MARC NIPS IN TO SINK MARINERS
THE two managers failed to see eye-to-eye on a decision that set Coventry City on their way to victory over Grimsby Town.
Marc McNulty put the Sky Blues ahead with some quick-thinking before Jack Grimmer made it two with a header from a corner.
But it was the Coventry opener that was clouded in controversy, with referee Richard Clark allowing it to stand amid heated complaints from Grimsby.
According to the home side, skipper Nathan Clarke had yet to correctly take a free-kick he had won, but the Sky Blues thought otherwise – as did McNulty as he nipped in to steal Clarke’s attempted pass back to goalkeeper James McKeown, who he rounded before slotting home.
Coventry boss Mark Robins said: “Marc was brighter than anyone else on the pitch and that is what we want.
“There was a furore around the goal but what we saw was Nathan Clarke put his hand on the ball, and that deemed it as though he has taken the free-kick.
“Grimsby were incensed by it but we didn’t see what was wrong with the goal.
“You could sense a goal coming and it was a relief when it came.
“We grew into the game and perhaps could have scored twice before the goal. We might have also had a penalty when Jodi (Jones) went down.”
However, Grimsby boss Russell Slade wasn’t pleased with the manner of the goal.
“We received a free-kick inside our half,” he said.
“Clearly, from a professional or a fair-play point of view, all Clarkey was doing was passing it back to our goalkeeper James McKeown to take it.
“The referee hadn’t blown the whistle. I’m not sure he has to but certainly, I think there should be a little bit of common sense used.
“It is what it is. These things happen and we’ve made a mistake.
“From here on is a learning curve for us on where we need to be better in terms of getting back on the front foot.”
Once the action began, only Sam Jones threatened for the hosts as notable chances were few and far between in the opening stages.
He poked wide following a trademark run from Siriki Dembele and it was after the break that the action started to unfold. Jones blazed over, again, and just a few minutes later, McNulty stole a march to put Coventry in the driving seat. Grimmer doubled that lead with a fine header from a corner, and while new signing JJ Hooper was summoned from the bench, Grimsby failed to find a way back. To make matters worse, Mariners midfielder James Berrett picked up a second yellow card for a foul on Liam Kelly at the death. GRIMSBY TOWN: (4-2-3-1): McKeown 6, Davies 6, Clarke 6, Collins 7, Dixon 6, Rose 6, Summerfield 6 (Jaiyesimi 72 6), Jones 6, Berrett 5, Dembele 7 (Bolarinwa 82 6), Cardwell 5 (Hooper 67 6). Subs not used: Killip, Keeble, Osborne, McAllister COVENTRY CITY: (4-4-1-1): O’Brien 6, Grimmer 7, Willis 7 (Hyam 73 6), McDonald 7, Stokes 6, Vincenti 6, Kelly 6, Doyle 7, Jones 7 (Nazon 87 NA), McNulty 7, Beavon 6 (Andreu 79 6). Subs not used: Biamou, Pearson, Charles-Cook, Stevenson
PARTY TIME: Coventry celebrate going 2-0 up with their fansBuckley/AHPIX PICTURES: Steve
AWAY! Grimsby’s James McKeown punches clear
STAR MAN MICHAEL DOYLE Coventry City