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BBC Sport's Stuart Hall
Rounds up the action from Maine Road
 real 14k

Saturday, 27 January, 2001, 18:37 GMT
Goater strike sinks Sky Blues
John Eustace and Tony Grant
John Eustace clashes with Tony Grant
Manchester City 1-0 Coventry City

Substitute Shaun Goater stunned Coventry City as he headed Manchester City's winning goal in the final seconds of their FA Cup fourth round tie.

Luckless Coventry dominated the battle between the Premiership strugglers at Maine Road, but the closest they came to a winning goal was John Eustace's shot that struck the post after 16 minutes.

However, they would have settled for a replay at Highfield Road, but were cruelly denied when Goater swooped to head home Tony Grant's corner deep in injury time.

With Mustapha Hadji and Youseff Chippo on international duty and David Thompson suspended, Strachan, under pressure from fans after five consecutive defeats, was forced to field a depleted side.

However, they started well and forced a great chance after 12 minutes. A poor back pass allowed Craig Bellamy and Jay Bothroyd through.

Nicky Weaver did enough to put off the former, while Paul Ritchie's well-timed tackle foiled Bothroyd.

Sky Blues ascendant

And the Sky Blues, playing in unfamiliar navy, pieced together a brilliant move after 16 minutes.

After some fine forward movement, Bellamy's exquisite flick set up John Eustace, but his fine shot came back off the post with Weaver beaten.

Coventry belied their lowly league position with some incisive approach play. Indeed, they rocked the home side to such an extent that City manager Joe Royle decided to shake things up in the 33rd minute, bringing on Laurent Charvet for Paul Ritchie.

Bellamy and Whitley
Craig Bellamy tussles with Jeff Whitley
Marcus Hall put across a teasing cross after 25 minutes, while minutes later, Eustace headed tamely wide from Lee Carsley's centre.

Manchester City broke out for Tony Grant to register their first shot on target on the half-hour mark, but the recalled Magnus Hedman saved easily.

Coventry squandered another gilt-edged chance after 42 minutes, with Bellamy heading wide when well placed.


We got some pride back this week. It was a fantastic performance and taking chances was our only problem
  Gordon Strachan, Coventry manager
The Welsh international striker turned provider soon after, playing through Bothroyd, but Weaver saved with his legs.

Bellamy denied

Coventry started the second half positively but the first chance of note fell to City with Hedman pulling off an excellent save to turn away Danny Granville's free kick.

At the other end, Bellamy was continuing to fritter away his good work further out with wayward finishing.

He managed to get around Weaver after 53 minutes, but the City defence got back to clear.


I hope its an omen and we have more luck in the second half of the season. We needed a home win and we have been fortunate.
  Joe Royle, Man City manager
Bellamy brilliantly got behind the home defence after 62 minutes and expertly pulled the ball back, but City somehow scrambled clear.

Bellamy continued to look menacing in the closing stages, and his cross was headed inches wide by the unfortunate Eustace after 88 minutes.

Goater lifted a shot over the 'keeper and the bar and then had a "goal" chalked off for offside within seconds befire delivering the coup de grace.


Man City: Weaver, Morrison, Prior, Ritchie, Dunne, Granville, Haaland, Whitley, Grant, Huckerby, Wanchope.
Subs: Goater, Wiekens, Wright-Phillips, Charvet, McKinney. Coventry: Hedman, Edworthy, Breen, Williams, Shaw, Eustace, Carsley, Quinn, Hall, Bellamy, Bothroyd.
Subs: Kirkland, Aloisi, Telfer, Delorge, Guerrero.

Referee: D Elleray (Harrow-on-the-Hill)

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See also:

25 Jan 01 |  Man City
Man City land Kanchelskis
21 Jan 01 |  Coventry City
Strachan fends off Coventry flak
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