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Ricoh Arena (ATT 19,221) 26th December 2009 - Kick off 15:00 Ref: R Shoebridge

Coventry Coventry City vs Doncaster Rovers Doncaster

Coventry 1

C Morrison (pen 85)


Morrison bags Sky Blues winner

Coleman's men shake off spot kick miss to claim win

Last Updated: 26/12/09 6:45pm

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Morrison: Late winner

Morrison: Late winner

Coventry claimed their third successive win by seeing off an in-form Doncaster at the Ricoh Arena to move seven points clear of the relegation zone.

Rovers keeper Neil Sullivan brought down Leon Best to give the home side a golden opportunity to take the lead three minutes before half-time, but the striker hit the post with his spot-kick.

The visitors enjoyed their fair share of chances, but were unable to find a breakthrough as Morrison bagged the winner five minutes from time after James Chambers had fouled Gary Madine.

City came into the match in high spirits after recording vital back-to-back wins over Peterborough and Plymouth.

The six points had lifted them away from the threat of relegation and they continued where they left off by taking the game to Doncaster.

Best, who could well leave the Ricoh Arena in January with contract negotiations at a standstill, was at the centre of the action as he hit a post with a first-half penalty before somehow blazing over from close range minutes later.

The striker had earlier avoided a memorable moment of controversy when his attempted pass to Rovers goalkeeper Neil Sullivan from an uncontested drop ball struck the crossbar.

That all came during an entertaining a Championship encounter in which the in-form Freddy Eastwood saw his header hit a post while Michael McIndoe also struck the woodwork.

Dean Shiels missed a great chance for a Rovers side who competed well but posed less of a threat going forward and subsequently saw their four-match unbeaten run come to an end, with the Sky Blues stretching their winning sequence to three games.

Coventry came close to breaking the deadlock when Eastwood sprayed the ball out to the left and raced into the box to head Patrick Van Aanholt's cross against a post.

Best then left referee Rob Shoebridge less than impressed when he got far too much purchase on his attempted pass back to Sullivan, with the ball bouncing off the top of the crossbar.

A crowd of 19,221 were then on the edge of their seats in the final five minutes of the half as an inviting ball whipped across the face of goal by James Chambers failed to attract any connection before Best wasted two glorious chances at the other end.

Firstly, the Sky Blues striker fired against a post from the penalty spot having been brought down by Sullivan while chasing a pass from Eastwood. He then blew arguably an even easier chance, putting the ball over the crossbar from around four yards.

The home side started the second half in the same way they finished the first and it was the Sullivan-Best show yet again as the Rovers goalkeeper superbly tipped a well struck volley to safety.

Doncaster striker Shiels then fired over from close range in not too dissimilar fashion to Best at the end of the first half.

Chances were coming at either end, although it was Coventry who were applying more of the pressure.

Rovers survived the onslaught but McIndoe, playing against his former club, then struck the outside of a post.

And with the game appearing destined for a goalless draw, Coventry were handed their second penalty of the afternoon when Chambers brought down substitute Gary Madine in the area.

Substitute Morrison stepped up to fire home the resulting penalty with Sullivan less than ready, and although manic close followed, the Sky Blues held on to record their first Boxing Day triumph since at 2002 win at Highfield Road.

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Sky Bet Championship

Sky Bet Championship
Pos Team P Pts
1 Watford 45 88
2 Bournemouth 45 87
3 Middlesbrough 45 84
4 Norwich City 45 83
5 Ipswich Town 45 78
6 Derby County 45 77
7 Brentford 45 75
8 Wolverhampton Wanderers 45 75
9 Blackburn Rovers 45 64
10 Charlton Athletic 45 60
11 Birmingham City 45 60
12 Nottingham Forest 45 59
13 Cardiff City 45 59
14 Sheffield Wednesday 45 59
15 Leeds United 45 55
16 Huddersfield Town 45 54
17 Fulham 45 52
18 Bolton Wanderers 45 51
19 Reading 44 47
20 Brighton and Hove Albion 45 46
21 Rotherham United 44 42
22 Millwall 45 41
23 Wigan Athletic 45 39
24 Blackpool 45 25