Edworthy's strike salvages a point

 

The rarity value of Marc Edworthy's second-half goal was matched by its timeliness as it ensured Coventry City remain on the cusp of the relegation zone rather than in it.

Until yesterday the full-back had not scored for City or, as near as damn it, anyone else. In a career that has taken in Plymouth Argyle, Crystal Palace and now Coventry, Edworthy had only one league goal to his name. But by doubling his tally it means it's a case of as you were at the foot of the Premiership table.

The goal, which cancelled out Paulo Wanchope's 54th-minute strike, keeps the Sky Blues of Coventry ahead of their Mancunian counterparts but it is a result that Joe Royle welcomes more than Gordon Strachan.

Royle's team went into the game looking for their first win in five attempts and he responded to what is becoming a desperate situation with desperate measures: making six changes to his team.

The sextet included a first appearance in 15 months for centre-back Andy Morrison and the return of Richard Edghill. Royle also gave a full debut to Darren Huckerby and the forward, once of Coventry, responded by setting up Wanchope's goal.

Minutes later Huckerby repeated the diagonal ball that had unhinged the hosts' defence but Wanchope was unable to reprise his role in the action replay and shot weakly at Chris Kirkland.

Huckerby's purposeful and incisive approach work counted for nothing when Edworthy, switched from right to left-back in a tactical re-shuffle by Strachan, equalised from distance in the 72nd minute. Hit more in hope than expectation, the ball dipped underneath the diving Nicky Weaver's body.

In fairness to Weaver, a combination of his quickness of thought and athleticism had prevented Coventry from going ahead in the 33rd minute when a shot from Barry Quinn deflected off Edghill.

Coventry City: Kirkland, Edworthy, Breen, Williams, Quinn (Eustace 64), Thompson, Carsley, Telfer, Bellamy (Chippo 73), Zuniga (Aloisi 57), Hadji. Subs not used: Shaw, Hydlgaard. Booked: Quinn. Goal: Edworthy 72.

Manchester City: Weaver, Dunne, Morrison, Howey, Edghill, Bishop (Wright-Phillips 81), Haaland, Tiatto, Granville, Wanchope, Huckerby (Goater 79). Subs not used: Prior, Wright, Charvet. Booked: Huckerby, Tiatto. Goal: Wanchope 54.

Referee: B Knight (Orpington).