IT’S ALL OVER FOR SAD COV
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.”
STAR MAN GEORGE THOMAS Coventry DEJECTED: Ruben Lameiras leaves the field as Coventry City are relegated. INSET: Patrick Bauer (5) scores Charlton’s equaliser