Coventry City 0 Bristol City 3: Old boy Adebola adds to trauma for furious Coleman

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The Independent Football

Chris Coleman slammed the performance of referee Phil Dowd after Coventry lost their undefeated start to the season with a Championship defeat to Bristol City at the Ricoh Arena.

Coleman was aggrieved by the Staffordshire official's first-half display which saw the visitors take a controversial lead through Coventry old-boy Dele Adebola and then have a penalty appeal waved away after Liam Fontaine pulled Clinton Morrison's shirt.

Adebola, a Coventry player for four-and-a-half years before his move to Bristol City in January, clashed with goalkeeper Keiren Westwood as the pair challenged for Michael McIndoe's left-wing cross.

The coming-together on the penalty spot left Westwood motionless on the ground, and as Coventry players appealed for Dowd to award a free-kick in their favour, Adebola manoeuvred himself from his position on the floor to poke the ball over the line.

The restart was held up by several minutes as Westwood, visibly shaken, tried to regain his composure, but he had to be replaced by Andy Marshall.

Coventry thought they should have been awarded a penalty in the 36th minute when Fontaine appeared to pull Morrison to the ground as he advanced towards goal. Coleman was so incensed by Dowd's decision that he was sent from the touchline for his protests.

Summing up his side's defeat, Coleman said: "Disappointing. Traumatic. Frustrating. And it was all caused by the referee's first-half performance, which affected the end result.

"I thought his first-half performance was abysmal. We thought we should have had a free-kick for their first goal.

"Keiren Westwood has concussion and a dislocated finger following the collision. Then, I thought it was a penalty on Clinton Morrison. We don't get the penalty. I lose my temper and he sends me off. Fair enough, maybe I deserve that for my reaction. But it wasn't just one decision, it was decision after decision."

In contrast, Bristol City boss Gary Johnson felt Dowd had a "good game". Johnson also praised Adebola following his display against his former club. The big striker scored one goal and made another for McIndoe before he was replaced in the 76th minute by Steve Brooker, who scored the Robins' third goal.

"He has been brave to challenge for the first goal where their keeper has unfortunately got injured, and he has shown his power again for the second goal."

Goals: Adebola (17) 0-1; McIndoe (54) 0-2; Brooker (90) 0-3.

Coventry (4-4-2): Westwood (Marshall, 21); Gunnarsson, Ward, Dann, Fox; Mifsud (Simpson, 73), Tabb, Beuzelin, Gray; Eastwood (McKenzie, 46), Morrison. Substitutes not used: Doyle, Turner.

Bristol City (4-4-2): Basso; Orr, Fontaine, Carey (Webster, 64), McAllister; Wilson, Skuse, Johnson, McIndoe; Maynard (Sproule, 81), Adebola (Brooker, 76). Substitutes not used: Weale, Trundle.

Referee: P Dowd (Staffordshire).

Booked: Coventry Morrison, Fox, Beuzelin; Bristol Johnson.

Man of the match: Adebola.

Attendance: 17,994.