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Kick off 17:30 (UK)

07 January 2023 Venue The Coventry Building Society Arena Attendance

Kick off 17:30 (UK)

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Match Previews

PREVIEW | Coventry City v Wrexham

We know what to do on FA Cup third round day - can we do it again?

5 January 2023

While getting back into the Football League remains the priority, a little cup glory never hurt anybody. Phil Parkinson knows that more than most, having enjoyed some remarkable runs in knock-out competitions. Can he pull off a giant-killing with a club renowned for its heroic cup feats.

Sadly, Jacob Mendy broke down in the first half at Solihull on Monday, which means Callum McFadzean is likely to return in his place. That could have meant a brotherly derby as McFadzean's elder sibling, Kyle, plays for the Sky Blues, but sadly he suffered a calf tear during the World Cup break and will not be fit for Saturday's match. Apart from Mendy, there were no casualties from a bruising double header against the Moors to add to Christian Dibble, Bryce Hosannah and Jordan Davies on the injured list.

The Red Dragons face a tall order if they're to progress to the fourth round, though. Coventry are just 4 points short of the play-off positions in the Championship. Mark Robins' side has been impressively solid: only the top two have conceded fewer goals than the Sky Blues.

Goals have been harder to come by, though. Only 4 teams have a worse scoring record in the division, despite the impressive form of Swedish international Viktor Gyökeres. The 12 goals he has scored in 23 starts this season, following on from the 18 he struck last season, have attracted the interest of Premier League teams, with Leeds United, Wolves, Fulham and Everton all reported to be interested in a move during the current transfer window.

Robins has been emphatic in rejecting such speculation, though, telling CoventryLive, "Viktor is going nowhere. I can tell you now he is going nowhere in January. Absolutely no chance. I’ve spoken to Vik.”

There has also been speculation that Callum O'Hare could be subject to a bid from a Premier League side, but he suffered an ACL injury on Boxing Day and Robins is adamant that the 24-year old is also part of his long term plans.  

“There’s not a chance of them going anywhere in January. It would be absolutely ridiculous and I’m adamant that is happening. The only way people can go is if you have got people lined up, replacements lined up that are better. It’s not going to happen.”

-Mark Robins on Gyökeres and O'Hare

City's most recent game was a 1-1 home draw against Bristol City, but there will be changes from the eleven which started that match. An succession of injuries might limit Robins' ability to make too many changes, but Gyökeres is likely to be on the bench, only to be used in case of emergency.

It's thought reserve goalkeeper Simon Moore is likely to step in for Ben Miller, but defensive resources are thin so there are likely to be no changes in the back three unless the parent clubs of on-loan centre backs Callum Doyle and Jonathan Panzo don't want them to be cup-tied. 

Club skipper Liam Kelly is likely to start in midfield as he returns from injury, and look out for Wales Under-21 international Ryan Howley alongside him. Another young prospect who has been receiving positive reviews is Fabio Tavares, who will be eager to get a start up front. Robins has been praising his exciting interventions from the bench this week - he has made 9 appearances as a replacement in the Championship - and he could be in line for a second start to go with the 90 minutes he played in the EFL Cup last August.



It’s been a while since we faced Coventry City – just over 28 years in fact. We were a well-established League One side at the time, with Gary Bennett leading the line in the middle of his remarkable goal scoring run for us. City, meanwhile, were a Premier League side whose imminent arrival at The Racecourse for the first leg of a League Cup tie generating plenty of talk of Wrexham’s previous giant-killing feats.

On a rainy night, Wrexham dominated the early stages, with Bennett and Steve Watkin impressive, but Steve Ogrizovic repelled their best efforts and the home side fell behind to a Julian Darby goal 8 minutes before the break. Brian Flynn’s side were determined to stay in the tie, though, and four minutes later Barry Jones equalised with a terrific strike into the top corner from the edge of the box.

The second half was a tight affair until a 78th minute strike from Sean Flynn gave Coventry the lead. Wrexham responded strongly: Barry Hunter went close with a header, a strong penalty shout was turned down and in added time a typical Kieron Durkan strike hit the inside of the post.


Dion Dublin, a club record signing from Manchester United, had scored 2 goals in his 2 appearances for his new club, but Wrexham did a good job of keeping him quiet at The Racecourse. The same wasn’t true at Highfield Road, though, where he gave City an early lead and a 2-goal cushion on aggregate, heading home a Paul Cook free kick.

Again, Wrexham showed heart, and pulled a goal back just before the break through Jonathan Cross, who lashed a fine shot past Ogrizovic. The Coventry keeper then had to pull off a fine save from Bennett to stop Wrexham from levelling the tie.

Following the break Dublin struck again, and when Roy Wegerle made it 5-2 on aggregate, it looked like the tie was done and dusted. However, in the 71st minute Cook handled a goal-bound shot and received a red card. Bennett scored the penalty but City dug deep to ensure Wrexham didn’t make matters even more complicated.

We have met City once before in the FA Cup, but in rather different circumstances to this weekend’s match. The game was in the fourth qualifying round of the competition in 1909, and it ended in a 3-0 victory for Coventry on their own turf.

The history of this fixture goes back to 1905, when we first faced each other in the Birmingham and District League. A penalty by Edwin Hughes put Wrexham ahead, but a defensive mistake led to an equaliser in the final 5 minutes of the match. It was a bizarre occasion as we also played an FA Cup game at home to Rhyl on the same day!

We’d won our three matches in the league to date, and chose to prioritise that match, so our reserves had to play the cup game. They weren’t up to the task and lost 4-1, but the local press claimed Wrexham were quite happy to rid themselves of the distraction of the FA Cup, the Liverpool Echo describing the result as “a sort of melancholy relief” while bemoaning the crowded fixture list Birmingham and District League teams faced that season.

It seems squad rotation to prioritise the league isn’t as modern an idea as we might have thought!


Wrexham's star player decided to remain in Wales for the FA Cup tie, a decision which had negative repercussions in both matches. Horace Blew (above), a Welsh international, was involved in a mix-up with his goalkeeper which led to one of Rhyl's goals, while newspaper reports suggest the error which allowed Coventry to equalise would not have happened if Blew had been on the pitch!  

We’ve suffered some heavy losses in this fixture, losing 6-2 in March 1907 and 5-3 on Christmas Day 1959. Club legend Arfon Griffiths scored his first goal for Wrexham in the latter defeat, and three and a half years later he scored as we gained revenge with a 5-1 win at The Racecourse. Brian Whitehouse struck two goals and would end his coaching career working at Coventry under Ron Atkinson in the 1990s.


Jordan Tunnicliffe's 300th career game.


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Match Reports

REPORT | Coventry City 3-4 Wrexham AFC

Dalby, Lee, O'Connor and Mullin score in stunning cup upset

7 January 2023

Wrexham withstood a late fightback to stun EFL Championship side Coventry City and book their place in the Emirates FA Cup Fourth Round after a barnstorming, seven-goal thriller at the CBS Arena.

Sam Dalby and Elliot Lee both scored as Wrexham made a dream start, but Ben Sheaf pulled one back for the hosts.

Tom O’Connor restored the two-goal advantage before half-time, before Paul Mullin’s penalty made it 4-1 to Wrexham – with Jonathan Panzo sent off for the handball that conceded the spot-kick.

Coventry fought back, with Viktor Gyokeres and Kasey Palmer scoring, and threw everything at Wrexham despite the man advantage.

But the Red Dragons stood firm to reach the Fourth Round for the first time since the 1999/2000 season.

Phil Parkinson made four changes from the team which started the win against Solihull Moors, with Callum McFadzean replacing injured Jacob Mendy as expected.

Reece Hall-Johnson, Max Cleworth and Sam Dalby also came into the starting line-up, as Anthony Forde and Ollie Palmer dropped to the bench and Aaron Hayden missed out.

Parkinson explained ahead of the game that both Palmer and Hayden’s absences were precautionary, with the striker protecting a minor pelvis injury and the centre-back resting a groin injury.

Coventry won the toss, asking Wrexham to kick towards their own fans first rather than after the break.

In truth, the Championship side should have been in front after eight minutes too, when Michael Rose met a vicious cross at the back-post, from a right-wing free-kick, but blazed over.

But the packed-out away end was bouncing in jubilation just four minutes later, when Dalby headed in Luke Young’s inch-perfect right-wing cross.

Dalby was booked on the quarter-hour, after a cynical foul to halt a counter-attack, and Kasey Palmer clattered the post from the subsequent 30-yard free-kick.

Wrexham doubled the lead on 18 minutes though, in slightly fortunate circumstances – Lee cutting inside from the left and curling a right-footed cross that dropped straight in at the back post.

Lee ran the width of the pitch to join his team-mates celebrating in front of the 4,500 Wrexham fans in the away end.

Tom O’Connor was next to try his luck for Wrexham, when Reece Hall-Johnson squared in the 32nd minute, but the Irishman curled his left-footed shot high and wide.

A long stoppage followed, however, with Fabio Tavares falling awkwardly moments later as he tried to control a firm pass.

That also meant an early introduction for in-form Swedish striker Viktor Gyokeres, and a minute later Coventry were level.

A cross was only half-cleared, and dropped for Sheaf to rifle in a goal from inside the area in the 36th minute.

Gyokeres then showed his threat, as he muscled his way forward on the counter-attack on 39 minutes and worked the ball across, but Mark Howard saved Martyn Waghorn’s low shot.

Palmer then lofted a brilliant improvised pass for Sheaf on the right of the goal on 44 minutes, but Callum McFadzean produced a brilliant tackle to deny the goalscorer a quickfire second.

The stoppage, combined with another after Paul Mullin had been bodychecked off the ball and required treatment led to seven minutes’ stoppage time. In the sixth of those, Wrexham restored their two-goal lead.

Ben Tozer’s long throw was initially headed clear, but Luke Young headed the ball back in, Dalby placed a header across goal and Tom O’Connor nodded in Wrexham’s third to spark more celebrations.

Coventry started the second-half on the front foot, forcing a series of corners and set pieces, which Wrexham stood firm to repel.

The defenders then combined to win the penalty from which Mullin scored Wrexham’s fourth on 58 minutes.

Tozer sent a long throw in, Cleworth fired goalwards and Jonathan Panzo dived to stop it with his hand, resulting in a penalty and red card. Mullin stepped up and coolly rolled in the penalty.

The striker could have had a second in the 63rd minute, letting the ball drop before striking the ball fiercely down the middle but Simon Moore parried clear.

Coventry should have pulled one back in the 67th minute, when a deflected cross fell for Palmer in the area, but he hit the post for a second time with Howard wrong-footed.

They did get their goal back two minutes later, however, when Callum McFadzean was caught in possession and Palmer squared for Gyokeres to score.

That buoyed the ten men and they got another goal back in the 76th minute, when Palmer was tripped by Young and lifted the subsequent free-kick over the wall and in.

Coventry pushed hard for the leveller, and there was chaos in the Wrexham area in the 83rd minute which ended with Jamie Allen stabbing the ball goalwards and Howard saving on the line.

Two minutes later, Gyokeres got in and shot goalwards from a tight angle, with Howard brilliantly parrying the ball onto the bar – the ball bouncing clear.

A further seven minutes were added on, and in the fifth of those Palmer shot over from close-range as Coventry camped deep in Wrexham’s half.

But the Red Dragons’ defence stood firm to hold onto their slender lead and spark more jubilant celebrations in the away end.


Coventry City: Moore, Panzo, Bidwell, Rose, Dabo (Doyle 62), Burroughs (Kane 70), Kelly (Allen 70), Sheaf, Palmer, Waghorn (Hamer 70), Tavares (Gyokeres 35)

Subs: Wilson, Reid, Howley, Mee

Wrexham: Howard, Hall-Johnson (Forde 81), Cleworth, Tozer, Tunnicliffe, McFadzean (McAlinden 73), O’Connor, Young, Lee (J.Jones 81), Dalby, Mullin (Palmer 68)

Subs: Lainton, Cannon, Butler, Lennon, Bickerstaff

Referee: Tom Nield

Attendance: 18,218

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Ticket News

TICKETS & TRAVEL | Coventry City (A) – extra buses on sale tomorrow

Collect your tickets from the Racecourse Ground before Saturday’s match

3 January 2023

We are pleased to be able to announce a further two buses will be available for official supporter travel to Saturday’s FA Cup Third Round fixture away to Coventry City.

The match at the Coventry Building Society Arena kicks off at 5.20pm, and with a sell-out away crowd expected we are delighted to have already filled 15 buses for the game.

These last two buses will be the final ones available for the game, and will cost £19 for adults and £17 for under-16s.

Official supporter travel will be available to purchase from our eTicketing website, with the extra two coaches on sale from 10am tomorrow (Wednesday January 4).

Coaches will depart from the Mold Road at 1.30pm – please note, under-14s must be accompanied on official supporter travel, and alcohol is strictly prohibited by law.

Supporters are also reminded to please collect their tickets in advance from the Racecourse Ground.

The Ticket Office is open from 9am-5pm every weekday.

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