Coventry v Argyle


Coventry City 1
Wright 75

Argyle 0

Argyle were beaten by a goal shrouded in controversy on a bitter night at Coventry City.

One a night of few chances, the game was headed for a blank when a cross from the byline teed up Haji Wright for the winner 15 minutes from time.

The Greens were furious that a goal-kick had not been awarded, as the ball looked to be a yard over the line but the protests were ignored and Coventry took the points.

Argyle manager Steven Schumacher named an unchanged side from the weekend win over Sunderland, with captain Joe Edwards making appearance number 200 as a Pilgrim.

The Sky Blues won 3-0 at Millwall on the weekend and they were first to show any sign of attacking menace, Ben Sheaf having a pop from distance that was cleared by the head of Julio Pleguezuelo. Edwards then intervened to block a cross from Milan can Ewijk.

Morgan Whittaker, fresh from another super strike on Saturday, tried the audacious on 15 minutes, drifting through the home midfield before attempting lob that had goalkeeper Brad Collins scrambling as it just floated over the bar.

The game then descended into a scrappy spell that did little to warm the hands, feet and every other body part on a bitter night in the Midlands. Coventry were the first to revive some attacking intent but the Pilgrim defence always looked in control.

On the ball, Argyle were composed in possession and that was the platform for the first major chance on 34 minutes, when Kaine Kesler-Hayden’s cross from the right took a wicked deflection and Collins adjusted his feet smartly to save at the near post.

Coventry responded with a clever curling effort from Sheaf that whistled narrowly wide of Michael Cooper’s far post. Sheaf did find the target moments later but Cooper was in the right place to make a super save.

The second half opened with Wright lashing over from a decent position before Finn Azaz bustled his way into the penalty area before being crowded out by the covering Coventry defence.

Argyle were slowly turning the screw in midfield and Luke Cundle probably had Collins beaten, as he fizzed a low drive across the slick surface and shaved the outside of the post.  

As with the first period, chances were rare on both sides and the game entered a period of drift until Jordan Houghton and Azaz worked the ball down the left for Ben Waine, who was a fraction away from picking out a lurking Whittaker.

Schumacher turned to his bench with a triple change, Callum Wright, Adam Randell and Mustapha Bundu replacing Waine, Cundle and Azaz, quickly followed by a dangerous corner that ended with a Lewis Gibson volley flying over.

Argyle were then hit by a cruel opener for the hosts, as van Ewijk cut the ball back from the byline for Wright to slot past an exposed Cooper.

The cruel element, however, stemmed from a highly dubious decision by the officials, as the ball had clearly crossed that aforementioned byline for a goal kick. It was a goal that should not have stood and the Greens understandably felt very aggrieved.

The Pilgrims regained their composure with a Bundu strike gathered by Collins, followed by Brendan Galloway replacing Edwards for the final push, but Coventry held on for all three points.

Coventry: 40 Brad Collins; 4 Bobby Thomas, 7 Tatsuhiro Sakamoto (10 Callum O'Hare 64), 8 Jamie Allen (26 Yasin Ayari 80), 11 Haji Wright, 14 Ben Sheaf, 15 Liam Kitching, 21 Jake Bidwell, 24 Matt Godden (capt) (9 Ellis Simms 80), 27 Milan van Ewijk (22 Joel Latibeaudiere 80), 28 Josh Eccles. Substitutes (not used): 13 Ben Wilson, 2 Luis Binks, 3 Jay Dasilva, 5 Kyle McFadzean, 6 Liam Kelly.

Booked: Bidwell 90

Argyle: 1 Michael Cooper; 2 Bali Mumba (19 Tyreik Wright 55), 4 Jordan Houghton, 5 Julio Pleguezuelo, 8 Joe Edwards (capt) (22 Brendan Galloway 86), 10 Morgan Whittaker, 17 Lewis Gibson, 18 Finn Azaz (15 Mustapha Bundu 68), 23 Ben Waine (11 Callum Wright 68), 28 Luke Cundle (20 Adam Randell 68), 29 Kaine Kesler-Hayden. Substitutes (not used): 21 Conor Hazard (gk), 6 Dan Scarr, 7 Matt Butcher, 16 Lewis Warrington.

Booked: Houghton 77, Cooper 77, Gibson 81

Referee: Andy Davies

Attendance: 22,790 (1,468 away)