Soccer

Haji Wright double seals Coventry comeback win over Millwall and top six return

The USA international scored twice in three minutes.

Haji Wright celebrates after netting his quickfire double
Haji Wright celebrates after netting his quickfire double Haji Wright celebrates after netting his quickfire double (Nigel French/PA)

Haji Wright’s quickfire double earned Coventry a comeback 2-1 victory over Millwall that lifted them back into the play-off places in the Championship.

The USA international scored twice in three minutes after youngster Romain Esse had struck on what was just his second league start to put the struggling Lions ahead at the Coventry Building Society Arena.

The win moved the Sky Blues up four places into sixth, ahead of Sunderland on goal difference, while Millwall continue to look nervously over their shoulders as they remain four points clear of the relegation zone.

Millwall almost struck in the first minute when Japhet Tanganga’s long throw was flicked on for George Honeyman, whose shot from point-blank range was blocked by Coventry goalkeeper Brad Collins.

In what was a lively start, the hosts came even closer to opening the scoring when Tatsuhiro Sakamoto’s shot from Milan van Ewijk’s cut-back was pushed out by Matija Sarkic before Wright hit the rebound against the post.

Back came the Lions, with Michael Obafemi turning inside the area before his effort was beaten away by Collins.

The visitors’ bright opening was then rewarded in the 12th minute when Zian Flemming charged into the area before laying it off for 18-year-old Esse, who blasted a deflected shot past a helpless Collins.

They nearly had a second three minutes later when Danny McNamara pulled the ball back for Obafemi, with Collins again preventing the Irishman from opening his Millwall account.

Joe Bryan then shot wide from just outside the box before Victor Torp almost brought Coventry level with a powerful free kick that Sarkic tipped onto the top of the bar.

The Sky Blues began to dominate possession but could not find an equaliser before half-time, with Kasey Palmer’s shot being deflected over the bar by the head of Wes Harding.

The first big chance of the second half came the hosts’ way five minutes after the restart when Callum O’Hare played in Sakamoto, whose shot was pushed out by Sarkic.

Torp then had an effort from just outside the area deflected wide as Coventry continued to make most of the running in their search for a leveller.

It finally arrived in the 67th minute when Wright was brought down in the area by Tanganga and the American calmly sent Sarkic the wrong way with the resulting penalty.

The turnaround was quickly completed as O’Hare found Wright untracked in the area and his shot found the net at the near post, with Sarkic culpable after he had managed get a hand to it.

Chasing a game they had led for a considerable time, Millwall offered little in response as Coventry maintained their strong home form to surge back into the top six.