Football: Hurst homes in away

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The Independent Online
Sheffield Wednesday. 1

Coventry City. . . .2

COVENTRY CITY'S flirtation with the upper reaches of the Premier League might not be as brief as their critics have predicted if they can ride their luck and take their chances as they did at Hillsborough last night.

Despite taking an almighty buffeting from Wednesday, especially in a first half when Chris Waddle seemed to be carving out chances at will, Coventry hit back with goals just before and after half-time to claim the points in unlikely fashion.

Wednesday will ask themselves how they managed to avoid capitalising on at least one of the opportunities produced by Waddle's creative home debut. The nearest they came was in the 19th minute, when his pass sent in Paul Williams for a shot which Steve Ogrizovic could only beat out to give Nigel Jemson an open goal.

The unhappy and out-of-touch Jemson hit the post and Wednesday continued to squander chances until Coventry showed them what an adventurous looking formation, including four regular attackers, could do on the breakaway.

Their Zimbabwean winger, Peter Ndlovu, got underneath a huge kick from Ogrizovic and the ball ran wide to the pacy John Williams. His cross was whipped into the area and Ndlovu's diving header planted the ball into the net in spectacular style.

Coventry's second, three minutes after half-time, was more mundane, Lee Hurst side-footing his first goal for the club after Ndlovu and Gallacher had harried the Wednesday defence.

Cue Trevor Francis, and the Wednesday player-manager succeeded in getting Waddle involved once more. With 28 minutes to go, his perfectly weighted through-ball created a chance which was, at last, accepted, Chris Bart-Williams' shot going in off the post.

Wednesday's increasingly urgent search for an equaliser yielded nothing except some more tempting opportunities for Coventry at the other end.

Sheffield Wednesday: Woods; Nilsson, Warhurst (Wilson, 86), Palmer, Pearson, Shirtliff, Jemson (Francis, 53), Bart-Williams, Waddle, P Williams, Worthington. Substitute not used: Pressman (gk).

Coventry City: Ogrizovic; Fleming (Borrows, 72), Sanson, Robson, Pearce, Ndlovu, McGrath, Hurst (Babb, 63), Rosario, Gallacher, J Williams. Substitute not used: Gould (gk).

Referee: R Gifford (Llanbradach).