Two Kitching own goals as Coventry lose to Cardiff

by 24britishtvApril 1, 2024, 6:20 p.m. 23
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Last updated on .From the section Championship

Coventry City's Championship play-off hopes were dealt a blow as two Liam Kitching own goals saw them lose at home to Cardiff City.

Kitching lashed the ball into the roof of his own net under pressure from Cardiff's Josh Bowler at a corner to bring the visitors level before half-time.

Then after the break, a Bowler cross deflected off the unfortunate Kitching and looped into net.

Haji Wright thought he had equalised for Coventry with six minutes left, but his header was ruled out for offside.

This was a remarkable way to end Coventry's three-match winning run and defeat means they stay seventh in the Championship table, having missed the opportunity to close the four-point gap between themselves and sixth-place Norwich, who lost at Leicester earlier on Saturday.

Cardiff remain 11th after an excellent response to losing back-to-back league games.

Few would have given Erol Bulut's men a hope of winning at Coventry beforehand, but they fought back superbly after falling behind against Mark Robins' play-off chasers.

Simms has been central to Coventry's recent fine form - scoring more goals in all competitions in 2024 than anyone else in the top four divisions in England - and he saw an early goal-bound effort blocked by Jamilu Collins.

Coventry were on top in the early exchanges and, after Ben Sheaf hit a 20-yard shot narrowly over, the hosts had the goal their play deserved when a slick team move ended with Simms tapping in from Van Ewijk's cross from the right.

Set-piece kings Cardiff still posed a threat, though. Nat Phillips fired a warning shot when his header was saved but, from another corner soon afterwards, his nod-down was not cleared properly and, under pressure from Bowler, Kitching smashed the ball into the roof of his own net to bring the visitors level.

Bowler was close to scoring a sensational goal less than a minute into the second half as his powerful left-footed shot from more than 30 yards swerved just wide of the far post.

Cardiff really should have taken the lead seven minutes later when Yakou Meite's through ball freed Karlan Grant but, with only the goalkeeper to beat, Grant shot wide.

Coventry's Van Ewijk missed an almost equally gilt-edged chance when he dragged a left-footed shot wide inside the visitors' penalty area.

The home side fell behind in bizarre circumstances, as Bowler's cross from the right appeared to hit Jake Bidwell before bouncing off Kitching's head and into the net.

Coventry thought they were back level in the 84th minute, but Haji Wright's header was disallowed for offside.

That was to prove their final genuine chance to drag themselves back into the contest as Cardiff defended strongly to hold on for an impressive win.

"We didn't do enough in the game. The feeling is that you play the amount of games we have and it's tough for everyone. It throws up some strange results.

"The Championship is really difficult and we've proved that today. Life gives you opportunities and you've got to try and take them.

"They tried to play on the counter-attack and we gave them a leg-up with the own goal. We were under a little bit of pressure but from where I was stood it was a surprise to see it go in.

"They got their noses in front with another own goal. We've had plenty of the ball but not created enough clear-cut chances. It's a disappointing result, no doubt."

"It was a great reaction from the team. Today was a game where we had to show a reaction, which they did after the Sunderland game [losing 2-0 on Friday].

"Like against Ipswich, we came back from 1-0 down [to win]. It's not easy to win away against Coventry and change the game, but the guys did a great job.

"The second goal was unlucky for the opponent, lucky for us. We can't always be unlucky, sometimes we have to be lucky and today the luck was on our side."

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