SKY BET LEAGUE ONE JOSH COOK
ACCRINGTON Stanley couldn’t hold on to all three points last weekend as Coventry scored late to salvage a point in front of a home crowd in attendance hoping to witness history.
A win would have equalled City’s longest ever winning streak of six matches, set in 1954, but an Offrande Zanzala strike early in the second half meant it wasn’t to be.
The early goings were even, and it was Coventry who had the first clear chance.
A quick-thinking corner caught Stanley napping and luckily so to was Jordy Hiwula who put his header over the bar from all of four yards.
Stanley didn’t have a response and Conor Ripley pushed a Chaplin shot just over on 33 minutes as Coventry looked in the mood for goals.
John Coleman would have been looking for his team to come alive and on 36 minutes they did just that. Returning from suspension, Jordan Clark played the ball into Billy Kee’s feet.
In turn, the striker attempted a one-two, but his pass was cut out by Coventry defender and ex Stanley man, Tom Davies.
His touch let him down and after carrying on his run, Clark found himself in possession 12 yards out and just the keeper to beat.
His shot was too high and bounced off the upright for a goal kick to let Davies off with his mistake.
The opening period fizzled out and Coleman had work to do in trying to rouse his side from their first half slumber.
That he did, and Stanley started bright, attacking the away following behind the goal. After chances for both Kee and Zanzala were pounced upon by City defenders it would take a spot of quality to break through for Stanley.
On 58 minutes, Zanzala offered just that.
After cutting out a loose pass, Callum Johnson fed the Congolese striker with an inch perfect pass.
He made himself room despite the attempts of Davies and Junior Brown and powered his shot passed Lee Burge leaving the Stanley players to celebrate with the 302 fans who had made the trip to The Midlands.
Stanley looked to strike again and kill the game off, Sam Finley drove deep into Coventry territory and played the ball to an advancing Piero Mingoia, the Italian making his second successive start in the absence of Sean McConville.
The talisman was serving a one match suspension for receiving five yellow cards this season.
Mingoia put his first time shot high and wide in what was an excellent chance to double the lead.
It was backs to the wall stuff for Stanley and Coventry had shots blocked up inside the box numerous times as the men in Red looked to cement the win.
They couldn’t do so and on 88 minutes the home side were level. Jodi Jones drove hard into Ripley’s gloves; the stopper couldn’t hold on and Michael Doyle finished from two yards.
There would be late drama to come, to the dismay of the home fans, however, it would be Stanley’s chance.
After a hopeful ball the defenders scrambled and pushed the clearance on to Clark 10 yards out. Burge rushed the winger and managed to get a foot to his effort, meaning Stanley would have to settle for a point at The Ricoh Arena.
The point meant Stanley remained in 6th, level on points with the Sky Blues who sit in 7th. They have a week off from league duty as they welcome Colchester in the FA Cup on Saturday.
The Reds did the double over the Essex side on the way to the League Two title last term.
Stanley celebrate Offrande Zanzala’s opening goal at the Ricoh Arena on Saturday