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James Hanson’s headed double ensured City made a winning start to the league campaign for the first time in six years.
But it was sealed in dramatic fashion with the centre forward nodding home his late second barely seconds after Coventry had equalised for a second time.
Coventry had two big chances early on as City began nervously. Jordan Clarke lobbed over in the second minute as Alan Sheehan ball-watched, then Jim O’Brien burst through but could not direct his shot.
City responded with Hanson denied on the line by a frantic lunge from keeper Ryan Allsop before Billy Clarke set up Jason Kennedy on a counter-attack but the midfielder’s attempted back heel did not have enough power.
The home side continued to press and were rewarded after 27 minutes as Clarke’s cross was headed home by Hanson – his first goal since March 11.
Mark Yeates forced a fine save but the bubble was burst just before the break when Jordan Pickford was too easily beaten to a Coventry corner by Reda Johnson.
But the former Sheffield Wednesday centre half turned from hero to zero for the visitors within three minutes of the restart.
He wrestled Hanson from a corner and Premier League ref Mike Dean pointed to the spot – Sheehan sending Allsop the wrong way with a cool penalty.
Gary Liddle spared Pickford’s blushes when he cleared off the line after the young keeper missed another corner.
Coventry looked to have rescued their point though when Johnson forced home his second goal with two minutes to go.
But back came City straight from the kick-off as that man Hanson converted Kennedy’s cross in front of a wild Kop.
And that's the final whistle! City win opening league game for first time since 2008
And that's the final whistle! City win opening league game for first time since 2008
Shout for a Coventry penalty. Dean blows.... and books Fleck for the dive!
Frantic defending now boys...
.... not for long! Kennedy cross, HANSON heads home once again!
It's all square again. That man JOHNSON does it once more, following up after Pickford parries well from Tudgay's close-range header
Important tackle from Dolan to stop O'Brien's overlap but then gives ball away to Fleck. His shot is spectacularly pushed away by Pickford.... one for the cameras!
Sorry bout the Wifi break but back in time to see Aaron Mclean make his first appearance as he comes on for Clarke - rightly given a standing ovation. Man of the match
Coventry make their next change. It's Miller on for Clarke
Still feel City need the security of a third
Clarke tees up Dolan for a fizzing drive just past the post
Pickford owes Gary Liddle a drink for sparing his blushes by clearing off the line...
.... and I did as he misses punch from corner but City get away with it!!
Much better second half from Pickford in City's goal... hope I'm not tempting fate
— Craig Andrew (@CraigAndrew3) August 9, 2014
Good old-fashioned up and under from Darby and Hanson beats Allsop to it. Ball flies over Coventry bar
City make a sub, Knott makes way for Dolan and goes off to a standing ovation
Booking for Tudgay for foul on Gary Liddle
Another quick release from Pickford sets up City on the counter-attack. Clarke muscled out of it by the penalty area after tricking his way past namesake Jordan
.... but no card from the lenient Mr Dean. That will go down well on the Coventry bench
But Davies isn't going to get away with that block on Tudgay 30 yards out ...
Perfectly-timed tackle from Davies on McQuoid in the penalty area...
Coventry make the first change as Thomas is replaced by John Fleck (nephew of Robert)
Sheehan hasn't put a foot wrong since that spot of day dreaming right at the start
#bcafc definitely growing into this formation. Superb last 10 minutes.— James Ashton (@James_Ashton1) August 9, 2014
Sounds like Huddersfield fans aren't so happy.... 3-0 down at home and singing "you don't know what you're doing" to Mark Robins
Take Me Home is sounding good as City look for some breathing space with a third
Crowd is 14,621 with 1,406 Coventry fans
Mad scramble in the City box before Davies smothers close-range shot from Tudgay and Sheehan hacks it away
Billy Clarke has looked absolutely class today #bcafc
— Tom & Dom (@bantamsbanter) August 9, 2014
Sheehan, Clarke and Knott play a lovely triangle before the left back's cross is blocked by Johnson
City have the bit between their teeth again as Knott drags a first-time volley wide from just outside the box
And City are back in front as SHEEHAN sends Allsop the wrong way from the spot. City's first penalty since last November against the same opponents...
Foul by Johnson on Hanson..... City have a PENALTY!!
Circus defending from the visitors gifts City a corner to the amusement of the Kop
We're back underway as Yeates has an early shot charged down by Willis ...
Pickford needs to shake off any ill effects of that goal. Bad one to concede just when City looked to be taking control of the game
That's the half-time whistle and it's all square
Pickford beaten to that by an experienced, no nonsense central defender. The youngster's confidence looks knocked
@ParkerTandA very poor keeping from a corner that wasn't
— Chris Firth (@cris_firth) August 9, 2014
1-1... Breda Johnson, one of seven Coventry debutants, heads home from the corner. Poor marking, indecision from the Bantams
Hanson and Pickford get in each other's way from free-kick and Coventry win a corner
Kennedy follows Knott into Mike Dean's book for a strong challenge on Pugh
Rare mistake from Darby gifts possession to McQuoid but his angled run towards corner of the box halted by well-timed tackle by Davies
McQuoid gets in front of Davies to meet Pugh cross but skies his header into the Kop
That was James Hanson's first goal since March 11 when he scored at Colchester. Didn't get a goal - or barely a chance - in the friendlies
First booking of the season goes to Billy Knott for late challenge on Webster
After another wifi break, can report another good chance for City. Yeates cuts inside on his left foot but his curler is beaten away by Allsop...
Knott takes the ball off Swanson and feeds Clarke on the right. His cross is on the button and the big man makes no mistake to nod City in front
We have a goal.... James HANSON!
— Sam Shepherd (@SamShepherd95) August 9, 2014
Clarke takes the ball into the box and supplies Kennedy who tries a cheeky backheel but it lacks the proper connection to trouble Allsop
Corner, first of the game, to Coventry .... and Pickford claims before quickly dispatching upfield.
Massive chance for City as Clarke's knockback finds Hanson in front of goal. His initial effort is blocked by Webster, the rebound then bounces off the striker past keeper Allsop who recovers to hold on the line ...
Remember, City's ONLY penalty last season was here against Coventry ...
City shout for a push on Davies in Coventry penalty area but referee Dean waves play on. Parky not impressed
New season but unfortunately same old Valley Parade wifi issues.... apologies for the delays!
Chance for Coventry again. Well-weighted long ball from Pugh is well anticipated by O'Brien but his control takes him wide of Pickford and he drags shot across goal...
Proper tackle from Kennedy on Willis, held nothing back and the crowd enjoyed it
Nothing to threaten either goal since that very early - and very good - chance for Coventry wing back Jordan Clarke
Few early teething troubles for City's midfield. The ball's a bit of a hot potato at the moment
Coventry fans singing "We wanna go home, back to the Ricoh" ....
Leeds and Huddersfield both losing already ...
Stoppage in play allows a few players to sneak a drink. It's gonna be hot work out there today
Early cross from Kennedy but nobody in there to challenge keeper Ryan Allsop
Cracking atmosphere at both ends of the ground...
Would have been a terrible start for City. Real close thing...
Sheehan caught ball-watching from cross from left and Jordan Clarke nips in to lob over Pickford but just over the bar....
City kick off towards the TL Dallas Stand.... The season is underway
Here come the teams to a massive roar...
And a booming chorus of Take Me Home, Midland Road swirls around the stadium
A flag is waved in the JCT600 Stand - even the main stand is getting giddy for the big kick-off!
"That" song from Rudamental on the PA system.... the season is getting very close!
Ten minutes to kick off as the players head off for some final words of wisdom from Phil Parkinson in the dressing room. The anticipation is building ...
— Simon Parker (@ParkerTandA) August 9, 2014
Big cheer as Stephen Darby leads out the City team for their pre-match warm-up ....
— Coventry City (@Coventry_City) August 9, 2014
@ParkerTandA Hope Kennedy scores a hat-trick. Glad he has been given a chance
— Wendy Michallat(@wmichallat) August 9, 2014
Coventry expected to play 5-3-2 with Jordan Clarke (right) and Danny Pugh (left) as the wing-backs.
Think that's the reason Kennedy has got the nod over Dolan. He's right-footed and possibly has more positional discipline to go man for man in the middle.
Coventry team: Allsop, Willis, Pugh, Webster, Johnson, Thomas, McQuoid, Swanson, O'Brien, Tudgay, Clarke. Subs: Fleck, Miller, Daniels, Phillips, Haynes, Maddison, Burge.
First City game for Jason Kennedy since Sheffield United away on January 18. Has earned his second chance after impressing Phil Parkinson in pre-season.
Five league debuts in the City side today - plus a start for Jason Kennedy.
Summer captures Jordan Pickford, Gary Liddle, Alan Sheehan, Billy Knott and Billy Clarke are all included in the line-up to face Coventry.
Jason Kennedy replaces Matty Dolan from the team that played the final pre-season friendly last week against Hartlepool.
Filipe Morais, who signed on a short-term deal yesterday, is on the bench, which also includes Aaron Mclean.
The striker has not featured in any of the friendlies but returned to full training on Monday after recovering from a calf injury.
CITY: Pickford, Darby, McArdle, Davies, Sheehan, Liddle, Kennedy, Knott, Yeates, Clarke, Hanson. Subs: Meredith, Dolan, McLean, Shariff, Morais, Heaton, Urwin.
And here's the last time City won their opening league game six years ago .....
— Bradford City AFC (@officialbantams) August 9, 2014
Welcome to the Coral Windows Stadium for the start of another season. It's the first time City have opened the campaign at home since 2011 - and they have not won on the league's opening day since 2008.