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Sunday, October 31, 1999 Published at 18:55 GMT

Keane leads Coventry charge

A delighted Robbie Keane celebrates opening the scoring

Coventry 4-0 Watford

Teenage star Robbie Keane inspired Coventry to a thumping victory at Highfield Road to increase Watford's relegation fears.

The BBC's Steve Wilson: "Just three points from nine points will test Graham Taylor"
Keane, who began his career under Watford boss Graham Taylor during his spell as Wolves manager, showed little sympathy for his former mentor as he helped swat the Hornets with a virtuoso display.

The £6m summer signing from Molineux tormented the visitors with his close control and vision.

The only real surprise was that Keane only found the target once.

But Steve Froggatt, Mustapha Hadji and Gary McAllister were on hand to score to ensure the result reflected the Sky Blues' dominance.

Watford began brightly enough, but they were simply overwhelmed as they crashed to their seventh successive defeat.

Early promise

Coventry had a let-off after just five minutes when Paul Telfer headed a Micah Hyde corner against his own bar.

[ image: City on top: On-loan Belgian Cedric Roussel heads clear for Coventry]
City on top: On-loan Belgian Cedric Roussel heads clear for Coventry
Charlie Miller headed just over and City keeper Magnus Hedman saved from Tommy Smith as the visitors threatened in the opening period.

But Coventry recovered their composure and went ahead after 18 minutes.

Froggatt headed a Hadji corner into the path of Keane, who volleyed home from 12 yards.

The Republic of Ireland marksman turned goal provider for City's second after 34 minutes, setting up Froggatt, who raced into the Watford area and slammed the ball past the last defender positioned on the goal-line.

Keane and McAllister both came close as Coventry continued to dominate, but they did not increase the scoring until two minutes into the second half, when the victory was wrapped up.

Froggatt was again central to the move, as he provided the cross that Hadji controlled before smacking a fierce shot into the roof of the net.

Skipper McAllister completed the scoring from the penalty spot on 62 minutes after Steve Palmer handled under pressure from Keane.

And the last word rightly rested with Keane, who had two further chances, as a 20-yard shot flew just wide and Chamberlain kept out a close-range effort.


Coventry: Hedman, Telfer, Shaw, Williams, Hall, Hadji, McAllister, Palmer, Froggatt, Keane, Roussel. Subs: Ogrizovic, Breen, Strachan, Eustace, McSheffrey.

Watford: Chamberlain, Gibbs, Palmer, Panayi, Lyttle, Johnson, Hyde, Easton, Miller, Wooter, Smith. Subs: Day, Ngonge, Gudmundsson, Ward, Perpetuini.

Referee: P Durkin (Dorset)

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