WOOD’S UNLUCKY MOMENT IS KILLER
Late own goal sinks the Cod Army
FLEETWOOD Town’s new manager Steven Pressley remained upbeat despite his reign starting in defeat as former side Coventry City secured a narrow victory at Highbury.
The former Sky Blues manager almost saw his side grind out a hardearned stalemate before Richard Wood deflected a Chris Maxwell save into his own net in the dying moments.
Pressley though is clear where Town need to improve, having now not kept a clean sheet in nine games, dating back to their 4-0 win over Colchester United in August – also their last league win.
“We worked exceptionally on the detail during the 90 minutes. I thought we gave up very few clear opportunities within the game,” he said.
“The starting point of rebuilding has to be that we keep more clean sheets than we have done.
“In terms of the players trying to adapt to the new principles I think the players did reasonably well.
“We had a couple of really good opportunities in the second half. Nick Haughton at the back post, he had an opportunity to score and hit the post.
“David Ball, when he came on, had a brilliant opportunity that came back to him and we had one or two in the first half, but there is plenty of work to be done.”
Ahead of kick-off Pressley was given a warm reception by all four corners of Highbury, including the travelling Coventry fans.
Eager to impress their new manager, it was his side who started the brighter.
Haughton and Jimmy Ryan both went close following knock downs by Jamie Proctor.
As the half progressed, the Sky Blues showed their attacking intent.
First Jacob Murphy bundled a Sam Ricketts cross past Maxwell only for Dionatan Teixeira to clear off the line, before Jimmy O’Brien curled
an effort wide from the edge of the area.
In the second half it was a similar tale, Fleetwood started the stronger before Coventry ramped up the pressure late on.
Within the first seven minutes after the restart both Hunter and Haughton went close.
First Reice Charles-Cook turned a Hunter effort around his post with Haughton hitting the upright moments later. With ten minutes to play, substitute Ball tried his luck with the 21-year-old in the Coventry goal again thwarting Town.
As the game reached its conclusion, Murphy cut in from his wide left posting before his low drive bounced back off the upright.
It was only a brief let-off though as a routine save by Maxwell from a George Thomas shot in the last minute ricocheted off Wood, giving Coventry the points as they continue their early play-off push.
And despite the lucky nature of the winner, Coventry City manager Tony Mowbray felt his side deserved the victory.
“It’s a tough place to come,” Mowbray said.
“As we knew Steven’s team would, they worked extremely hard and pressed us all over the pitch and I’m sure he’s going to demand more of that from them from now on in as he settles in.
“I felt as though we controlled the game for long spells, really attacking the opposition goal and really taking the game to them.
“Second half, Reice had a few saves as they came into the game but I believe we got our just desserts here and deserved the win.
“We pressed enough and worked hard enough in all areas of the game to win the game and thankfully we did exactly that.
“We were adamant that we weren’t going to come here, dominate the football game and lose – and thankfully we didn’t.”
LET RIP: George Thomas shoots in injury time and sees his effort go in via Fleetwood’s Richard Wood
ALL SMILES: Sky Blues players celebrate their last-gasp winner against Fleetwood
STAR MAN DIONAT