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  • Exclusive by Alessandro Schiavone

Ex-Chelsea youngster keeps another clean sheet for Coventry but headlines are all for Grealish's pal

By Alessandro Schiavone at Coventry Building Society Arena

Coventry City 2-0 Birmingham City

Goals: O'Hare 2x

One-time Chelsea academy goalkeeper Brad Collins kept a fourth clean sheet in five games as a Callum O’Hare inspired Coventry City side eased to a 2-0 win over Midlands neighbours Birmingham City yesterday night. Other than palming away to safety an ominously dipping Juniho Bacuna free-kick and a curled missile at full-stretch from Donovan, the former Blues didn’t have much work to do. Yet like anyone else he witnessed a pair of outrageous O’Hare goals either side of half-time which sank Jose Mourinho’s former Chelsea target and Birmingham City manager Wayne Rooney. For the record, the England and Man United great nearly signed at Stamford Bridge in 2013. In those days the then 16-year old Collins was coming through the Cobham ranks and could have bumped into the prolific scorer had he left Old Trafford for London.

He had to wait more than a decade for paths to cross but what a remarkable day at the office it turned out to be!

Yet unsurprisingly the headlines will all be for O’Hare who poked Coventry in front after outmuscling Lee Buchanan. The “Jack Grealish of the Championship”, who played for Aston Villa’s youth teams alongside his more famous Manchester City mate Grealish looked the part and caused all sorts of problems for Rooney’s uninspired visitors.

After a year out with an ACL injury and on only his second start this campaign, he doubled his and Coventry’s lead after dancing through the Birmingham backline with a couple of feints and tricks before firing a missile past the excellent Ruddy.

Today's papers will all waxe lyrical about O’Hare, who is destined to make the grade to the Premier League if he remains injury-free. But Collins was equally excellent when called upon and surely won't mind.


Coventry City

40 Collins- 4 Thomas- 7 Sakamoto- 8 Allen- 9 Simms-10 O’Hare-11 Wright- 14 Ben Sheaf- 15 Kithing-21 Bidwell-27 Van Ewijk

Birmingham City

1 Ruddy-3 Buchanan- 4 Roberts- 6 Bielik- 7 Bacuna- Jutkiewicz- 11 Miyoshi-17 Dembele- 19 James- 28 Stansfield-44 Aiwu


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