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Saturday, 7 December, 2002, 17:47 GMT
Stoke 1-2 Coventry

Coventry ended a run of five straight defeats as they got the better of a bad-tempered affair at the Britannia Stadium.

Two Jay Bothroyd goals in the first 21 minutes were enough for the Sky Blues to record their fourth away win of the season in a match which was littered with 13 yellow cards.

Stoke have picked up just one point from the last nine games and had defenders Wayne Thomas and Brynjar Gunnarsson sent off as both picked up two yellow cards each.

The first half was memorable for two similar goals from 20-year-old Bothroyd, who had not scored in the previous eight games.

And Stoke's former Ajax winger Peter Hoekstra bagged his first goal in 14 months to keep the home side in the hunt.

But after the break, Thomas was sent off for a second bookable offence in the 73rd minute, then three minutes from time Icelander Gunnarsson followed him down the tunnel.

Bothroyd double

It was the visitors who took the game by the scruff of the neck, with the combination of Bothroyd and Youssef Safri producing two goals in the space of five minutes.

Safri fed Bothroyd and the youngster sprinted clear of defensive cover before planting his shot wide of the dive of Steve Banks, making his first start after a loan move from Bolton.

The goal lifted the Sky Blues, and having found the route to goal they created almost a carbon copy of that strike five minutes later.

Again it was Safri linking up with Bothroyd that opened up the path to goal, pitting the youngster against ex-Sky Blues defender Marcus Hall.

But Hall mistimed his challenge, leaving Bothroyd to go on and fire his second past Banks.

Hoekstra gave Stoke a lifeline 10 minutes before the break when he reduced the arrears with a free-kick from 20 yards.

With six players already in the book in the first 45 minutes, Stoke's James O'Connor and substitute Chris Greenacre were then booked in the second-half, before both Thomas and Gunnarsson saw red.


Stoke: Banks, Thomas, Handyside, Shtanuk, Marcus Hall, Gudjonsson, O'Connor, Hoekstra, Gunnarsson, Iwelumo, Greenacre. Subs: Cutler, Cooke, Goodfellow, Marteinsson, Henry.

Coventry: Hyldgaard, Caldwell, Konjic, Shaw, Quinn, McAllister, Safri, Partridge, Bothroyd, Hignett, Holdsworth. Subs: Montgomery, Pead, McMaster, Pipe, Eustace.

Referee: A Hall (West Midlands)

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC Radio Stoke's Nigel Johnson
"13 defeats on the trot for Stoke"
Stoke boss Tony Pulis
"There wasn't a bad tackle in the game"

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