The teams will have to go again in 10 days’ time to try and earn a place in the last 16 of the Emirates FA Cup following this clash of very few clear-cut openings.BCFC
The teams will have to go again in 10 days’ time to try and earn a place in the last 16 of the Emirates FA Cup following this clash of very few clear-cut openings.
Blues were indebted to Lee Camp for a great save to deny Max Biamou whilst the ‘hosts’ wasted an even better chance to win it late on – Callum O’Hare failing to convert from just a few yards out after Amadou Bakayoko headed Liam Walsh’s cross back across goal.
Jefferson Montero had Blues’ best effort with an early second-half shot turned over by Sky Blues keeper Marko Marosi.
Pep Clotet made five changes to the side that drew with Boro in midweek but named a very strong and attack-minded starting 11. Harlee Dean – available again after suspension – returned to defence with Ivan Sunjic and Josh McEachran paired together in the midfield anchor positions and Montero and Jude Bellingham occupying the wide berths.
Blues had the ball in the net after only four minutes following a forceful run down the right flank from Kerim Mrabti, the Swede’s cross forced home by Lukas Jutkiewicz but the referee ruled that the striker had fouled home keeper Marko Marosi.
An 11th minute corner provided the visitors with their next sight of goal, McEachran’s left-wing set-piece met by the head of Dean but the captain’s effort bounced a couple of yards wide of Marosi’s left-hand post.
The Coventry keeper was called into serious action for the first time on 14 minutes, a storming run from Kristian Pedersen taking him to the edge of the opposition area before he clipped the ball into the middle towards Jutkiewicz. The former Coventry forward mishit his first effort but got a second opportunity, lashing a low effort straight at the Sky Blues custodian.
Mark Robins’ team threatened for the first occasion on 21 minutes, Zain Westbrooke’s clever ball in behind the Blues backline, Jordan Shipley’s deflected shot hitting the side-netting.
Bellingham crashed a half-volley well wide as this finely balanced contest drifted into its second third, the trickery of pace of Montero down the left providing another moment of danger for the home defence but Robins’ men were standing firm.
The hosts appealed loudly for a penalty towards the end of the opening period when they felt the ball struck a Blues arm inside the area, but the referee was unmoved.
Within 60 seconds of the restart, a route-one approach brought about a good chance for Blues, Lee Camp’s long kick out of the hands bouncing deep in the Coventry half, Jutkiewicz was quickly crowded out but when the ball was only half-cleared to Montero, the Ecudorian’s fierce volley turned aside by Marosi.
Liam Kelly tried his luck from just outside the area for the hosts, after Sam McCallum’s long throw-in was headed away by Pedersen, but the Coventry captain’s volley was always rising and cleared Lee Camp’s bar by a good couple of yards.
Blues were forced into their first change 11 minutes into the second-half, Mrabti hobbling off to be replaced by Jeremie Bela.
Former St. Andrew’s loanee Walsh crashed a shot well over as the game began to open up a little more, another dangerous looking Coventry foray into Blues area requiring a terrific sliding challenge from Sunjic to deny home sub Biamou from getting a shot in on goal.
The Sky Blues came closest to breaking the deadlock on 77 minutes when Biamou found some space inside the visitors’ box, his curling effort flying towards the bottom corner until Camp’s fingertips turned it aside.
O’Hare passed up a golden opportunity to seal victory for Coventry in the dying stages, so it’s back here to B9 on Tuesday 4 February when Blues will officially be the home side.
Coventry (3-4-2-1): Marosi; Hyam, McFadzean, Rose; Dabo, Walsh, Kelly, McCallum; Shipley (O’Hare 68), Westbrooke (Biamou 68); Godden (Bakayoko 81).
Subs (not used): Mason, Allen, Pask, Wilson (GK).
Blues (4-2-3-1): Camp; Colin, Dean, Clarke-Salter, Pedersen; McEachran, Sunjic; Montero (Maghoma 85), Mrabti (Bela 56), Bellingham (G Gardner 85); Jutkiewicz.
Subs (not used): Roberts, Davis, Gimenez, Ramos (GK).
Bookings: Pedersen (87), Clarke-Salter (88), Jutkiewicz (90+1)
Referee: Tim Robinson
Attendance: 21,193 (9,465 away)