McSheffrey is spot on to sink Leeds
Coventry City 2 Leeds United 1
Wednesday 15 February 2012
Gary McSheffrey, one of Leeds' less vaunted loan signings under the recently sacked Simon Grayson, converted his second penalty of the night in stoppage time to give Coventry a deserved victory and renewed hope of avoiding third-tier football for the first time since 1964.
Leeds, supposedly fighting for a play-off place, showed scant ambition even after Ross McCormack's swift riposte to McSheffrey's early goal. Their second loss in four days under caretaker manager Neil Redfearn was sealed after Aidy White brought down the on-loan Manchester City striker Alex Nimely, as Coventry celebrated their ascent from bottom spot.
Redfearn, for whom Saturday's visit of Doncaster will be the last match in charge unless Bates makes him "permanent", did not mince his words about the poverty of Leeds' performance. "We were poor from minute one," he said, going on to admit he told his players some "home truths". "We conceded [a winner] against Brighton after 90 minutes and we've done it again. It's unprofessional. We didn't compete well enough and we carried too many players."
His Coventry counterpart, Andy Thorn, described their fourth home win in five games as "a man's performance". After praising the composure of McSheffrey and the menace of Nimely, who won both spot-kicks, he added: "We were adrift at the bottom not long ago and people wrote us off. But that made us really strong as a group, and there's still 45 points to play for."
The likelihood of Portsmouth forfeiting points as a result of going into administration gives Coventry an added incentive. They are unlikely to encounter many sides as obliging as Leeds, whose bid to re-establish momentum by firing Grayson seems to have backfired.
McSheffrey put Coventry ahead after Danny Pugh felled Nimely midway through the first half. McCormack stroked the equaliser after being fed by Adam Clayton, but Leeds' shoulders sagged visibly after their 3,300 followers reacted angrily to Redfearn's substitution of McCormack. Nimely twisted into a shooting position before being halted illegally, allowing McSheffrey to beat Andy Lonergan a second time.
Coventry City (4-4-2): Murphy; Christie, Keogh, Cranie, Clarke; Baker, Deegan, Norwood, McSheffrey; Nimely, Platt. Substitutes not used Dunn (gk), Eastwood, Bigirimana, Ruffels, Willis.
Leeds United (4-4-2): Lonergan; Smith (O'Brien, 74), Lees, O'Dea, Pugh; Snodgrass, Delph (Brown, 62), Clayton, White; McCormack (Nunez, 83), Becchio. Substitutes not used Taylor (gk), Townsend.
Referee P Miller (Bedfordshire).
Latest in Sport
Pornhub: Cheeky Liverpool fan uploads Philippe Coutinho wonder-goal video to adult website
Diego Costa keeps coin thrown at him during Capital One Cup final
Lukas Podolski corner: Has the Arsenal forward taken the worst corner of all time?
Ireland 19 England 9 player ratings: Jonathan Sexton? Devin Toner? Alex Goode? Who was the star man in Dublin?
Eden Hazard didn't like the champagne on offer in the Chelsea dressing room
- 1 Raif Badawi, the Saudi Arabian blogger sentenced to 1,000 lashes, may now face death penalty
- 2 Delhi bus rapist blames dead victim for attack because 'girls are responsible for rape'
- 3 PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
- 4 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
- 5 Spiritual leader allegedly manipulated 400 men into removing testicles to be 'closer to God'
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut