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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
C Wigan 46 24 15 7 87 37
P Burton 46 25 10 11 85 20
3 Walsall 46 24 12 10 84 22
4 Millwall 46 24 9 13 81 24
5 Bradford 46 23 11 12 80 15
6 Barnsley 46 22 8 16 74 16
7 Scunthorpe 46 21 11 14 74 13
8 Coventry 46 19 12 15 69 18
9 Gillingham 46 19 12 15 69 15
10 Rochdale 46 19 12 15 69 7
11 Sheff Utd 46 18 12 16 66 5
12 Port Vale 46 18 11 17 65 -2
13 Peterborough 46 19 6 21 63 9
14 Bury 46 16 12 18 60 -17
15 Southend 46 16 11 19 59 -6
16 Swindon 46 16 11 19 59 -7
17 Oldham 46 12 18 16 54 -14
18 Chesterfield 46 15 8 23 53 -12
19 Fleetwood 46 12 15 19 51 -4
20 Shrewsbury 46 13 11 22 50 -21
R Doncaster 46 11 13 22 46 -16
R Blackpool 46 12 10 24 46 -23
R Colchester 46 9 13 24 40 -42
R Crewe 46 7 13 26 34 -37
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