Doyle equalises

Accrington Observer - - MARKETPLACE | MOTORS - COVEN­TRY CITY ............ 1 STAN­LEY........................... 1

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.

Tim Easthope

Stan­ley cel­e­brate Of­frande Zan­zala’s open­ing goal at the Ri­coh Arena on Satur­day

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