Coventry City saw off Bristol Rovers in comfortable fashion as they continued their undefeated start to the season with a 2-0 win at St Andrew’s.
Coventry City: 2 – Shipley (45+1), Kastaneer (82)
Bristol Rovers: 0
Sky Blues Line Up: Marko MAROSI, Fankaty DABO, Michael ROSE, Kyle MCFADZEAN, Brandon MASON, Liam KELLY, Zain WESTBROOKE, Jordan SHIPLEY (Eccles 90+1), Wesley JOBELLO (Kastaneer 81), Matt GODDEN (Bakayoko 75), Jordy HIWULA
Sky Blues Subs: Ben WILSON, Dominic HYAM, Sam MCCALLUM, Josh ECCLES, Gervane KASTANEER, Will BAPAGA, Amadou BAKAYOKO
Bristol Rovers Line Up: Annsi JAAKKOLA, Josh HARE, Alfie KILGOUR, Tom DAVIES, Luke LEAHY, Abu OGOGO, Ollie CLARKE, Liam SERCOMBE (Upson 59), Kyle BENNETT (Nichols 63), Jonson CLARKE-HARRIS (Adeboyejo 72), Tyler SMITH
Bristol Rovers Subs: Jordi VAN STAPPERSHOEF, Tony CRAIG, Ed UPSON, Tom NICHOLS, Michael KELLY, Lucas TOMLINSON, Victor ADEBOYEJO
The first half was mostly one way traffic from the Sky Blues, after a dull start to proceedings and the woodwork was struck on the 20 minute mark after the ball fell to Matt Godden who hit a low shot on the edge of the area and grazed the edge of the post. Bristol Rovers chances were few and far between but they come close when former Coty centre half Tom Davies headed over from a corner. Jordy Hiwula almost come close with a bizzare attempt on goal, a weak cross into the box met the heel of Hiwula who’s back was to goal. The audacious flick beat the Rovers keeper and was dipping but went just over. The Sky Blues finally got their breakthrough just before the interval. Wesley Jobello’s ball found it’s way to Jordan Shipley in the box who despite scuffing his shot slightly found the bottom corner with a first time effort.
The second half started off quietly. The Sky Blues looking comfortable and Bristol Rovers struggling to get any meaningful shots away, infact they never managed to register a shot on target over the course of the whole match. They did manage to have the ball in the net from a corner and it was Davies in the midst of the action again who headed in but was judged to have fouled a City player in the build up. The Sky Blues had the 3 points sealed when almost instantly coming on Gervane Kastaneer curled an effort from outside the box past Anssi Jaakkola. On reflection it was a really nice goal, some fantastic play from Fankaty Dabo down the right and some brilliant one touch football.
I’m not going to sugarcoat things, Bristol Rovers looked very very poor. They struggled to make any openings whatsoever and only really looked dangerous from set plays. In fairness to him, I thought Tom Davies looked as solid as ever and looked more of a threat in the opposing area than he ever did for us. You could tell than Jonson Clarke-Harris has had injury issues this summer as he looked totally off the pace and Abu Ogogo looked absolutely anonymous in midfield. I really think we will struggle to see a team who will play as poor as that this season. In my prematch preview the Rovers fan I spoke to predicted that manager Graham Coughlan will leave Rovers before the new year with the club in a relegation battle and on Saturday’s evidence I think could quite possibly be correct.
Coventry City Ratings
1. Marko Marosi – 7
Another clean sheet for the Slovak keeper who still hasn’t conceded a goal for the Sky Blues. One shaky moment where he misjudged a cross from a Rovers player but luckily it didn’t meat anyone in the box, was not tested with a shot on target.
23. Fankaty Dabo- 8
If any player deserved to have a good game on Saturday it was him. Has had an awkward start to his Sky Blues career and has been given some pretty harsh stick from elements of the support. However on Saturday he was faultless, solid defensively and some really good work down the right flank for the second goal. Hopefully a good performance can breed confidence and Dabo can now go from strength to strength as thr season progresses
4. Michael Rose – 7
Not really tested but still a good performance from the Scotsman, who seems to have dislodged Dom Hyam as first choice centre back
5. Kyle McFadzean – 7.5
Again, not really tested very much against a pretty powder-puff Bristol Rovers attack but led the backline well and won almost everything aerially against Jonson Clarke-Harris
3. Brandon Mason – 8
Another good performance from the young left back who is very quickly becoming a fans favourite. Won the clubs official man of the match, provided a constant attacking threat on the overlap down the left flank
6. Liam Kelly – 9 – My Man Of The Match
A brilliant performance from the captain. Every loose ball in the centre of the park was picked up by him and made numerous tackles to win back possession. Fantastic from the skipper
25. Zain Westbrooke – 7.5
Didn’t stand out as much as he did in the week against Exeter but still a good performance with a few key passes made and laid off Gervane Kastaneer for the second goal
26. Jordan Shipley – 7.5
Opened the scoring just on the brink of half time and put in a usual energetic performance occupying the box to box role very well
10. Wesley Jobello – 7
Was not a stand out performance but he is improving, assisted the first goal after his ball managed to trickle through to Jordan Shipley. I’ve said it before but give him time to adjust to life in England and he will prove to be a key player
24. Matt Godden – 7.5
Really put himself about with an energetic performance and was unlucky not to score with an effort from outside the area which hit the post. I’m confident that he will easily hit double figures over the course of the season if he plays like that
11. Jordy Hiwula – 7.5
Didn’t score but was a constant threat to the Bristol Rovers defence down the left flank which we looked most threatening from.
21. Amadou Bakayoko – 6
Replaced Matt Godden in the 75th minute. Hard working performance when he come on and almost scored after catching out the Rovers keeper from a tight angle just after coming on
33. Gervane Kastaneer – 7.5
Replaced Wesley Jobello on 81 minutes. Scored almost instantly after coming on with as good of a goal I have seen City score for a while. Really nice goal and looked a threat as City piled forward on the counter as Rovers chased a way back into the game
38. Josh Eccles – N/A
Replaced Jordan Shipley in injury time but didn’t have enough time to have any impact on the game.
In conclusion, I thought City were fantastic. Yes Bristol Rovers were poor but a team still has a job to do and we did it really well. Solid at the back and we looked dangerous every time going forward. We seem to have a remarkable record where we have only faced 4 shots on target over the course of our 3 games played at St Andrew’s so far this season and that is a testament to the work Mark Robins has done over the summer. It was a bold move to ship Tom Davies out to Saturday’s opponents over the summer and one that was met with criticism however it is one that looks to have paid off as Michael Rose and Kyle McFadzean have been faultless so far and much better options than what we had. A really encouraging performance to get the League campaign back on track after the blip at Bolton a week before, a much tougher test lies ahead on Tuesday however.