Football: Wegerle finds the spot for Coventry

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Oldham Athletic. 3

Coventry City. .3

COVENTRY CITY salvaged an unlikely point from a pulsating match of fluctuating fortunes at Boundary Park last night. They led 1-0, trailed 3-1, and ultimately quelled the resurgent Oldham when Roy Wegerle equalised with a penalty six minutes from the end.

The contrasting styles of these two sides produced an enthralling encounter. Coventry's composure and imaginative build-up contrasted starkly with the bustle and honest endeavour of Oldham. City's creativity deservedly delivered an early goal, but by half- time they were thankful not to be behind to the resurgent Lancastrians.

Wegerle set the mood and tempo for Bobby Gould's team, inviting Mick Quinn and, in particular, the long- striding John Williams, to seek the gaps. It was the Wegerle-Williams combination which yielded the opening goal, albeit a little fortuitously, in the ninth minute. Wegerle's free-kick might have been repelled but Paul Bernard failed to cope and Williams applied the necessary touch.

Oldham, having survived another Williams skirmish, gradually developed a more positive game and glimpsed the prospect of an equaliser after 26 minutes. Andy Ritchie lifted a cross from the right, Coventry's Peter Atherton appeared to misjudge the flight and so, too, did Ian Olney. By the time he had reacted, the opportunity had slipped away.

Coventry effectively halted Halle's dart through the middle, though not the lunge of Bernard in the 38th minute. Fleming flicked on Henry's corner and Bernard, making amends for his earlier lapse, arrived to head the equaliser.

Bernard could have taken his side into the interval with a lead. Ritchie found him unchallenged, but Gould rushed in and smothered the shot. Oldham swarmed all over Coventry in the closing minutes of the half and Ritchie cursed himself for stubbing his shot wide from eight yards.

Oldham's revival was rewarded in the 49th minute. Halle chased Ritchie's pass and fell under the joint attentions of Rennie and Gould. The referee indicated a free-kick on the edge of the penalty area, but he changed the verdict to a penalty on the advice of a linesman and Ritchie calmly converted. Barely a minute later, Olney shot just wide following another splendid ball from Ritchie.

Gould made a spectacular save to deny Bernard a second but was beaten in the 63rd minute when Olney was released by Fleming, who shot into the top corner. Peter Ndlovu hammered a second for Coventry from Wegerle's through ball after 74 minutes.

Oldham Athletic (4-4-2): Gerrard; Fleming, Jobson, Redmond, Pointon; Halle, Milligan, Henry, Bernard; Ritchie, Olney. Substitutes not used: Sharp, Brennan, Hallworth (gk).

Coventry City (3-5-2): Gould; Atherton, Rennie, Babb; Borrows, Ndlovu, McGrath, Wegerle, Morgan (P Williams, 35); J Williams, Quinn (Boland, 65). Substitute not used: Ogrizovic (gk).

Referee: P Foakes (Clacton-on-Sea).