Football: Dublin in disguise

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The Independent Online
Leicester City 0

Coventry City 2

Dublin 11, 72

Attendance: 20,038

Not so long ago, a 2-0 win for Coventry might have raised an eyebrow, but the identity of the scorer of their goals would not. Nowadays, however, Dion Dublin is no longer a centre- forward of some distinction but a goalscoring centre-half.

Dublin went forward from his new role to score from a corner and a free- kick from Gary McAllister to give Coventry their second success in four days, and their first away win in eight months.

Victory was no more than Coventry deserved. They were a constant threat on the counter-attack and also defended with a new-found steel, Dublin playing his part, to restrict Leicester to only a couple of opportunities.

A season which looked to be drifting headlong towards the relegation trap-door has had new life breathed into it for Gordon Strachan's side after the enormous confidence boost of the midweek win over Newcastle United. McAllister looks back to his best while Darren Huckerby's pace will trouble many defences. However, Coventry were aided by a poor display from Leicester, who may find themselves dragged towards the relegation zone before long.

Coventry broke the deadlock as early as the 11th minute. McAllister's corner picked out Dublin at the far post and Kasey Keller could only help the powerful header into the roof of the net. Leicester created their first opening in the 36th minute when Mustafa Izzet found Steve Claridge in space 10 yards out but he failed to connect properly and Steve Ogrizovic turned the ball around the post.

In the second half the visitors seemed content to try to protect their lead. It needed a great tackle by Dublin to deny Emile Heskey after the England under-21 international beat the offside trap to latch on to Simon Grayson's neat chip over the Coventry defence.

A rare mistake by Dublin then let in Heskey but he atoned for his error with another splendid tackle and then went down the other end to score the decisive second goal. McAllister floated a free-kick into the area and Dublin got in ahead of the Leicester defence to plant a glancing header wide of Keller.