Blues for Coventry

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Coventry City 0

Sheffield Wednesday 1

Whittingham 16

Attendance: 13,998

THREE thousand Sky Blue balloons floated away from Highfield Road this afternoon, but winter gloom seems sure to settle on Coventry as they suffered their second successive home defeat, despite pounding down on their visitors' goal for most of the 90 minutes.

The 21 Coventry corners to Wednesday's two shows the pattern of the game, but Wednesday created the most meaningful statistic in the 16th minute when Guy Whittingham lobbed the ball into the Sky Blue net for the game's solitary goal. It was a scrappy affair. Whittingham fed Mark Bright, and was first to the headed return in the penalty box, to loft the ball beyond John Filan. And that was more or less the end of any aggressive intent on the visitors' part.

But all Coventry's possession and pressure was in vain. It took them 26 minutes to provoke Kevin Pressman into showing his mettle in the Wednesday goal, when Gordon Strachan tested him with a left-foot volley. And that was the total of Coventry's goal attempts, until the last minute, when Peter Ndlovu finally got his head to Paul Williams' cross, only for Pressman to pull off the save of the day scooping the ball wide for a corner.

Ndlovu had frittered away another good opportunity straight after the restart when Nii Lamptey's cross was tamely popped into Pressman's grateful arms.

Most of those Coventry corners unerringly found a Wednesday forehead, taking the aerial route to goal, despite Dion Dublin's continued absence after failing a late fitness test. Tiny Ndlovu and Lamptey flickered intermittently, but they were easily snuffed out by Des Walker and Klas Ingesson. Wide on the left, John Salako couldn't even raise an occasional splutter although he could plead lack of a decent supply in his defence.

Wednesday were impressive defensively, despite attacking only in fits and starts. They may have come for a point but faced with a leaky Coventry defence at crucial moments, they grabbed the only real chance that came their way and left with the spoils.