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Pitch invasion halts Coventry game with Sheff United

 

Coventry City fans staged a pitch invasion before Sheffield United's Billy Sharp consigned the Sky Blues to a sixth straight defeat in League One.

The Sky Blues, who are 21st and on their worst run for 43 years, looked to have earned a draw when Dan Agyei equalised Sharp's first-half opener.

But there was a late twist after home fans protesting at City's owners Sisu had held up the game for six minutes.

When play resumed, Sharp hit a late winner to lift the Blades to second.

It is more than two years since Coventry returned to the Ricoh Arena after a season in exile in Northampton, thinking their troubles were over. But they are now a club in crisis.

They do not own their ground, their academy has been taken over by their Ricoh landlords Wasps and they are in danger of a return to the Football League's basement for the first time since 1959.

And Coventry fans' protests against Sisu, the club's owners for the past nine years, have become increasingly hostile this season.

They co-staged a plastic 'pigs might fly' protest with Charlton fans, then held a mock funeral procession at their last home game against MK Dons.

This time, after a peaceful anti-Sisu carol singing protest outside the stadium, with witty, adapted lyrics, the mood became more ugly inside.

There was constant loud whistling from the first minute, followed by an intimidating mass procession in the direction of the pitch-side stewards, with a lone fan getting on the pitch in the first half and briefly stopping the game - all to a constant backdrop of chants of 'We Want Sisu Out'.

Coventry interim boss Mark Venus told BBC Coventry & Warwickshire:

"The pitch invasion had no bearing on the result. They had more quality but we matched them up until the last few minutes. It is 90 minutes, then we came back on and it didn't happen for us. But we have to be more street wise in both boxes.

"We worked really hard and the longer the game went on the more threat we had. But to give a late goal away says where we are at the moment. Everything seems to go against us.

"The football club needs a manager to take the team forward and we will work hard to get that person in before January. The boys have to pick themselves up, dust themselves down and keep working hard.

"Everyone could see the effort. Everyone gave it their best shot. But we didn't get over the line with a point, we got over the line with nothing."

JB

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