Coventry City 0 Bristol City 3: McIndoe leads way to the summit

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These are heady days indeed for Bristol City, who had already had two hours as Championship leaders with a lunchtime victorytwo Saturdays ago. Now they will head the division at least until Watford play Southampton today after an impressive victory that toppled Coventry from their perch.

Their left-winger Michael McIndoe was the instigator, giving them a 15th-minute edge with his first goal since a summer move from Wolverhampton and providing the corner that brought the second. The icing on the cake came when the debutant Darren Byfield, on as substitute, struck the third deep into stoppage time.

"It's unbelievable," said their manager, Gary Johnson, said. "Of course it's early but it's exciting to be competing with these teams at the top. Every time you win, you gain a bit more belief at this level."

Even in the West Country, there is a feeling that Bristol have been riding some luck during their spirited reintroduction to the higher division. Certainly there was good fortune behind their first two goals.

Mark Wilson's ball in from the right should have been dealt with by Elliott Ward but the defenderallowed it to run for McIndoe to tuck away a low, left-foot shot.

A half of unrelenting tempo also brought near-misses at the other end. Twice, Leon McKenzie was denied by Adriano Basso from acute angles. Stephen Hughes (twice) and Michael Doyle forced saves from distance while Dele Adebola headed over and Bradley Orr raced back to hook off the line when the keeperfailed to get a telling punch on Marcus Hall's free-kick.

Coventry, with captain Arjan de Zeeuw making an injury-delayed debut, were enjoying their best start for 14 years, but their lengthy spells of second-half possession carried less threat than Bristol's incisive breaks.

Lee Trundle fired danger-ously across goal before Orr challenged strongly for McIndoe's inswinging 74th-minute right-wing corner, the ball apparentlygoing in via Dimi Konstantopoulos's mis-punch. The keeper recovered to save superbly from one substitute, Scott Murray, but was beaten when another, Byfield, broke clear.

"It was a disappointing result and soft goals are killing us," the Coventry manager, Iain Dowie, said. "It wasn't a 3-0 game but we'll bounce back."