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Returning Coventry City playmaker Callum O’Hara deepened Wayne Rooney’s woes in a nervy Midlands derby which saw the Sky Blues snatch a slender win at the Coventry Building Society Arena on Friday evening.
In their funereal away kits, Birmingham City were unable to raise spirits with the first away points of Rooney’s tenure at St Andrews, keeping their total haul from a possible 27 points at a paltry five since his arrival.
O’Hare was a worthy match-winner with his first two goals in 18 months after being sidelined with an anterior cruciate ligament injury last season, his opener coming from a sneaked toe poke outfoxing John Ruddy at the near post on the half-an-hour mark.
Ruddy kept the deficit tight in the second-half as Coventry City grew in stature, fending off the side’s best chance from Haji Wright in the 58th minute with a save at close range that ricocheted off his face.
But Ruddy could only do so much in the face of a persistent Coventry City attack, and O’Hare’s second, lashed into the back of the net after he admirably kept his cool collecting Milan van Ewijk’s pass in the box, had too much behind it to stop.
After the final whistle, O’Hare described his goals as ‘everything (he) was waiting for’ whilst undergoing rehab and recovery from his injury.
‘It’s been a tough time, and the emotions just came out when I scored, so i’m buzzing,’ O’Hare said.
‘The second one was obviously better but they both count! I felt more like myself. I’m buzzing.’
O’Hare, whose uncle is Birmingham legend Ian Clarkson, admitted that he might not have made many of his friends and family – Blues fans – very happy with his efforts.
‘I don’t think my friends are going to be speaking to me,’ O’Hare added. ‘It’s going to be a lonely week. But I’ve got the boys.’
More to follow.
Callum O’Hare (centre) made a triumphant return to the scoresheet after unlucky ACL injury
Wayne Rooney has claimed just five points from a possible 27 since arriving at St Andrews