Football: Bubbling Dublin

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The Independent Online
Coventry City. .2

Dublin 50, Cook pen 83

Leeds United. . 1

Speed 85

Attendance: 15,389

COVENTRY got the morale- booster they so badly needed with this, their first win of the season, and it was all the more welcome for coming at the expense of a Leeds United side who arrived with the scalp of Manchester United dangling from their belts.

For most of the game, though, Coventry looked like a side who did not expect to break their duck against such distinguished visitors. The first- half traffic was overwhelmingly in Steve Ogrizovic's direction and the eager Noel Whelan and Phil Masinga formed an attractive partnership while Rod Wallace lurked to feed off the service from Gary McAllister and Gordon Strachan.

Ogrizovic's most worrying moment came in the 33rd minute when McAllister's through ball was subtly played on by Wallace for Strachan to be thwarted by the best save of the day.

The goalless first half had seen Lukic almost a spectator, his only action coming in the 41st minute when David Busst came forward to set his strikers an example with a header that was inches over. The second half was a different matter.

Five minutes into it, Sean Flynn was allowed to indulge in a spot of ball-juggling on the right of the Leeds penalty area. His eventual overhead flick, more by luck than judgement, found Dion Dublin unmarked three yards from goal. A simple nod was all it took.

Leeds tried to bounce back, but Wallace squandered a chance after he had drawn Ogrizovic from the goal-line by going too wide, and the Coventry keeper was alert to the dangers of McAllister's 30-yard free-kick, tipping it over the bar.

The game was slipping from Leeds's grasp but six minutes from time an aberration by the substitute Chris Fairclough threw it away. Cobi Jones had made his only notable contribution - a 30-yard run that took him into the Leeds penalty area. The American was going nowhere, shepherded by Fairclough, his dribble having taken him well ahead of his team-mates. Nevertheless, Fairclough chose to pull the feet from under him and Paul Cook drove home the penalty.

A rush of blood saw Leeds immediately pull one back through Gary Speed and the last five minutes were alarmingly hectic in front of Ogrizovic. But Coventry survived, and deservedly so.

(Photograph omitted)

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