Under-21s: City 2 Coventry 3
A first-half goal from Billy Daniels and second-half strikes from Roy O’Donovan and Connor Henderson had an experienced Sky Blues side in an imposing 3-0 lead soon after the hour-mark.
But a Foxes team with little senior experience due to the first team’s trip to Birmingham on Saturday battled bravely in the game’s final quarter, hitting back through substitute Louis Greenway-Tambini and Harry Panayiotou.
They ultimately ran out of time to rescue a point in front of a Friday night crowd of nearly 800 people, but will take encouragement from the spirit they showed late in the game.
Coventry edged in front after 10 minutes of an even first half when Daniels bundled in after Foxes ‘keeper Adam Smith had made a superb save at the feet of O’Donovan as he tried to convert a Shaun Jeffers cross.
Robert Paratore had a well-struck shot saved for the hosts before half-time, but wet conditions made for a midfield battle where outright chances were at a premium.
Coventry doubled their lead 10 minutes after the interval when O’Donovan’s shot deflected cruelly out of Smith’s reach, but there was little the City ‘keeper could have done about Henderson’s sweetly-struck third on 66.
To their credit, Steve Beaglehole’s side refused to throw in the towel and pulled one back within three minutes. Panayiotou produced a driving run from deep, before finding a centrally-positioned Michael Cain, whose clever pass was well dispatched by Greenway-Tambini to his left.
The goal was the catalyst for a late Foxes onslaught and they were rewarded for their positivity once more with four minutes to go. Cain’s cross from the left was stabbed goal-wards by Jide Maduako and Panayiotou pounced from Chris Dunn’s save.
Eventually beaten by the clock, the young Foxes can take heart from their late rally and will now focus on their trip to Huddersfield Town in 10 days’ time.
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