O'Hare scores twice as Coventry beat Birmingham

Published on: 08 December 2023

Callum O'Hare scored his first goal for Coventry City since April 2022 - also against Birmingham City

Callum O'Hare scored his first Coventry City goals in more than 19 months as the Sky Blues comfortably beat Wayne Rooney's Birmingham City at the CBS Arena.

The former Aston Villa midfielder cut in from the right to fire past John Ruddy on the half hour.

He then dribbled his way sideways across the box before slamming home the clinching second goal on 77 minutes.

It was a fifth successive away defeat for Blues boss Rooney, whose side have picked up just five points from his nine games in charge - and have not earned a single point on their travels since 19 August, two months prior to his appointment.

    Relive Coventry's victory over Birmingham

Blues weakened by loss of defenders

Although Blues were weakened at the back by injuries, it could have been worse but for a string of saves by keeper John Ruddy.

Added to the expected loss of Ethan Laird, who was ruled out on Thursday with a groin injury, Blues were also without two more defenders - Cody Drameh, Laird's expected replacement, as well as Dion Sanderson.

That meant only a second start of the season for Marc Roberts, and recalls for Wales international Jordan James and striker Lukas Jutkiewicz, who was named skipper on his return to one of his old clubs.

But, since leaving Coventry, Jutkiewicz has played against his old club, never scored and never won - and a long way out he never looked like winning this one either.

The Sky Blues were without top scorer Matt Godden, who missed the game as his wife was in labour. But, on only his second start of the season after the best part of a year out following knee surgery, O'Hare stepped up to the plate.

Ruddy had already made one point-blank save from a well-struck O'Hare shot before the Sky Blues playmaker finally broke the deadlock.

After being slipped down the right by Tatsuhiro Sakamoto, O'Hare wriggled his way through three defenders before slipping a cheeky toe-poke past Ruddy.

After a half-decent Blues spell at the start of the second half, Coventry then pressed on looking to extend that lead.

The recalled Ellis Simms planted a header straight at Ruddy, co-striker Haji Wright was then denied at point blank range by Ruddy, who raced off his line to smother superbly. And the American striker then raced down the left and cut inside makeshift right-back Juninho Bacuna again, only to again be denied a second time by the Blues keeper.

Ruddy also had to dive acrobatically high to his left to keep out a stunning Milan van Ewijk free-kick, before keeping out a low shot from Sakamoto. But, 13 minutes from time, O'Hare settled it.

It had been 672 days since his last Coventry goal, when he opened the scoring. But his second came just 47 minutes later to lift the Sky Blues into 14th, five points shy of the play-offs, going into the rest of the weekend fixtures.

Who's next?

Mark Robins' Coventry now host Southampton on Wednesday before travelling to Leeds on Saturday.

Rooney's Blues are at Cardiff on Wednesday before hosting Championship leaders Leicester City at St Andrew's on Monday, 18 December.

Coventry City match-winner Callum O'Hare told BBC CWR:

"I don't think my friends and family will be too happy. But I'm buzzing. On top of the world.

"I don't think anyone truly realises just how much this means after being out injured for so long. And I'm not 100% yet.

"I had good contact with my first effort and he saved it, and I thought 'I'm going to have to put it lower'. And all I could so was toe-poke it past him.

"Haji Wright was close to scoring too. It won't be long before they start going in for him too. "

    Line-upsMatch StatsLive Text

Line-upsCoventry

Formation 4-3-3

40Collins27van Ewijk4Thomas15Kitching21Bidwell14Sheaf10O'Hare8Allen7Sakamoto9Simms11Wright

    40Collins27van Ewijk4Thomas15Kitching21Bidwell14Sheaf10O'Hare8Allen7Sakamoto9Simms11Wright

Substitutes

    2Binks3Dasilva5McFadzean6Kelly13Wilson22Latibeaudiere26Ayari28Eccles45Palmer

Birmingham

Formation 4-4-2

21Ruddy7Bacuna4Roberts44Aiwu3Buchanan11Miyoshi19James6Bielik28Stansfield10Jutkiewicz17Dembélé

    21Ruddy7BacunaBooked at 9mins4Roberts44AiwuBooked at 70mins3Buchanan11MiyoshiSubstituted forBurkeat 70'minutes19JamesBooked at 81mins6BielikSubstituted forSunjicat 83'minutes28StansfieldSubstituted forHoganat 70'minutes10JutkiewiczBooked at 75minsSubstituted forDonovanat 83'minutes17DembéléBooked at 56mins

Substitutes

    1Etheridge9Hogan20Gardner23Longelo24Oakley27Khela34Sunjic45Burke49Donovan

Referee:Sam AllisonAttendance:26,729Match StatsHome TeamCoventryAway TeamBirminghamPossessionHome56%Away44%ShotsHome16Away13Shots on TargetHome8Away6CornersHome6Away7FoulsHome11Away19Live Text Post update

Match ends, Coventry City 2, Birmingham City 0.

90'+5'Full Time

Second Half ends, Coventry City 2, Birmingham City 0.

90'+4'Post update

Attempt missed. Haji Wright (Coventry City) left footed shot from the left side of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Jamie Allen.

90'+3'Post update

Attempt blocked. Juninho Bacuna (Birmingham City) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Romelle Donovan.

90'+3'Post update

Foul by Jake Bidwell (Coventry City).

90'+3'Post update

Romelle Donovan (Birmingham City) wins a free kick on the right wing.

90'+2'Post update

Offside, Coventry City. Milan van Ewijk is caught offside.

90'+1'Post update

Corner, Birmingham City. Conceded by Bradley Collins.

90'+1'Post update

Attempt saved. Romelle Donovan (Birmingham City) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the top right corner. Assisted by Lee Buchanan.

89'Post update

Hand ball by Siriki Dembélé (Birmingham City).

88'Post update

Corner, Birmingham City. Conceded by Ben Sheaf.

87'Post update

Foul by Haji Wright (Coventry City).

87'Post update

Juninho Bacuna (Birmingham City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

85'Post update

Corner, Birmingham City. Conceded by Milan van Ewijk.

85'Post update

Attempt saved. Oliver Burke (Birmingham City) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

83'Substitution

Substitution, Birmingham City. Romelle Donovan replaces Lukas Jutkiewicz.

83'Substitution

Substitution, Birmingham City. Ivan Sunjic replaces Krystian Bielik.

83'Post update

Haji Wright (Coventry City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

83'Post update

Foul by Juninho Bacuna (Birmingham City).

81'Post update

Attempt missed. Tatsuhiro Sakamoto (Coventry City) left footed shot from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Jake Bidwell with a cross.

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Source: bbc.com

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