochdale 45 18 12 15 66 6
12 Port Vale 45 18 11 16 65 3
13 Peterborough 45 18 6 21 60 5
14 Southend 45 16 11 18 59 -5
15 Bury 45 15 12 18 57 -18
16 Swindon 45 15 11 19 56 -10
17 Oldham 45 12 18 15 54 -12
18 Chesterfield 45 15 8 22 53 -10
19 Shrewsbury 45 13 11 21 50 -18
20 Fleetwood 45 11 15 19 48 -6
21 Blackpool 45 12 10 23 46 -19
22 Doncaster 45 11 12 22 45 -16
R Colchester 45 9 13 23 40 -41
R Crewe 45 7 13 25 34 -35
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