Football: Coventry survive Dublin's dismissal

Coventry City 2 Sunderland 2
Click to follow
The Independent Online
Dion Dublin, Coventry's striker-turned-defender, scored his fourth goal in as many games since being moved to the back, but was sent off before half-time after an ugly flare-up.

Coventry, twice behind, were happy to settle for the point, which brought to an end their run of four consecutive wins.

Dublin challenged Sunderland's Michael Bridges on the touchline in the 40th minute. Both players slid on the icy surface and Bridges appeared to kick out at Dublin, who was first to his feet. Dublin retaliated by kicking at the striker as he lay on the ground. The referee, Graham Poll, had a clear view of the incident and booked Bridges and sent off Dublin.

That departure sparked Coventry into a more attacking mood. Until then, Sunderland had dominated, looking far more at home in the tricky conditions. The players had severe problems keeping their feet but Sunderland were more attuned to the surface and kept things simple while Coventry persisted in trying to play short passing movements, which continually broke down.

Sunderland went ahead in the sixth minute. A cross from the right was knocked back by John Mullin and Bridges struck a half-hit shot which wrong- footed Coventry's keeper Steve Ogrizovic and bobbled into the net.

Within three minutes Dublin equalised. Gary McAllister swung over a corner from the right and Dublin rose above goalkeeper Lionel Perez to knock his header into the open net.

Sunderland went ahead again in the 18th minute from the penalty spot. Mullin was going nowhere but Liam Daish bundled him over near the byline. Steve Agnew duly scored.

Daish made amends 10 minutes later with Coventry's second equaliser, again from a centre by McAllister. From a free-kick on the right of the penalty area Scotland's captain swung the ball over perfectly for Daish to head powerfully in.

Chances were few and far between but Sunderland had most of them. Coventry had only four efforts on target and scored from two of them.

Coventry City: Ogrizovic; Shaw, Daish, Dublin, Telfer, Williams, Richardson, McAllister, Salako, Whelan (Borrows, 82), Huckerby. Substitutes not used: Filan (gk), Jess, Boland, Genaux.

Sunderland: Perez; Hall, Kubicki, Ord, Melville, Bracewell, Agnew, Mullin, Gray, Bridges, Kelly. Substitutes not used: Preece (gk), Aiston, Pickering, Heckingbottom, Williams.

Referee: G Poll (Tring).