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The BBC's Ron Jones
"In truth they looked so dispirited"
 real 28k

Saturday, 6 May, 2000, 16:37 GMT 17:37 UK
Wednesday edge closer to the drop
Sheffield Wednesday look destined for Division One
Coventry 4-1 Sheffield Wed

A spirited performance from Coventry skipper Gary McAllister sent Sheffield Wednesday ever closer to relegation at Highfield Road.

McAllister - whose future with the Sky Blues is shrouded in doubt - scored twice to make it a winning send-off for veteran goalkeeper Steve Ogrizovic, who is retiring at the age of 42.

Results elsewhere mean that the Owls are still clinging to their lives in the top flight by the narrowest of margins.

They are still six points adrift of fourth from bottom Bradford with an inferior goal difference and would have to win their last two games and hope the Bantams slip up in their final match.

But on this performance that scenario looks a forlorn hope.

Mustapha Hadji challenges for the ball
Coventry were quickly onto the offensive and Robbie Keane shot into the side netting from a narrow angle after a one-two with Hadji.

At the other end Alan Quinn volleyed over when well placed to give early hope to the travelling Owls supporters - but the Sky Blues slowly but surely started to turn the screw.

Keane miskicked after being forced out wide by Pressman following another free-flowing move involving Chippo, Hadji and Zuniga.

McAllister was only inches too high with a dipping effort from the edge of the box - but the Sky Blues skipper was not to be denied and he broke the deadlock in the 39th minute.

Gary Breen's long pass was dummied by Keane and then flicked by Zuniga into the path of McAllister.

The former Scotland skipper was coolness itself as he advanced into the Owls penalty area before slipping his low shot wide of the exposed Pressman.

Coventry press forward

The second period began in the same vein with Coventry pressing relentlessly for a second goal.

In a rare Wednesday raid Andy Booth got in a shot which contained plenty of power but flew straight at Ogrizovic who was cheered every time he touched the ball.

But in the 67th minute that man McAllister was instrumental in helping Coventry to double their lead.

His fierce shot cannoned back off the crossbar - and Zuniga reacted first to head in the rebound.

Three minutes later the game was all over as Chippo laid the ball into the path of the onrushing McAllister who crashed a low drive wide of Pressman.

Coventry were now rampant and Hadji made it 4-0 after Zuniga's shot had been parried away.

Gilles de Bilde scored an 82nd minute consolation effort to ruin Ogrizovic's hopes of keeping a clean sheet.

But it hardly mattered and at the final whistle he embarked on an emotional lap of honour with even the Wednesday fans joining in the applause.


Coventry: Ogrizovic, Shaw, Williams, Breen, Telfer, Hadji, Whelan, McAllister, Chippo, Keane, Zuniga. Subs: Hedman, Normann, Eustace, McPhee, Pead.

Sheff Wed: Pressman, Nolan, Atherton, Walker, Hinchcliffe, Jonk, Horne, Quinn, Alexandersson, De Bilde, Booth. Subs: Srnicek, Sonner, Sibon, Cresswell, Haslam.

Referee: S Bennett (Orpington)

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