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Wednesday, 2 October, 2002, 22:33 GMT 23:33 UK
Coventry 8-0 Rushden

Gary McSheffrey led the Worthington Cup rout at Highfield Road as Rushden were sent spinning to their worse ever defeat.

The 20-year-old bagged a hat-trick to take his tally for the season to seven while Lee Mills (2), substitute Jay Bothroyd (2) and Robert Betts also found the back of the net.

It was a night to forget for Third Division Rushden, who finished the game with nine men after skipper Barry Hunter and John Dempster were both shown the red card.

The Sky Blues, who made four changes to the side that lost 3-2 to Millwall on Saturday, took the lead after nine minutes when McSheffrey swept home David Pipe's right-wing cross.

The home side doubled their lead midway through the first half when Diamonds goalkeeper Billy Turley made a hash of an attempted clearance, allowing Mills to slot it into an unguarded net.

It went from bad to worse for the visitors when Hunter received his third red card of the season after a foul on Mills.

Brian Talbot's side then conceded a third when McSheffrey headed home after 35 minutes, with Mills adding a fourth with a low left-foot shot from the edge of the area.

McSheffrey completed his hat-trick after the break when Safri found Betts, who squared the ball for the striker to slot it home.

Bothroyd, who replaced Mills at halftime, headed home on 61 minutes before Betts converted a penalty after Dempster was dismissed for handling in the area.

The substitute completed the scoring on 84 minutes when he prodded home a left-foot shot from close range.


Coventry: Debec, Caldwell, Konjic, Davenport, Quinn, Pipe, Safri, Betts, Partridge, Mills, McSheffrey. Subs: Hyldgaard, Shaw, Bothroyd, Ford, Stanford.

Rushden: Turley, Mustafa, Peters, Hunter, Setchell, Bell, Mills, Talbot, Gray, Hall, Wardley. Subs: Partridge, Bignot, Sollitt, Solkhon, Dempster.

Referee: G Salisbury (Lancashire).


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