League One
Coventry1Sheff Utd2

Coventry City 1-2 Sheffield United

Coventry City
Coventry City fans came on to the pitch in the 86th minute

Coventry City fans staged a pitch invasion before Sheffield United's Billy Sharp consigned the Sky Blues to a sixth straight defeat in League One.

The Sky Blues, who are 21st and on their worst run for 43 years, looked to have earned a draw when Dan Agyei equalised Sharp's first-half opener.

But there was a late twist after home fans protesting at City's owners Sisu had held up the game for six minutes.

When play resumed, Sharp hit a late winner to lift the Blades to second.

The visitors led when Sharp pounced on the loose ball from Jordan Turnbull's clearance to drill a low, angled right-foot shot into the right corner - his first goal in six games.

Andre Wright powered a volley just over for the home side as half time approached and, within six minutes of the restart, Coventry were level from Agyei's deflected left-foot shot.

The Blades' Caolan Lavery twice curled shots against the right post, either side of Marvin Sordell shooting just wide at the other end.

Then came the pitch invasion which stopped the match and forced referee David Webb to take both teams off.

After a public address system announcement pleading with fans to leave the pitch while respecting their "right to protest", the game restarted.

Shortly afterwards Sharp blasted home from close range after his first effort was saved to give Chris Wilder's side all three points.

Coventry's continued protest

It is more than two years since Coventry returned to the Ricoh Arena after a season in exile in Northampton, thinking their troubles were over. But they are now a club in crisis.

They do not own their ground, their academy has been taken over by their Ricoh landlords Wasps and they are in danger of a return to the Football League's basement for the first time since 1959.

And Coventry fans' protests against Sisu, the club's owners for the past nine years, have become increasingly hostile this season.

They co-staged a plastic 'pigs might fly' protest with Charlton fans, then held a mock funeral procession at their last home game against MK Dons.

This time, after a peaceful anti-Sisu carol singing protest outside the stadium, with witty, adapted lyrics, the mood became more ugly inside.

There was constant loud whistling from the first minute, followed by an intimidating mass procession in the direction of the pitch-side stewards, with a lone fan getting on the pitch in the first half and briefly stopping the game - all to a constant backdrop of chants of 'We Want Sisu Out'.

Coventry interim boss Mark Venus told BBC Coventry & Warwickshire:

"The pitch invasion had no bearing on the result. They had more quality but we matched them up until the last few minutes. It is 90 minutes, then we came back on and it didn't happen for us. But we have to be more street wise in both boxes.

"We worked really hard and the longer the game went on the more threat we had. But to give a late goal away says where we are at the moment. Everything seems to go against us.

"The football club needs a manager to take the team forward and we will work hard to get that person in before January. The boys have to pick themselves up, dust themselves down and keep working hard.

"Everyone could see the effort. Everyone gave it their best shot. But we didn't get over the line with a point, we got over the line with nothing."

Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder told BBC Radio Sheffield:

"That's twice that's happened to us, at Charlton, now here. It was all set up that something was going to happen. It's disrupted the game. It's poor.

"I have a bitter sweet taste in my mouth. We're talking about stuff that's off the pitch, in the stands, which is a sad day.

"We haven't played well. The opposition can count themselves unlucky not to get a result. This has been our least impressive performance in this run.

"But the heart and desire to go and win was immense. We're lucky we've got someone like Billy Sharp to get us a result."

Line-ups

Coventry

  • 23Charles-Cook
  • 30Kelly-Evans
  • 2Willis
  • 4TurnbullBooked at 82mins
  • 15Page
  • 6Rose
  • 5Bigirimana
  • 12McCann
  • 9AgyeiSubstituted forThomasat 69'minutes
  • 17SordellBooked at 90mins
  • 21WrightSubstituted forLameirasat 74'minutes

Substitutes

  • 8Lameiras
  • 10Jones
  • 11Reid
  • 13Gadzhev
  • 20Tudgay
  • 27Thomas
  • 34Addai

Sheff Utd

  • 25Moore
  • 5O'Connell
  • 6Basham
  • 19Ebanks-Landell
  • 18Freeman
  • 21DuffySubstituted forWhitemanat 89'minutes
  • 15CouttsSubstituted forClarkeat 75'minutes
  • 4Fleck
  • 24Lafferty
  • 10Sharp
  • 11DoneSubstituted forLaveryat 63'minutes

Substitutes

  • 3Hussey
  • 9Lavery
  • 12Ramsdale
  • 13Wright
  • 14Brown
  • 23Whiteman
  • 27Clarke
Referee:
David Webb
Attendance:
8,801

Match Stats

Home TeamCoventryAway TeamSheff Utd
Possession
Home46%
Away54%
Shots
Home9
Away17
Shots on Target
Home2
Away6
Corners
Home4
Away6
Fouls
Home8
Away17

Live Text

Match ends, Coventry City 1, Sheffield United 2.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Coventry City 1, Sheffield United 2.

Foul by Chris Basham (Sheffield United).

Chris McCann (Coventry City) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Booking

Marvin Sordell (Coventry City) is shown the yellow card.

Substitution

Substitution, Sheffield United. Benjamin Whiteman replaces Mark Duffy.

Attempt blocked. George Thomas (Coventry City) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

Goal!

Goal! Coventry City 1, Sheffield United 2. Billy Sharp (Sheffield United) left footed shot from very close range to the centre of the goal.

Attempt saved. Billy Sharp (Sheffield United) right footed shot from very close range is saved in the centre of the goal.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Foul by Gael Bigirimana (Coventry City).

Caolan Lavery (Sheffield United) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Hand ball by Leon Clarke (Sheffield United).

Attempt saved. Mark Duffy (Sheffield United) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Attempt blocked. Mark Duffy (Sheffield United) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Attempt missed. Leon Clarke (Sheffield United) header from the centre of the box misses to the right.

Booking

Jordan Turnbull (Coventry City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Jordan Turnbull (Coventry City).

Billy Sharp (Sheffield United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt saved. John Fleck (Sheffield United) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Attempt blocked. Chris Basham (Sheffield United) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

Attempt blocked. Billy Sharp (Sheffield United) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Corner, Sheffield United. Conceded by Chris McCann.

Caolan Lavery (Sheffield United) hits the right post with a right footed shot from the left side of the box.

Attempt missed. Marvin Sordell (Coventry City) left footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left.

Substitution

Substitution, Sheffield United. Leon Clarke replaces Paul Coutts.

Foul by Gael Bigirimana (Coventry City).

John Fleck (Sheffield United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Substitution

Substitution, Coventry City. Ruben Lameiras replaces Andre Wright.

Jordan Willis (Coventry City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Billy Sharp (Sheffield United).

Caolan Lavery (Sheffield United) hits the right post with a right footed shot from the left side of the box.

Attempt blocked. Chris McCann (Coventry City) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Foul by Chris McCann (Coventry City).

Caolan Lavery (Sheffield United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Substitution

Substitution, Coventry City. George Thomas replaces Daniel Agyei.

Attempt missed. Daniel Agyei (Coventry City) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left.

Gael Bigirimana (Coventry City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by John Fleck (Sheffield United).

Foul by Mark Duffy (Sheffield United).

goal

Scores, Results & Fixtures

Thursday 15th December 2016

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Scunthorpe21135343202344
2Sheff Utd22135440231744
3Bolton21134428121643
4Bradford219932718936
5Rochdale2110383027333
6Peterborough2095633231032
7Fleetwood219573327632
8Southend218762928131
9Bristol Rovers218673337-430
10Wimbledon217863025529
11Charlton2061042619728
12Millwall208483232028
13Northampton217683130127
14Oxford Utd217682525027
15Port Vale217682632-627
16Walsall216872430-626
17Gillingham217592936-726
18MK Dons216692630-424
19Swindon2165102132-1123
20Bury2162133042-1220
21Coventry2247111930-1119
22Oldham203981222-1018
23Chesterfield2153132639-1318
24Shrewsbury2146112034-1418
View full League One table

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