Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Ellis Simms celebrates first-half hat-trick as five-goal Coventry beat Rotherham

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 5 Mar 2024

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Ellis Simms scored a first-half hat-trick as Coventry claimed a comprehensive 5-0 Championship victory over bottom-side Rotherham at the CBS Arena.

The Sky Blues raced into a 4-0 lead before the break thanks to Simms and a header from Joel Latibeaudiere as Coventry returned to winning ways following defeats to Preston and West Brom in their last two league outings.

Fabio Tavares finished things off in stoppage-time to cap a welcome return to form for Mark Robins, who celebrates his seventh anniversary in charge of the Sky Blues on Wednesday.

Rotherham, who are all-but consigned to relegation as they sit 19 points from safety, were handed their eighth loss in a row and their 14th away defeat in 18 outings this season.

Simms had claimed the match ball just eight days ago as the Sky Blues reached the FA Cup quarter final with a 5-0 win against Maidstone.

The former Everton striker was gifted the opener inside the first five minutes when Viktor Johansson spilled Jake Bidwell’s cross and the 23-year-old was in the right place to nod in his 10th of the season.

Bottom side Rotherham barely threatened Brad Collins in the Coventry goal, Hakeem Odoffin glancing his header wide early on from Christ Tiehi’s inviting cross.

Latibeaudiere then doubled the lead after 23 minutes when he rose highest to power home Bidwell’s inswinging corner.

Coventry found themselves 3-0 down inside 38 minutes against Ryan Lowe’s Preston in their last home league outing, but Simms helped himself to a second to put the Sky Blues three goals to the good inside half-an-hour on Tuesday night.

Simms was on the end of a fluent counter attack when he swept in a left-footed effort after the ball had been inadvertently deflected into his path following Haji Wright’s run down the left.

Simms completed his perfect hat-trick before the break as he picked up a loose ball and whipped his effort into the corner from the edge of the box.

Rotherham’s Jamie Lindsay spurned an effort to reply after the break.

While former Barnsley goalkeeper Collins was forced into action for the first time after 80 minutes when he turned Peter Kioso’s near-post effort wide.

Substitute Tavares then finished off the rout with the last kick of the game with his first Championship goal in over two years as he slotted past Johansson following Milan Van Ewijk’s precise pass.

The Millers are already the unfortunate owners of the lowest points tally in the Championship – having only mustered 23 points in 2016/17 – and need four more points to avoid breaking their own record as they surpassed 70 goals conceded this season.

It was another bruising night for Leam Richardson’s side, whose winless run on the road stretched to 31 matches as they were dealt one more blow towards being relegated back to League One.

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