Wednesday, 24 October 2001
Nationwide League Division 1
Selhurst Park
Attendance: 5,883
Ref: Phil Joslin
0 (0) - (0) 1
Coventry City
Lee Carsley
Andy Goram
Marc Edworthy
Gary Breen
Muhamed Konjić
Richard Shaw
Youssef Safri
Lee Carsley
Yellow 45 Goal 75
Laurent Delorge
Subbed 56
David Thompson
Jay Bothroyd
Subbed 46
Lee Hughes
Jairo Martinez
Sub ((21) 46)(21)
Gary Montgomery
Marcus Hall
Sub ((28) 56)(28)
Barry Quinn
Iván Guerrero

Gordon Strachan may have enjoyed an impressive introduction to Southampton last night, but nobody at Coventry is missing him yet. This result extended Roland Nilsson's unbeaten run of First Division games into double figures, although in truth it was barely deserved. Kelvin Davis, the home goalkeeper, made the fateful mistake, letting David Thompson's 25-yard strike bounce in front of and then off him on its way to the net.

Coventry prepared for this match, the first ever meeting of these opponents outside the top flight, by agreeing an extended contract with Andy Goram which will keep the veteran goalkeeper at Highfield Road until the end of the season. In terms of replacing the young and talented Chris Kirkland it is not exactly like for like, but Goram is at least free. He was also responsible for one of the three successive clean sheets with which the Sky Blues approached this game.

While there has been a great deal of movement through Coventry's revolving doors since their relegation - five first-team players and a manager leaving at a profit, less Strachan's pay-off of 22.2m - the defence has remained untouched. Gary Breen and Mo Konjic are a defensive partnership that remains the envy of most sides in this division, and are in no small part responsible for Nilsson's eight-game unbeaten league run at the start of his managerial career.

But in David Connolly and Neil Shipperley Wimbledon boast a prolific forward partnership, and the visiting defence was the more troubled in the first half. Connolly came closest, snaffling up a loose ball before sending a left-footed shot across Goram but wide of the far post, while only the Scottish keeper's alertness stopped Shipperley from punishing Breen's slip. The best chance the visitors had came after Davis held the ball for too long in the Wimbledon goal, but David Thompson wasted the resulting free-kick.

The pattern remained much the same in the second period. Connolly shot just wide from the edge of the area, then Jobi McAnuff, a constant menace to Richard Shaw down Wimbledon's right wing, shot over from 18 yards when Shipperley was unmarked and available on the six-yard line.

While Coventry's defence held firm, they offered increasingly little at the other end.