The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By Andy Moore

COVEN­TRY City man­ager Mark Robins was philo­soph­i­cal af­ter his side were con­demned to rel­e­ga­tion from League One, de­spite a draw with Charl­ton Ath­letic.

A goal ei­ther side of half­time, first for the home side through Ge­orge Thomas and then an equaliser for the vis­i­tors from Ger­man de­fender Pa­trick Bauer, saw hon­ours end even at the Ri­coh Arena.

Robins said: “We have to main­tain the stan­dards we’ve set in re­cent weeks and try to win games. Rochdale will be a tough game on Mon­day.

“It’s a cry­ing shame that we’ve run out of games but we have to take it on the chin, it’s hap­pened. We have to make sure that we re­build next sea­son and have a re­ally good go and get our­selves back up to this level and, hope­fully, we only touch this level and bounce straight into the Cham­pi­onship.

“I’m frus­trated and sad. It was one of those days where we can feel hard done by be­cause we played ever so well and their keeper was prob­a­bly man of the match – he’s made some fan­tas­tic saves.”

In bizarre scenes just mo­ments be­fore and af­ter kick-off, both sets of fans were again in­volved in a protest at the own­er­ship of their clubs, with ref­eree Dar­ren Han­d­ley tak­ing the play­ers off the pitch af­ter plas­tic pigs were thrown on.

When play re­sumed the vis­i­tors started bright­est with Nathan Byrne rat­tling the bar from a header be­fore North­ern Ire­land in­ter­na­tional Josh Ma­gen­nis caused prob­lems for the Sky Blues de­fence, and fired over just mo­ments later.

Coven­try took the lead on 28 min­utes when a short cor­ner found Jor­dan Turn­bull on the edge of the box, his shot de­flected into the path of the lurk­ing Thomas, who made no mis­take from just out­side the six-yard box.

The vis­i­tors were level on 54 min­utes when a Ricky Holmes cor­ner failed to be cleared al­low­ing Bauer to head home in­side the six-yard box for Karl Robin­son’s side.

Both sides had to set­tle for a point though with Ad­dicks goal­keeper De­clan Rudd pro­duc­ing a string of saves to keep the scores level, which con­demned the Sky Blues to League Two, with the home fans voic­ing their con­tin­ued dis­plea­sure at the club’s own­ers on the fi­nal whis­tle.

Charl­ton boss Robin­son ad­mit­ted his side strug­gled to get a foothold in the game but was pleased to get a point ahead of Mon­day’s game with Gilling­ham.

He said “I’ve never seen any­thing like it be­fore but we were ex­pect­ing the pigs on the pitch but we had to come here and do our job, it was as sim­ple as that.

“The sim­i­lar­i­ties of the two clubs are there for all to see and it was hard to get go­ing off the back of that.

“I said we wanted to be top of the nine-team mini-ta­ble of those around us and now it’s a ten-team ta­ble and we’re at the top of that.”

PIC­TURES: Pro Sports/ Si­mon Davies

STAR MAN GE­ORGE THOMAS Coven­try DE­JECTED: Ruben Lameiras leaves the field as Coven­try City are rel­e­gated. INSET: Pa­trick Bauer (5) scores Charl­ton’s equaliser

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