Sky Blues see off Saints
Tabb hits a brace as Coventry down Southampton 4-1
Last Updated: October 4, 2008 8:14pm
McKenzie: On target
Coventry City claimed a comfortable 4-1 victory over Southampton in Saturday's evening Championship kick-off at the Ricoh Arena.
The victory was the Sky Blues' second in seven outings, while it brought an end to the Saints' recent upturn in form.
Southampton started well but it was the home side who went in front after 19 minutes when Leon McKenzie's fine cross was headed in by the onrushing Jay Tabb.
Referee Michael Jones then sparked controversy by awarding a penalty to Coventry after adjudging Ollie Lancashire to have fouled former Saints striker Leon Best when contact looked minimal.
Elliott Ward's foolish chipped penalty was saved by Kelvin Davis, but the Sky Blues did extend their lead in the 33rd minute when Scott Dann nodded the ball into the path of McKenzie who beat the offside trap and finished from close range.
Best made the game virtually safe when he stabbed home two minutes into the second half before Saints pulled one back through Andrew Surman.
The visitors pushed for a way back into the game but with four minutes remaining Freddy Eastwood got away down the left and crossed for Tabb who volleyed in his second.
Southampton started well but the hosts went ahead against the run of play when McKenzie's superb ball found Tabb who got in front of his marker to plant a bullet header past Davis.
Eight minutes later Jones shocked the visiting fans when he pointed to the spot after Lancashire attempted to clear the ball and connected with Best.
However, justice was done when Ward cheekily tried to chip the penalty home but Davis gathered the ball comfortably, much to the dismay of manager Chris Coleman.
Moments later Best hit the post from close range when he should have scored but the home side did double their lead when Aron Gunnarsson's long throw was flicked on by Dann to McKenzie, who swept home.
Gunnarsson should have made it 3-0 just before half-time when he went clean through after a one-two with Eastwood but his shot hit Davis' shoulder.
Southampton began the second half sluggishly and paid the price when Daniel Fox's cross found Best at the far post and he stabbed home.
Best's goal appeared to have put his former club to the sword and Southampton boss Jan Poortvliet responded by making a triple substitution with Bradley Wright-Phillips, Simon Gillett and Tomas Pekhart all coming on.
The change paid almost immediate dividends with 63 minutes gone when Surman headed in from Wright-Phillips' wayward shot.
Michael Doyle should have restored Coventry's three-goal lead but blazed over while at the other end, Keiren Westwood did well to deny David McGoldrick.
Southampton pressed in hope of clawing their way back but that hope was extinguished late on when Tabb volleyed home after good work from the impressive Eastwood.
Sat 4th Oct
Blackpool1 - 1Cardiff
Birmingham1 - 0QPR
N Forest0 - 2C Palace
Swansea3 - 1Wolves
Charlton2 - 1Ipswich
Barnsley4 - 1Doncaster
Watford2 - 1Preston
Sheff Utd3 - 0Bristol C
Norwich1 - 2Derby
Plymouth4 - 0Sheff Wed
Reading3 - 1Burnley
Coventry4 - 1Southampton
|4||Brighton and Hove Albion||46||75|