RANGERS 2-0 COVENTRY: REPORT
Coventry City players were given a tough return to action in their first friendly of the summer – beaten 2-0 by Rangers at Ibrox.
Mark Robins named a familiar side in the build-up to the game with promotion heroes Jordan Shipley, Matty Godden, Marko Marosi, Dom Hyam, Liam Kelly and Callum O’Hare all starting.
He also handed marquee summer signing Gustavo Hamer, who impressed greatly, his first run out in sky blue with Ryan Giles, Jack Burroughs, Josh Pask and Declan Drysdale also in the starting XI.
But Rangers, well ahead of the Sky Blues in their own pre-season plans, proved too much for City’s second-half side with Robins making nine changes during the interval.
Joe Aribo and Connor Goldson were on the scoresheet, but Godden did have the ball in the net before the offside flag was hoist in the air by the linesman.
Despite the experience amongst Robins’ ranks, Rangers looked the fitter side from the get-go and could have taken an early lead through Alfredo Morelos.
But City held on and soon turned the tide. After finding their feet, Coventry looked as if they’d never been apart despite the 140-day break between their trip to Ibrox and their win over Ipswich Town back in March – their last outing.
Loanee Giles was in fine form down the left, helped by some expert delivery from €1.5m man Hamer who will have also pleased Sky Blues fans with his performance.
And he nearly played a vital part in a City goal mid-way through the first half when he linked up O’Hare to send Godden in on goal, but Rangers ‘keeper Allan McGregor was there to clear.
At the other end, Drysdale was the star of City’s first-half back three. He pulled off two committed blocks to deny Morelos and Ryan Jack from hitting the net, the second of which was an acrobatic leap to prod a curling effort wide of the far post.
The big talking point of the first half came right at the death as City saw a Godden goal disallowed.
Giles, Hamer and O’Hare were all involved again as they found the impressive Shipley on the left but Robins’ striker had strayed offside by the time the low cross was on his way to him.
The break saw nine changes for the Sky Blues, including the introduction of Jodi Jones, Marcel Hilssner and Max Biamou – but were punished immediately after the break by Aribo.
The Rangers forward played a cheeky one-two with Morelos before slotting past Ben Wilson, in to replace Marosi at the interval, and into the corner.
And it wasn’t long until the Gers doubled their lead, this time through former Brighton man Goldson.
The central defender rose highest to nod a corner kick into City’s net.
But once again, just like the first half, Robins’ second-string side soon found their feet with Jodi Jones and Amadou Bakayoko both coming close during impressive individual second-half performances.
Youngsters Blaine Rowe and Jonny Ngandu also featured along with Hilssner who will be disappointed by his lack of involvement from the bench.
Reaction to follow…