City 'robbed' as Reds launch title assault

Chris Cattlin, Coventry City's tall defender, is convinced that he was robbed of a goal that could have put a temporary check on Liverpool's First Division championship hopes.

The Merseysiders had run into a 2-0 lead in a patchy game at Highfield Road last night when Cattlin moved up into their penalty area for a right-wing corner. When the ball came over it was flicked on by Alan Green, and Cattlin rose to glance a header past Ray Clemence only to see Chris Lawler head the ball off the line.

That effort from Cattlin came just two minutes after Liverpool's second goal. And two minutes later, as the Sky Blues pressure monted, Tommy Smith deflected the ball past the post for a corner from an opportunist effort from Green.

But Liverpool deserved their win which took them clear at the top of the First Division, and manager Bill Shankly said, "We are not claiming the title yet, but we are now in the run-in." He added "We made Coventry work hard for their money tonight, but this was an excellent win for us."

Yet for the first half hour there was little to show that it was a game between the league leaders and a team anxious to end a series of poor results. Passes on both sides went astray, there was plenty of wild kicking and it was not until the 25th minute that either goal was threatened.

Then Dennis Mortimer, showing excellent form, burst through to shoot narrowly wide of the Liverpool post after a left wing run. But after Green had substituted for the injured Carr, which meant Brian Alderson dropping back to midfield, Liverpool went ahead after 38 minutes. A right wing corner was only partially cleared; Kevin Keegan moved on to the ball and flicked it into the goalmouth where Phil Boersma turned it past Neil Ramsbottom.

Just two minutes later, Alan Dugdale, who had an unhappy night in the City defence, let the ball slide under his foot and Keegan took it on into the penalty area where only a fine save by Ramsbottom stopped another goal.

The second goal came after 61 minutes, Peter Cormack slipping past Wilf Smith and hammering a high ball into the goalmouth. Ramsbottom, who otherwise had a fine game and made several excellent saves, held the ball and then let it slip right through his hands - onto the head of Boersma, who glanced it into the net from a couple of yards.

After that, there were the headers from Cattlin and Green, before Alderson covering and tackling well as he alternated between attack and defence, collected the ball on the edge of the penalty area and lashed it past Clemence.

Copyright - The Coventry Evening Telegraph

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