Coventry City 0 - West Bromwich Albion 2
Funny old game (I might have said that before). A brilliant first ten minutes, were followed by a Coventry push-back, during which Diangana deftly took advantage of an unexpected cock-up by their goalie.
The rest of the first half looked like we couldn't wait to get in for a cuppa - or whatever it is these days. We looked knackered and couldn't keep possession. A Coventry goal looked inevitable. Albion were a little fortunate to survive a penalty call on Kipre that, knowing our luck, VAR would have overturned. Somehow we made it to half-time intact.
The second half was more open, given Coventry's need to push forward and BTA took advantage of a great through-ball by Phillips, and a marginal off-side non-call, to superbly finish into the top corner.
In the top six and another clean sheet! If ever we can get healthy, we have a chance of making the play-offs.
Albion moved back into the top six with a 2-0 win over 20th-placed, albeit unbeaten at home, Coventry, courtesy of a goal-keeping howler and a slightly offside looking second, on a night when the home side created chances but couldn't hit the target.
Coventry made five changes: Albion only two, with Pipa in for Furlong and sole striking option BTA making way for Mowatt in what often looked like a 5311, with Diangana's false number ten role in behind Wallace's false number nine role.
Albion started the better with two good crosses within the first ten minutes that no-one got on the end of, after which Coventry mustered a couple of shots, one which, with the benefit of VAR, would probably have seen Kipre concede a penalty for a handball.
Just before twenty minutes passed, Chalobah shot straight at the keeper, but after he failed to hold onto it, the ball dropped in between him and Diangana, and the latter took a deft controlling touch that allowed him to tap in to give Albion the lead.
Albion seemed to be dropping very deep and Coventry were able to work the ball into feet around the edge of our six-yard box a couple of times but were unable to get a shot off, the half ending with Albion affording the home side yet another shooting opportunity but this time a weak shot from the central edge of the eighteen-yard box was easily fallen on by Palmer.
Albion got away with another one within five minutes of the restart, after a ricochet saw the Coventry striker getting a one-on-one chance against Palmer only to pull the shot wide of the goalpost from the edge of our box.
BTA coming on for Chalobah immediately afterwards was probably less of a response to that let-off than trying to protect the already booked midfielder from getting booked a second time, although it shifted the formation into an even more defensive 541, perversely with Wallace on the left and Diangana on the right and, as if to compound that perversity, Wallace would be replaced by left full back Townsend as the hour mark passed.
Shortly after Bartley had been booked for time-wasting, Phillips spun away from his marker inside his own half, advanced and played a ball for BTA who looked to just be ahead of his marker but, after no flag was raised, advanced into the box down the inside-left channel and curled one across the keeper for what felt like it would be, and would turn out to be, the victory-sealing score, although the Albion should have had a third after BTA robbed a defender, dribbled into the box, but then just ignored the couple of players who could have tapped it in had he passed, and was eventually dispossessed.
With ten minutes to go, Corberan made a triple like-for-like substitution: Molumby for Mowatt; Furlong for Pipa, and Fellows for Diagana and it had the desired effect of allowing us to comfortably see the game out, by virtue of drying up any further real opportunities at either end.
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