Coventry City player ratings v Stoke City: Sky Blues stop the rot but can’t find killer touch

Coventry City player ratings from CoventryLive after the Sky Blues played out a goalless draw with Stoke

Ki-Jana Hoever of Stoke City and Haji Wright of Coventry City

Coventry City stopped the rot of four straight defeats but had to settle for a goalless draw as they were held at home by a resilient Stoke side at the CBS Arena.

Ellis Simms headed onto the post and Matty Godden had a volley punched clear as the Sky Blues enjoyed the better chances of the first half – a relatively pedestrian and cagey affair with neither side giving much away.

The home side continued to enjoy decent opportunities in an improved second half when Haji Wright headed onto the roof of the net, Simms blasted wide and Godden somehow couldn’t direct a header on target from a late corner to cap a frustrating afternoon in front of goal.

BRAD COLLINS: 6.5

Replaced first choice Ben Wilson to make his Championship debut for the Sky Blues and as rarely called upon in the first half an hour when he kept things simple in terms of passing out from the back. Commanded his box well when required and dropped low to deny Gayle with a routine save. Palmed clear a late corner in a steady display, albeit not really tested.

JOEL LATIBEAUDIERE: 7

The centre-half was deployed at right-back in favour of Milan van Ewijk and defended well, reading he flight of long balls over the top to head back to his keeper.

BOBBY THOMAS: 7

Calm and composed in an impressive first half when he won the ball and made decent use of it. Read the game well and made some decent tackles. Solid throughout.

Daniel Johnson of Stoke City and Jamie Allen of Coventry
Daniel Johnson of Stoke City and Jamie Allen of Coventry

LIAM KITCHING: 6.5

Aggressive in his defending and a decent threat from set-pieces, sending an early header goalwards from a deep free-kick.

JAKE BIDWELL: 7

Making his first Championship start of the season, the defender was deployed a left-back, getting forward well on the overlap and sent in a deep cross for a decent chance for Simms. Steady and impressed throughout, although his crossing was a bit hit and miss.

JOSH ECCLES: 7.5

Looked after the ball well and looked to play some nice passes down the channel to free up Ellis Simms in a confident performance from the lad. Won the ball off McNally to set up Simms, who blasted wide and made an important late clearance in the box.

BEN SHEAF: 6

Did a decent holding job in the middle of the park where he saw a string of decisions go against him in terms of fouls. Lifted an effort over the bar as he attempted to find a way through as City dominated but just couldn’t find the killer finish. Squandered possession late on.

Coventry City's Jake Bidwell (left) and Stoke City's Ben Pearson battle for the ball
Coventry City’s Jake Bidwell (left) and Stoke City’s Ben Pearson battle for the ball

JAMIE ALLEN: 6

Formed part of the midfield three and had City’s first attempt, albeit a fairly tame first time effort which failed to trouble the keeper. Fluffed a decent looking chance when set up by Haji after the break and had time to shoot on goal.

ELLIS SIMMS: 6

Strong in possession, the striker had the beating of left-back Enda Stevens and headed onto the outside of the post in the first half before teeing up Godden to force the keeper to save minutes later. Set up by Eccles but blasted wide.

MATTY GODDEN: 6.5

Deployed in the middle of the attacking three, Godden worked tirelessly to chase and press from the front and tested the keeper for the first time with a smart volley in the 27th minute. Passed up a glorious chance from a late corner when he couldn’t quite get his body shape right to connect with his head. Excellent shift.

HAJI WRIGHT: 7

Battled away to win possession out wide on the left of a front three where he was up against right-back Hoever and looked strong cutting into the box, albeit his final ball not always possessing the required quality to hurt Stoke. His first chance came early in the second half when he headed a Godden cross onto the roof of the net. Got into decent positions in and around the box.

Coventry City's Ellis Simms runs past Stoke City's Enda Stevens
Coventry City’s Ellis Simms runs past Stoke City’s Enda Stevens (Image: 2023 Getty Images)

SUBSTITUTES:

TATSUHIRO SAKAMOTO (70 mins, for Simms): 4.5

Deployed on the right of the front three but struggled to make the desired impact.

CALLUM O’HARE (70 mins, for Allen): 5.5

Lively and busy in the final third where he continues to find his touch after such a long time out.

Subs (not used): Ben Wilson (GK), Luis Binks, Jay Dasilva, Liam Kelly, Yasin Ayari, Milan van Ewijk.

STOKE CITY (4-2-3-1): Jack Bonham; Ki-Jana Hoever (80 mins, for Lynden Gooch), Luke McNally, Michael Rose, Enda Stevens; Wouter Burger, Ben Pearson; Mehdi Leris, Daniel Johnson (68 mins, for Josh Laurent), Dwight Gayle (60 mins, for Ryan Mmaee); Matt Vidigal (68 mins, for Bae Jun-ho).

Subs (not used): Tommy Simkin (GK), Jordan Thompson, Wesley, Ciaran Clark, Nathan Lowe.

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