A draw enough for the Robins

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By Richard Latham

STEVE Cot­ter­ill urged his cel­e­brat­ing play­ers to drink it all in af­ter watch­ing them clinch Bris­tol’s first ti­tle suc­cess in 60 years.

The manager was more than happy to lift the al­co­hol ban he im­posed af­ter the 6-0 mid­week win at Brad­ford City had made sure of pro­mo­tion.

“The lads will have a cou­ple of days off now. I won’t be any­where near them so I hope they have a good time,” said Cot­ter­ill.

“We only had tea and or­ange juice on the jour­ney home from Brad­ford be­cause there was still a job to be done and we des­per­ately wanted to fin­ish top, hav­ing been up there al­most all of the sea­son.

“It would have been wrong to cel­e­brate, but now the lads can let their hair down. They de­serve it be­cause they have been mag­nif­i­cent as a group all sea­son.

“If ev­ery­thing falls into place it is not be­yond this club to reach the Pre­mier League.The fans have been through some tough times and I am de­lighted for them.

“I am very happy my­self, but not the sort to leap up and down. I might have two cups of tea in­stead of one tonight.”

Both sides had chances in an even first half. Frank Nou­ble just cleared the Bris­tol cross­bar with a fierce 25yard drive in only the third minute.

Der­rick Wil­liams should have headed the hosts in front from Luke Free­man’s 11th-minute cor­ner, but the de­fender could only di­rect his ef­fort over the bar when un­marked six yards out.

Wil­liams also had a low shot blocked from Joe Bryan’s cut-back be­fore Coven­try al­most went in front. John Fleck’s vol­ley from the edge of the box was well saved by Frank Field­ing, div­ing to his left.

Grant Ward flashed a shot wide from dis­tance for the Sky Blues be­fore Bris­tol had a strong penalty claim re­jected for Reda John­son’s clumsy chal­lenge on Kieran Agard.

The sec­ond half saw James Tav­ernier have a shot blocked for Bris­tol, while Nick Proschwitz fired nar­rowly over with a 30-yard free-kick.

Proschwitz al­most won it for Coven­try in in­jury time with a shot that flashed wide, shortly af­ter Free­man had gone close for Bris­tol.The vis­i­tors were well served by their cen­tre-back part­ner­ship of John­son and Matt Pen­ning­ton, who kept close tabs on the danger­ous strike force of Aaron Wil­bra­ham and Agard.

Coven­try boss Tony Mow­bray was gen­er­ous in praise of Cot­ter­ill’s men: “We have come to the best team in the league and al­most done enough to nick all three points,” he said.

“All credit to Steve for win­ning pro­mo­tion by play­ing pos­i­tive

at­tack­ing foot­ball. They fully de­serve to be cham­pi­ons, while we still have work to do to make sure of stay­ing in the di­vi­sion.

“We man­aged to re­strict them with­out be­ing de­fen­sive and had chances to win the game. We have been pretty good away from home in re­cent weeks and it’s an­other per­for­mance to build on.

“The lads are dis­ap­pointed be­cause a few shots flashed wide or brought good saves. It was a dif­fi­cult game for Bris­tol emo­tion­ally and we had to do our best to cap­i­talise.

“In the end both sides were happy with a point and we move on.We just have to be care­ful not to jump the gun with be­liev­ing we are safe just yet.”

Ref­eree David Coote in­censed both teams by show­ing six yel­low cards, four of them to Coven­try play­ers, in a match that was never more than com­pet­i­tive.

A mini pitch in­va­sion at the fi­nal whis­tle was soon cleared and Cot­ter­ill and his play­ers re­turned from the dress­ing room to share the cel­e­bra­tions in the stands.


ON Covent


FIGHT: Tav­ernier and Stokes

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