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Saturday, 28 October, 2000, 16:11 GMT 17:11 UK
Sunderland pile on Coventry misery
Niall Quinn
Niall Quinn was constantly in the action
Sunderland 1-0 Coventry

Emerson Thome's first goal for Sunderland made it a miserable week for Coventry City.

Gordon Strachan's side were hoping to bounce back from the 6-1 mauling against Chelsea - but they were empty-handed again after an uninspiring encounter.

Sunderland boss Peter Reid will be grateful for another clean sheet, and a rare moment of inspiration in the shape of Thome's 52nd minute header.

Coventry will point to Craig Bellamy's first half strike that was ruled out, but Strachan will be unhappy about telling another hard luck story.

Rain-lashed conditions at The Stadium of Light was making life difficult for both sets of players - but Coventry would have been happier with the first half.


It was very solid, resilient, but I think we got a break in the first-half. From where I was sitting, I thought Bellamy ran from behind our defender
  Peter Reid
Sunderland goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen was grateful to see a ninth-minute Mustapha Hadji shot fly narrowly wide.

Don Hutchison, who had earlier given Coventry goalkeeper Chris Kirkland a first taste of the action with a snapshot from the edge of the box, went down inside the area under Barry Quinn's challenge with 17 minutes gone, but the appeals of the home supporters were ignored.

Strachan
Gordon Strachan - frustrated
Bellamy forced another solid save from Sorensen in an end-to-end opening, but there was little to chose between the sides in the early exhanges.

Coventry thought they had taken the lead after 31 minutes when John Aloisi turned Jody Craddock easily on the edge of the penalty area and fired across the face of goal where Craig Bellamy shot home - but even as he turned to celebrate, the City striker sensed that an offside flag had dashed his hopes.


We're very disappointed that we didn't get any points, but we're happy with our performance. It was good, it was brave, it was imaginative, it was all the things I look for from my side
  Gordon Strachan

Bellamy was a threat to the home defence as he linked up well with Aloisi, while at the other end Kevin Phillips was working unselfishly to try to break down a determined Coventry rearguard.

All Coventry's good work was undone after 52 minutes, when powerful Brazilian Thome rose to meet a corner from Arca and powered home.

Coventry were convinced there had been a push in the penalty area - and goalkeeper Chris Kirkland was booked for his over-zealous protests.


Sunderland: Sorensen, Makin, Gray, Craddock, Thome, Hutchison, Rae, Williams, Arca, Phillips, Quinn. Subs: Macho, Dichio, Thirlwell, Oster, Reddy.

Coventry: Kirkland, Shaw, Williams, Breen, Telfer, Guerrero, Hadji, Chippo, Quinn, Aloisi, Bellamy. Subs: Miller, Konjic, Eustace, Thompson, Roussel.

Referee: A Wiley (Burntwood)

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