Coventry hit back to sting Hornets

Late goals from David Bell and Lukas Jutkiewicz helped Coventry battle back to salvage a 2-2 draw against Watford at Vicarage Road.

Last Updated: 14/08/10 at 18:02 Post Comment

Bell: Netted the first for Sky Blues

Bell: Netted the first for Sky Blues

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The Sky Blues had struggled to trouble the Hornets' backline and fell behind when Will Buckley headed home on the stroke of half-time.

And Aidy Boothroyd, who led the Hornets to promotion to the Premier League in 2005/06, saw his current side slip further behind when John Eustace struck just before the hour mark.

However, Bell fired home from 25 yards in the 88th minute to reduce the deficit before Jutkiewicz levelled from the spot two minutes later.

The hosts had Scott Loach back between the sticks following the goalkeeper's shock call-up to to the England squad in midweek, which forced Rene Gilmartin to fill in for the 3-0 Carling Cup win at Aldershot.

Boothroyd had a virtually fully-fit squad as they looked to bounce back from their Carling Cup exit at Morecambe, but suffered a blow after just 18 minutes when on-loan goalkeeper Iain Turner was forced off by injury.

The 26-year-old had only arrived at the Ricoh Arena on an emergency loan deal on Saturday morning as cover for Keiren Westwood, who missed the trip due to a family bereavement, but was replaced by Michael Quirke without even having a save to make for the Sky Blues.

Neither side managed to create much of note in the opening stages, with Jutkiewicz firing a long-range effort wide of Loach's goal in the first minute before Buckley saw his strike blocked by Ben Turner at the other end.

Quirke, who was making his first-team debut for the Sky Blues, had to make a smart save on the half-hour mark following a close-range effort from Marvin Sordell.

However, the 18-year-old academy product could do nothing to stop Buckley from heading home in first-half injury-time following a cross from Lee Hodson.

The Sky Blues failed to provide a response following the break and slipped further behind in the 58th minute.

Don Cowie's outswinging corner was only partially cleared by Nathan Cameron, allowing veteran midfielder Eustace to acrobatically fire past Quirke.

Boothroyd made a double change shortly after the hour mark in an attempt to inject some life into his side, Clive Platt coming on for Freddy Eastwood and Aron Gunnarsson replacing Gary McSheffrey.

But the Sky Blues remained limited to speculative efforts, with Bell and Michael Doyle failing to hit the target from range, before Gunnarsson headed over from just six yards.

However, Loach was beaten two minutes from time by a powerful drive from Bell to reduce the deficit.

Just two minutes later the Sky Blues had the chance to pull level when Lloyd Doyley fouled Richard Keogh in the box and Jutkiewicz made no mistake as he fired home.

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