John prompts Coventry's revival

Coventry City 3 - Reading 2

Coventry City had not won since August but that woeful run came to an end when they beat high-flying Reading as a crowd frustrated with the accustomed defeats rapturously received the goals from Stern John, Andy Morrell and Eddie Johnson.

The defeat was bitter news for Steve Coppell, the Reading manager, who had not lost for six matches, and made worse by the fact that his side scored first. "The goal gave us the initiative which we proceeded to give away straightaway," hesaid. "Had we sat on a 1-0 lead for 10 minutes it could have been very different." The opening goal came after a slip inside the area by Stuart Giddings was capitalised upon by Glen Little, who slid the ball inside for Lloyd Owusu to place into the centre of the Coventry net.

Giddings' slip looked like a case of "Here we go again'"for Coventry's manager Peter Reid after his on-loan goalkeeper Luke Steele's midweek a howler in the League Cup against Middlesbrough. And Reid had said in his programme notes that prior planning made no difference when individual errors make such an impact.

But to their credit, Coventry maintained their game plan to find John in threatening positions, with the Trinidad international their best source of offence throughout the first half.

The former Birmingham and Nottingham Forest striker had already seen a forceful effort deflected over before being bundled over in the box by an over-zealous Steve Sidwell for an obvious penalty. John scored the penalty himself, placing it low past Marcus Hahnemann.

He nearly won a second penalty after he went to ground trying to round Reading's American goalkeeper five minutes before he was withdrawn at half-time due to a twisted ankle.

Coventry consolidated their position and took the lead early in the second half after Rohan Ricketts found Morrell with a pinpoint cross-field pass, City's top scorer making no mistake in putting the ball past Hahnemann.

Fifteen minutes later, the Sky Blues doubled their lead through Johnson, who finished well after picking up the ball from substitute Patrick Suffo, who had held it up in the box.

A goalmouth scramble culminated in Dave Kitson netting his ninth goal of the season for Reading to ensure a tense finish. Yet despite heavy pressure, the visitors left themselves open at the back and Michael Doyle had a chance to make it 4-2 but blazed over when set free by Johnson on a break.

Reid was content, though, and has ambitions to steer his side up the table. "We've beaten Sunderland, West Ham and now Reading, who I consider to be top quality sides," he said. "The capability is there but we need to get a little consistency in our play and become harder to beat. I'm trying to add to the squad and we have got players here who can win us games and get us up that League."

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