Disappointment at Wembley

Ben Fox
Ben Fox

For Coventry City there is finally scope for blue-sky thinking after sealing an immediate return to League One with a convincing play-off final win against Exeter City.

For more than 37,000 baying Coventry supporters who made Wembley appear lopsided, the victory not only reversed an alarming slide but brought a first promotion for 51 years in arguably their biggest game since the 1987 FA Cup final.

They took a deserved lead after half-time when centre-back Jordan Willis bent a shot into the far corner.
Fellow academy product Jordan Shipley made it 2-0 when his first-time strike deflected over Grecians goalkeeper Christy Pym.

Jack Grimmer guided a stunning third into the top corner, with Kyle Edwards netting Exeter’s consolation. However, it could not prevent a second successive play-off final defeat for Paul Tisdale’s side.

While Coventry’s 28-goal top scorer Marc McNulty did not get on the scoresheet, he was influential throughout, threatening from long range in the first half and later providing two assists. After Arsene Wenger’s departure from Arsenal, Exeter boss Tisdale is comfortably the longest-serving manager in England’s top four divisions – having arrived at St James Park in June 2006.

He spoke about the importance of continuity after their play-off final defeat by Blackpool last year, but after having notice served on his contract by the club’s fans, he is being linked with the vacant MK Dons job.