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Match Reports

Match Report: Coventry City 2-2 Southend United

31 August 2015

Hunt and Mooney get their first for the club but it's not enough in pulsating game.

First half goals by Irish duo Noel Hunt and a David Mooney penalty weren't enough as Blues played out an entertaining 2-2 draw against Coventry City.

Hunt and Mooney struck just before half time to get Blues in at the break 2-1 up – after centre back Reda Johnson had given the Sky Blues the lead -  before Sam Ricketts equalised in the final stages of the game.

And the thrilling encounter also included a penalty to the hosts, which goalkeeper Dan Bentley saved when the score was 2-1 to the visitors.

Manager Phil Brown made a couple of changes to his squad for the game at the Ricoh Arena.

Glen Rea came in to make his debut, with Luke Prosser dropping to the bench. 

Stephen McLaughlin marks his return to the Blues with a spot as a substitute, whilst Mooney came back in to partner Hunt as Jack Payne made way.

Blues started brightly, and inside the opening three minutes of the game, Ryan Leonard saw his strike fizz just over Lee Burge's crossbar after a shot from the edge of the box.

Moments later, the returning Mooney ventured on fantastic solo run, and after dodging Johnson, dragged his effort wide from a narrow angle.

At the other end, Bentley did brilliantly to deny Ruben Lameiras' drive before the follow up attempt by O'Brien was stopped by a combination of Bentley and debutant Rea.

From the resulting corner, the giant Johnson powered a header wide in a frantic opening 16 minutes.

Just after the half-an-hour mark the hosts took the lead through Johnson.

A deep corner was headed goalwards by Adam Armstrong, but headed off the line by Michael Timlin. After a spot of pinball in the Blues box, Johnson rifled home from close range on the volley.

But moments later Blues were back level, with Hunt bagging his first in Southend colours.

A short corner involving Ben Coker and Will Atkinson resulted in the former's cross being nodded home from close range by the Irish striker to make it 1-1.

And five minutes later Blues were awarded a penalty – our first of the season.

Mooney's initial strike was tipped away by Burge, but in the follow up, Michael Timlin was dragged down and Blues had a spot kick.

Up stepped Mooney, who slammed home into the roof of the net, despite Burge getting something on the effort.

After the break, the hosts were awarded a penalty, when Ryan Leonard was adjudged to have fouled Sky Blues skipper Ricketts in the box. 

Midfielder Jim O'Brien stepped up to take the kick, but Bentley was equal to it, tipping the City man's placed penalty around the post for a corner kick.

After the hour, Brown made his first change, with Mooney being replaced by Myles Weston up front, with Blues sticking with the 4-4-2 formation that had worked so well for the first 60 minutes or so.

With the clock ticking to 73 minutes, the hosts found an equaliser through their captain Ricketts.

The big centre half rose highest at the near post to place a glancing header into the back of the net after an in-swinging Murphy corner kick.

The Blues weren't letting up against the high-flying Sky Blues and Brown made another change as one of last week's new signings, McLaughlin, entered the game with 15 minutes left, replacing Worrall on the wing.

With eight minutes of the game remaining, Romain Vincelot hit an effort wide of Bentley's post after being found by Armstrong.

And with literally seconds remaining, Bentley produced another sensational stop to turn Marcus Tudgay's close range strike round the post.

That was to be the final touch of the game in a frantic and thrilling League 1 encounter at a damp Ricoh Arena.

Blues: Bentley; White (c), Rea, Barrett, Coker; Worrall (McLaughlin, 75), Timlin, Leonard, Atkinson (Wordsworth, 80); Hunt, Mooney (Weston, 64)

Unused substitutes: T. Smith, Prosser, Payne, Pigott

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