The FA Cup - Third Round
Coventry2Stoke1

Coventry City 2-1 Stoke City

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FA Cup: Coventry 2-1 Stoke highlights

Coventry City claimed a shock FA Cup third-round victory over Premier League Stoke City as manager Mark Robins called for Sky Blues fans to return to the club.

Jordan Willis' towering header put the League Two side ahead, before the defender felled Ramadan Sobhi after the break and Charlie Adam levelled from the spot.

But right-back Jack Grimmer fired his side back ahead from outside the area with 20 minutes to play and Coventry held on for an historic victory.

After the game Stoke boss Mark Hughes was sacked following a run of six defeats in eight matches.

Twenty years ago Coventry were a Premier League side attracting home crowds of over 20,000.

But this season, having been relegated to English football's fourth tier for the first time since 1959, and with continuing unrest under owners Sisu, the average attendance at the Ricoh Arena has fallen to an average of just 7,500.

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"The atmosphere was outstanding and the supporters desperately want to grab on to something," Robins said of Saturday's 14,199-strong crowd.

"They're lifeblood of the club. Some are staying away at the moment but we want them back.

"I can't ask them to come, as it's so expensive. But we need every penny we can in the transfer market. We're trying to build something."

Stoke showed their quality in the first period as two of manager Hughes' four changes justified their starts from the off.

Stephen Ireland and Mame Biram Diouf twice combined well in the box but Stoke failed to take their chances and the home side took the lead through Willis, from debutant Jordan Maguire-Drew's corner.

The visitors turned the screw after the break as first-half hero Willis conceded a penalty, but when the Stoke players failed to close down Grimmer on the edge of the area, the defender took his chance and beat Jack Butland at his near post.

There was a delay in play in the final minutes of the game as frustrations boiled over and a flare was thrown on to the pitch, but it was the Coventry fans who were left celebrating an unlikely win.

City on the up

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In 1987 Coventry City beat Tottenham Hotspur 3-2 at Wembley to lift the FA Cup, but in the 31 years since, the Midlands club have endured a spectacular fall from grace.

Twenty years ago Coventry were a Premier League side, 10 years ago they were competing against Saturday's opponents Stoke in the Championship, but this season they began life as a League Two side.

Off the field, the Sky Blues' unrest was compounded when they were put into administration in 2013 and they were forced to spend a year in exile in Northampton in 2013-14 because of a dispute over stadium rent.

But despite their fans' frustration with owners Sisu, the side have made a bright start in League Two, winning four of their five games over the festive period to climb into the automatic promotion places.

The end for Hughes

Stoke fans at the Ricoh Arena
Stoke City have lost eight of their last 11 games

A desperate run had plunged Stoke into the relegation zone and manager Hughes was in dire need of a win - even against a League Two side in the FA Cup.

But instead Stoke exited the competition to a team from the fourth tier or below, while themselves playing in the top flight, for the first time since January 1938.

In their 1-0 Premier League defeat by Newcastle on New Year's Day, a handful of Stoke supporters displayed banners demanding Hughes be sacked, and they had their way on Saturday evening when the Welshman's departure was confirmed.

They should have had the quality to overcome a resurgent Sky Blues side but once again they lacked a clinical goal-scorer and the banners came back out after Coventry's first goal.

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Diouf made a bright start without hitting the target, while his strike partner Saido Berahino was barely noticeable for much of the game.

And despite boasting a far stronger bench - with Peter Crouch and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting introduced in the latter stages - neither could make a meaningful contribution as Coventry's defence held strong under full fire at the end.

'Manchester United away would be perfect' - what the managers said

Coventry City manager Mark Robins: "For us it's brilliant, we're in the fourth-round draw. Hopefully we'll get a big club away from home - Manchester United away would be perfect.

"I'm proud. Regardless of the current troubles at Stoke, and the pressure on them, we equipped ourselves really well. We went toe-to-toe with them. We could have been 3-0 up in the first half."

Stoke manager Mark Hughes speaking before his sacking: "It's clearly a difficult time for us. When we make mistakes, they're getting penalised. We're not giving ourselves the right defensive platform at the moment and when that happens you're always vulnerable.

"Clearly, the only way to quieten down the noise around the club is to win games. We need to turn it around and quickly. We're good enough in this league - we've proved it during my tenure - but we've got to be better in key moments.

"We're all under pressure. I can take the pressure and the focus. I'm not naive and I realise people will talk about my position. But we've got good owners who will make the right decisions for the club. They have done before and they'll do it again."

Line-ups

Coventry

  • 13O'Brien
  • 2Grimmer
  • 4Willis
  • 12Davies
  • 3Stokes
  • 17Maguire-DrewSubstituted forStevensonat 63'minutes
  • 30Bayliss
  • 8Doyle
  • 26ShipleySubstituted forHaynesat 90+1'minutes
  • 9Biamou
  • 10McNulty

Substitutes

  • 1Burge
  • 15Hyam
  • 24Haynes
  • 28Maycock
  • 31Stevenson
  • 35Finn
  • 38Ponticelli

Stoke

  • 1Butland
  • 20CameronSubstituted forCrouchat 52'minutes
  • 6Zouma
  • 5Wimmer
  • 42Edwards
  • 4AllenBooked at 35mins
  • 16AdamSubstituted forShaqiriat 75'minutes
  • 32Sobhi
  • 7IrelandBooked at 26minsSubstituted forChoupo-Motingat 72'minutes
  • 18Diouf
  • 9Berahino

Substitutes

  • 10Choupo-Moting
  • 14Afellay
  • 22Shaqiri
  • 24Fletcher
  • 25Crouch
  • 33Grant
  • 36Souttar
Referee:
Martin Atkinson
Attendance:
14,199

Match Stats

Home TeamCoventryAway TeamStoke
Possession
Home30%
Away70%
Shots
Home11
Away29
Shots on Target
Home4
Away6
Corners
Home2
Away10
Fouls
Home7
Away9

Live Text

Match ends, Coventry City 2, Stoke City 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Coventry City 2, Stoke City 1.

Foul by Thomas Edwards (Stoke City).

Maxime Biamou (Coventry City) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Attempt missed. Peter Crouch (Stoke City) header from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Xherdan Shaqiri with a cross following a corner.

Corner, Stoke City. Conceded by Ben Stevenson.

Attempt missed. Kurt Zouma (Stoke City) right footed shot from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Peter Crouch.

Substitution

Substitution, Coventry City. Ryan Haynes replaces Jordan Shipley.

Corner, Stoke City. Conceded by Chris Stokes.

Corner, Stoke City. Conceded by Liam O'Brien.

Attempt saved. Peter Crouch (Stoke City) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Thomas Edwards.

Corner, Stoke City. Conceded by Tom Bayliss.

Attempt missed. Mame Biram Diouf (Stoke City) header from the right side of the six yard box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Kevin Wimmer.

Foul by Kurt Zouma (Stoke City).

Maxime Biamou (Coventry City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Attempt blocked. Ramadan Sobhi (Stoke City) header from the centre of the box is blocked.

Attempt saved. Mame Biram Diouf (Stoke City) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Attempt missed. Mame Biram Diouf (Stoke City) left footed shot from the centre of the box is high and wide to the left.

Attempt blocked. Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting (Stoke City) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Thomas Edwards with a cross.

Offside, Coventry City. Tom Bayliss tries a through ball, but Maxime Biamou is caught offside.

Attempt blocked. Xherdan Shaqiri (Stoke City) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Attempt blocked. Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting (Stoke City) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

Attempt blocked. Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting (Stoke City) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

Attempt blocked. Saido Berahino (Stoke City) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked.

Hand ball by Maxime Biamou (Coventry City).

Attempt saved. Peter Crouch (Stoke City) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Joe Allen.

Corner, Stoke City. Conceded by Chris Stokes.

Attempt blocked. Mame Biram Diouf (Stoke City) header from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Xherdan Shaqiri with a cross.

Corner, Stoke City. Conceded by Jack Grimmer.

Foul by Peter Crouch (Stoke City).

Tom Davies (Coventry City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Offside, Coventry City. Jordan Shipley tries a through ball, but Maxime Biamou is caught offside.

Substitution

Substitution, Stoke City. Xherdan Shaqiri replaces Charlie Adam.

Substitution

Substitution, Stoke City. Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting replaces Stephen Ireland.

Attempt missed. Stephen Ireland (Stoke City) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left.

Joe Allen (Stoke City) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Maxime Biamou (Coventry City).

Goal!

Goal! Coventry City 2, Stoke City 1. Jack Grimmer (Coventry City) right footed shot from outside the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Tom Bayliss.

Attempt blocked. Kevin Wimmer (Stoke City) header from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Mame Biram Diouf.

Corner, Stoke City. Conceded by Chris Stokes.

goal

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