Football: Busst breaks out

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The Independent Online
Coventry City. . . 1

Busst 70

Wimbledon . . . . .1

Castledine 55

Attendance: 10,962

AS the bounty hunters congregated at Highfield Road to keep tracks on football's most wanted man - Phil Babb - it was perhaps inevitable Murphy's Law should intervene.

In a scenario redolent of the man with no name riding to the rescue, Babb's defensive partner, David Busst, lifted a mind-numbing match with a spectacular diving header to earn Coventry City a draw.

Not only that, Busst, whose footballing pedigree goes little further beyond Moor Green of the Beazer Midlands League, spared the pounds 4m man's embarrassment. For five minutes before Busst's first goal for the club, Babb had been shown up when Wimbledon went in front.

Dean Holdsworth had beaten him for pace on the right and the Wimbldeon striker's cross had been shinned home, via a deflection or two by Stewart Castledine. That was in the 56th minute and it was a scrappy goal that typified a scrappy game. That the most telling ball before and after that point had come from a clearance by the Wimbledon keeper Hans Segers says it all.

In fairness to Babb, though, the Republic of Ireland defender did keep his side in the game with a goal-line clearance from Holdsworth. Then there was one moment in the first-half when he delighted the purists by calmly bringing the ball out of defence before hitting an accurate long pass to Sean Flynn.

That move, however, only served to emphasise the contrasting attributes of the other coveted defender on view - Wimbledon's John Scales, the visitors' centre-half clattering Mick Quinn to win the ball.

But that was untypical of Wimbledon's approach. Earlier this week the club's owner, Sam Hammam, had threatened to rename his side Brixton FC. On this evidence Surbiton FC would be more appropriate. Without Fash there was little bash while their performance was more middle-of-the-road than royal borough.

And, while they never lived up to the Crazy Gang tag, until Busst's intervention Wimbledon were always the likely lads as far as victory was concerned.