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Tuesday 18 February 2014

On this day in 1995: Atkinson makes winning start at Coventry

Looking back at Premier League history, we recall Ron Atkinson's first match as Coventry manager

  • Ron Atkinson's tenure as Coventry manager got off to a winning start against West Ham

  • In the match, Zimbabwe striker Peter Ndlovu scored the opener for the Sky Blues

  • Mike Marsh doubled the lead as Coventry earned their first win in 11 League matches rifles through the annals of the Barclays Premier League to find significant events.

18 February 1995: Coventry City 2-0 West Ham United

Ron Atkinson led Coventry City to victory in his first match in charge of the club as they defeated West Ham United at Highfield Road.

The win, following a 2-0 success at Crystal Palace under former manager Phil Neal the previous week, moved the Sky Blues four places up the 22-team table to 13th but left the Hammers still in the bottom four.

Before beating Palace, Coventry City's previous victory was at West Ham United at the end of November - a run of 11 winless matches - and their last home success was on 19 November against Norwich City.

Atkinson arrived at Highfield Road promising to keep the club in the Barclays Premier League.

He immediately paid £300,000 to sign Aston Villa midfielder Kevin Richardson, who was put straight into the team to face the Hammers.

The crowd of 17,556 was more than 4,000 up on the attendance for their previous home match against Chelsea. And they were on their feet celebrating when Zimbabwe international Peter Ndlovu gave Coventry the lead in the first half with his third top flight goal of the season.

Midfielder Mike Marsh doubled the lead and made the match safe after the break.

Atkinson fulfilled his pledge by steering the Sky Blues to safety in 16th at the end of a unique season, in which four sides were relegated from the Barclays Premier League before it changed to a 20-team competition.

West Ham also featured on their fixture list for the following campaign after their 14th-place finish.

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Key Points

  • looks back through the annals of history of the competition
  • A memorable event or match from each day of the year will be selected
  • We remember when Ron Atkinson began his Coventry City career