Football: Froggatt fluffs chance to impress Keegan

Bradford City 1 Mills 43 Coventry City 1 McAllister 1 Half-time: 1-1 Attendance: 17,587

THE GENERAL surprise at Steve Froggatt's selection for the England squad may now extend to the man who picked him. Kevin Keegan, having invited the Coventry winger to prepare for national service in next week's Euro 2000 play-off against Scotland, went on a reconnaissance mission to Bradford only for his man to make little impact.

Indeed, Froggatt is more likely to earn a suspension than a place in England's starting line-up, having been booked for the fifth time this season. Coventry, who led inside the first minute but conceded an equaliser just before half-time, rained shots on the Bradford goal during a frantic second period, but were defied by a combination of bad luck and Matt Clarke's excellent goalkeeping as they stretched their unbeaten run to seven games.

Keegan was paying his second visit to Valley Parade in a fortnight, having travelled here last month to watch that other left-sided revelation, Steve Guppy. On that occasion, Guppy had a quiet match. At least when he arrived yesterday he found Froggatt's name on the team sheet, which has not always been the case this season. Youssef Chippo, returning from suspension, had threatened Froggatt's inclusion, but lined up instead on the right flank in place of the Belgian forward Cedric Roussel.

All eyes were thus on the former Aston Villa and Wolves man, including those of the Bradford defence if their marking was anything to go by as Coventry took the lead after 43 seconds. They were not looking where they should have in any event as Gary McAllister silenced the home crowd. Froggatt's only part in this was to make a decoy run as Robbie Keane headed towards the Bradford goal. McAllister, who had passed to Keane, drifted out to the right and when the young Irishman drove the ball across to him he was unmarked. Clarke was beaten easily.

Now Froggatt became more involved, stretching a Bradford back line already feeling collectively insecure. He made one low cross to the dangerous Keane, whose sharp shot was only parried to safety by Clarke. Froggatt then won a free-kick, pushing the ball ahead of Gunnar Halle but failing to find a way past the defender, who was punished for obstruction.

Keegan was seeing a different Bradford. Electric against Leicester, they were ordinary by comparison. Coventry, toughened in midfield now they have Carlton Palmer, were in charge, with McAllister pulling the strings. Paul Jewell had kept to his bold approach, playing three up front, but it wasn't working.

Then, equally bold, he changed things. Five minutes before half-time, off went Dean Saunders, on came Peter Beagerie. By the interval they were level, Lee Mills converting Beagerie's precise cross from the left that Palmer failed to cut out. The balance had shifted decisively and it could have been worse for Coventry, even though Moustapha Hadji was denied only by David Wetherall's superb block. Mills also hit the crossbar and Dean Windass, put in by Neil Redfearn, volleyed over the top when he should have scored.

In the meantime, Froggatt, lunging crudely at Bobby Blake, picked up a yellow card, his fifth of the season despite his limited appearances. Sinner became sinned against almost as soon as play resumed for the second half, Halle being shown the yellow card for his foul on Froggatt. The winger's influence on the match, however, continued to be largely peripheral.

Nonetheless, even though Bradford had enthusiastic support from the crowd, a goal seemed more likely to come from Coventry. Clarke pulled off two good saves, defying Chippo and then Palmer, and was relieved to see Hadji, three times, put the ball wide. Against those attempts, only Wetherall's header from a corner troubled Magnus Hedman.

Bradford by now had Jamie Lawrence, a more attacking player, on for Halle as Jewell continued to urge his players forward. But they had to hold their breath again when Keane, outpacing Wetherall, hit a post with an unexpected shot on the turn. Next, a linesman's flag came to their aid after Hadji had put the ball in the net, and then Clarke produced another fine stop to keep out Keane.

Voices
Homeless Veterans charity auction: Cook with Angela Hartnett and Neil Borthwick at Merchants Tavern
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm tomorrow
Sport
Amir Khan is engaged in a broader battle than attempting to win a fight with Floyd Mayweather
boxing Exclusive: Amir Khan reveals plans to travel to Pakistan
Arts and Entertainment
J Jefferson Farjeon at home in 1953
booksBooksellers say readers are turning away from modern thrillers and back to golden age of crime writing
News
Stacey Dooley was the only woman to be nominated in last month’s Grierson awards
mediaClare Balding and Davina McCall among those overlooked for Grierson awards
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Twitchers see things differently, depending on their gender
scienceNew study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Voices
Vivienne Westwood and her son Joe Corré deliver an anti-fracking letter to No 10 last week
voicesThe great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Caroline Flack became the tenth winner of Strictly Come Dancing
tvReview: 'Absolutely phenomenal' Xtra Factor presenter wins Strictly Come Dancing final
News
Xander van der Burgt, at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
scienceA Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
Life and Style
A still from the 1939 film version of Margaret Mitchell's 'Gone with the Wind'
life
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
film
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Finance Director

£65000 - £80000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Finance Director required to jo...

Recruitment Genius: Medico-Legal Assistant

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique opportunity fo...

Ashdown Group: (PHP / Python) - Global Media firm

£50000 per annum + 26 days holiday,pension: Ashdown Group: A highly successful...

The Jenrick Group: Quality Inspector

£27000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: A Quality Technician...

Day In a Page

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick