Coventry comeback stuns Millwall as Wright scores twice

11 February 2024 0 By Total Football News

Coventry got back to winning ways and returned to the Championship play-off places after coming from behind to beat Millwall 2-1.

The Sky Blues' impressive 10-match unbeaten run had been ended by Norwich eight days earlier and the threat of a second defeat in succession lingered for more than an hour after 18-year-old Romain Esse had slammed home for Millwall on only his second league start of the season.

But, in the space of three second-half minutes, Haji Wright coolly rolled in a penalty and then beat Lions goalkeeper Matija Sarkic at his near post to turn the game in the Coventry's favour.

They move level on points with, but also above of, Sunderland into sixth in the table with 15 games to play, while Millwall stay 18th, with a gap of only four points between themselves and the relegation zone.

How Coventry kept themselves at the heart of the play-off hunt

There was a high tempo at the CBS from the first whistle. Millwall's George Honeyman forced an important save from Brad Collins inside 35 seconds, while at the other end, Wright's shot somehow hit the post twice before being cleared.

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Millwall take the lead against Coventry thanks to an early strike from Romain Esse

Twelve minutes in, the Lions - without a win since New Year's Day - threw the formbook out of the window. Zian Flemming drove into the box off the left flank and, fortuitously, managed to roll the ball along the floor for Esse to bury the opener

The visitors had chances to make it 2-0 as Michael Obafemi connected with Danny McNamara's pull-back, but failed to make Collins work, and Joe Bryan chested down a poor delivery and arrowed his shot past the right-hand post.

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Haji Wright scores from the penalty spot as Coventry draw level against Millwall

Coventry had their fair share of openings, too. Victor Torp's dipping free-kick was tipped over by Sarkic and Wright guided a Milan van Ewijk cross over the bar, before Kasey Palmer's shot, which looked destined for the top-left corner, was blocked by the head of Wes Harding.

By the hour mark, there was no real sign of Millwall's lead being cancelled out, or extended, for that matter.

Wright scores his second of the game as he fires Coventry 2-1 up

That all changed when the hosts were awarded a penalty after Spurs loanee Japhet Tanganga's clumsy tackle on Wright, who rolled home to equalise with 23 minutes to play.

And the in-form American - who scored just twice in his first 15 games since a summer move from Danish club Sonderjyske - took his tally to five in his last seven by latching onto Callum O'Hare's pass and tucking a shot past Sarkic, which won the game.

Robins 'fine' over rock paper scissors penalty antics from Coventry pair

Coventry manager Mark Robins joked he was "going to kill" Wright and O'Hare over their unconventional way of deciding who would take a penalty in their 2-1 victory over Millwall.

Wright won an impromptu game of rock paper scissors between the two, before converting the spot-kick.

"Rock paper scissors? I'm going to kill them.

"For me, it's about who's confident to take the penalty.

"Now, Callum's confident, Haji was a regular penalty taker in Turkey (with Antalyaspor), so I've got no problem and then if I get involved with that then it obviously puts doubt in somebody's head.

"So, let them sort it out and if they miss it then they're in trouble, aren't they, but thankfully they've got the wherewithal and the calm heads to deal with that situation.

"The good thing is they both want to score, they both want to take the penalty, they both want to get on the scoresheet.

"I think that, obviously, you've got a situation where there's two really decent penalty takers there, but it needs to be a little bit more scientific than that.

"They've obviously sorted it out between themselves and that's fine."

Edwards: Too many points escaping Millwall

Millwall's Joe Edwards:

"It's a really frustrating position that we're in at the moment because you constantly have games like this where there's a lot to be pleased with.

"We start well, we execute a lot of what we talk about and, it's been more so in our home games, today we get the goal that our start deserves then have an opportunity to get the second.

"That makes it a completely different game, not only for them but it also it relieves the constant stress the defensive part of your team has to live with when you're facing the likes of the attacking players they've got.

"The problem for us is as a group, those of us who live it every day - that's players, staff and fans - it's been a bit of a recurring theme.

"There's too many points getting away from us at the moment, and it's frustrating."

What's next?

Both teams are back in action on Wednesday February 14.

At 7.45pm, Coventry face Plymouth at Home Park, while slightly later at 8pm, Millwall host Ipswich at The Den.

Both matches will be available to watch live on Sky Sports Football Red Button.

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