Football / Coca-Cola Cup: Flynn saves Coventry: Coventry escapes

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The Independent Online
Wrexham. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1

Coventry City. . . . . . . . . . . . .2

WREXHAM could not quite bridge the divisions this time, but they will feel they can still force Coventry City to work their passage into the the third round of the Coca-Cola Cup.

The North Wales club, their place in Cup football annals assured the day they bundled Arsenal off the High Road to Wembley, might have repeated the mugging on this dank, forbidding night at the Racecourse Ground.

Coventry's self-belief, revived by their maiden Premiership victory of the season on Saturday, was examined and almost undermined by the persistence and variation of Wrexham's play. Steve Ogrizovic, in Coventry's goal, was much the busier keeper and, although he was reduced to spectating by Kieron Durkan's blast deep into stoppage time, a post intervened.

A draw was the least Wrexham deserved, but goals by Julian Darby and Sean Flynn take Coventry into the second leg with the advantage. In between, Barry Jones lifted Wrexham's spirits with a spectacular equaliser, yet his goal was to prove scant reward.

Dion Dublin, an overnight Coventry folk hero, was restricted to a couple of forlorn efforts and Cobi Jones, the United States World Cup winger, only occasionally wrong-footed Wrexham's defence.

Andy Marriott, in Wrexham's goal, had dealt comfortably with everything in the opening 37 minutes, yet was deceived by Darby at his near post. Wrexham's response was rousing and productive. Ogrizovic turned away Watkin's long-range shot in the 43rd minute, but from the resultant corner was powerless to keep out Jones' fierce drive.

Ogrizovic resisted Wrexham through the second half and 13 minutes from the end Coventry plundered the winner. Ally Pickering delivered the centre and Flynn applied the simple header.

Wrexham (4-4-2): Marriott; B Jones, Hunter, Humes, Hardy; Durkan, Brammer, Owen, Connolly; Bennett, Watkin. Substitutes not used: Williams, Cross, Cartwright (gk)

Coventry City (4-4-2): Ogrizovic; Pickering, Busst, Rennie, Morgan; C Jones, Darby, Boland, Cook; Flynn, Dublin. Substitutes not used: Gillespie, Wegerle, Gould (gk).

Referee: E Lomas (Manchester).