Early goals sink Blues again ...
Carlisle United continue to wait for their first points of the season following another disappointing day at Brunton Park where early goals again cost them dear.
The Sky Blues, bottom only because of their 10-point deduction, had the Cumbrians on the ropes from the first minute and they quickly put the game out of sight thanks so some devastating finishing in front of goal.
An almost completely new look back four, with the return of defensive talisman Sean O’Hanlon added to full debuts for loanees Paul Black and Kevin Feely, brought an expectant buzz to the build-up but hopes of a morale-boosting first win were quickly dashed as Coventry took control.
“We know this can’t go on but we can’t keep saying that,” manager Greg Abbott said. “We’re a better team than this but we need to start showing people that. It’s so disappointing for all of us because the lads were really pumped up ahead of kick off. We feel that we’ve let everyone down again because the fans want to be going home with something to cheer about. We aren’t giving them that and we need to address it.”
Coventry, fresh from a five-goal haul last weekend, started in confident mood and an early volley from Webster flew over the bar when he tried his luck with a snapshot.
A determined attack down the right flank caused more problems for Carlisle as Christie picked a pass to a crossing position. Wilson controlled it with his back to goal and a blocked shot left the predatory Leon Clarke with a decision to make. He took a touch and left Gillespie to flap at thin air as he curled a beauty into the top corner from just outside the area.
It got worse for the home side just three minutes later when Billy Daniels and Leon Clarke combined to rip a hole through the heart of defence. Franck Moussa, who had started the move on the halfway line with a tough tackle, arrived late to clip the ball over the advancing keeper and into the net.
The Cumbrians tried to respond and a high ball into the box was nodded towards the penalty spot by David Amoo. Mark Beck won the second header and it needed a tip over the bar from Murphy as he scampered back to get a touch.
The corner from Gillies caused problems as Beck moved off his man to get a touch. A sharp tug on his shirt brought a penalty and a brief moment of hope, but Joe Murphy guessed right to palm the Berrett spot kick away.
Coventry regained control in the centre of the park and Wilson robbed Potts as the young defender searched for an outlet. An incisive run took him away from O’Hanlon and it was relief all round as he dragged his shot wide of the upright.
Christie was a useful outlet and he twice whisked crosses across the face of goal only to see Clarke wave his arms in despair.
Carlisle went close again at the other end when Amoo pulled back to nod a Gillies corner through a ruck of defenders. Murphy was beaten but the wide man turned away in frustration when the ball flew past the upright.
The visitors took complete control of the game just past the half hour when Callum Wilson shrugged Black off the ball just inside the area. Billy Daniels did the rest when he called for it before crunching it sweetly past another despairing dive.
Liam Noble had a first-time volley stifled at source as he latched onto a half cleared corner but Franck Moussa should have made it four when he found himself in acres of space. Gillespie did well to make a vital save.
Manager Greg Abbott made a double substitution during the break with Magpies loanee Adam Campbell and wide man Dave Symington replacing Gillies and Guy.
United looked brighter and Potts went for glory with a well-timed volley which needed a block. Kevin Feely then turned away in disgust as he rose highest to meet a Berrett delivery with the goal at his mercy. He connected well but thumped his header over the bar.
Amoo and Noble had efforts blocked as the home side finally started to settle, but Coventry still held a threat as they flooded forward wisely on the break.
Adam Campbell tried to make it a dream debut on the hour mark when he twisted and turned to get to the edge of the box. It opened a gap and he was unlucky to see his dipping curler bounce just wide.
Dave Symington pumped a 22-yard free kick into the Warwick Road End and hopes of any kind of revival were dashed when Leon Clarke doubled his tally courtesy of another defensive howler. A poor touch from Feely allowed the big striker to chip the stranded keeper and find the back of the net.
Brad Potts almost grabbed a consolation from just inside his own half when he spotted Murphy arguing with the officials. The ball dropped sharply but bounced kindly into the keeper’s hands as it rattled back off the inside of the post.
Keeper Mark Gillespie then made a string of good saves as he found himself under pressure with visiting players all over his area. Christie and Moussa were both thwarted before he tipped a crunching drive from former-Blue Mathieu Manset onto the bar.
Leon Clarke and Franck Moussa kept turning the screw and it was down to the Carlisle stopper to keep the scoreline at four against as he threw himself at everything that came his way.
Coventry - L Clarke (3, 65), Moussa (6), Daniels (31)
United - Black (1), Feely (88)
Coventry - Daniels (32), Moussa (57)
Carlisle United - Gillespie, Potts, Feely, O'Hanlon, Black, Amoo, Noble, Berrett, Gillies (Symington 46), Guy (Campbell 46), Beck. Subs - Fleming, Livesey, Todd, Lynch, Brough.
Coventry City - Murphy, Christie, Adams, Webster, Thomas (Barton 88), Fleck, L Clarke, Moussa, Daniels (Willis 83), Wilson (Manset 75), J Clarke. Subs - Burge, Phillips, Garner, Haynes.
Referee - Mr Paul Tierney
Attendance - 4,072 (439 away fans)