Coventry City give Stevenage festive hangover

THREE goals in the final 12 minutes saw Stevenage blow a goal lead to lose 3-1 at The Lamex Stadium to Coventry City on Boxing Day.

Boro had led at the break through a Lucas Akins penalty, however Richard Wood, Carl Baker and David McGoldrick all netted for the Sky Blues who stretched their unbeaten run to nine games.

Boro boss Gary Smith made three changes to the side which fell to a 2-1 loss to Crawley with Greg Tansey, Lee Hills and Miguel Comminges dropping to the bench with Darius Charles, Filipe Morais and Anthony Grant starting.

An enjoyable fast-flowing first period burst into life in the opening minute.

Gary McSheffrey set 17-goal striker McGoldrick, who is on loan from Nottingham Forest, through one-on-one with keeper Steve Arnold who saved from the City man with his legs.

Play switched to the other end and Robin Shroot had an effort block from 20 yards before Morais curled a free-kick over.

The hosts should have netted on 10 minutes. A lung-bursting run from right-back David Gray ended with him crossing for Akins who skied his shot from six yards.

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Mark Robins’ Sky Blues, playing in yellow, looked dangerous and went close twice in a minute.

Captain Baker picked out McGoldrick who shot low across Arnold from the right of goal, but the Stevenage stopper parried the effort to safety. The keeper was then well-placed to save a long-range McSheffrey attempt.

Boro went ahead just after the half-hour mark from the penalty spot. Morais was fouled by Baker and Akins netted the twice-taken spot-kick high into the net.

In an even first 45 minutes, City were denied a leveller soon afterwards as another McGoldrick effort was stopped by Arnold.

Weather conditions worsened in the second half as Coventry started the brighter. The majority of the half saw Coventry on the front foot with Boro soaking up pressure and playing on the break.

The deserved City leveller came on 78 minutes.

A corner was punched to the edge of the box by Arnold, the ball was collected by John Fleck who drilled a shot back into the area, a deflection saw it fall to Richard Wood who couldn’t miss from a couple of yards out.

Boro went close to regaining the lead when Mark Roberts’ header from a corner was saved by Murphy with three minutes left.

But the winner came just seconds later as Baker made up for his penalty giveaway curling home from 20 yards on 89 minutes.

To add gloss to the score hotshot McGoldrick got his name on the scoresheet for the 18th time this term chipping Arnold from 25 yards after City broke away.