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The Roar


'Disgusting': Coventry manager blasted for taunting ballboy after dramatic FA Cup win over Wolves

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16th March, 2024

Championship side Coventry have scored twice deep into stoppage time to beat Wolves 3-2 in the FA Cup to reach the semi-finals, but the “disgusting” behaviour of manager Mark Robins took the gloss over the upset win.

Robins was slammed by Wanderers boss Gary O’Neil after he ran towards a Wolverhampton ballboy and clenched his fists after Coventry’s winning goal.

The 13-year-old ballboy had dropped a ball at Robins’ feet, believing the home side were on the verge of victory, earlier to earn Robins’ ire.

“The boy is really upset,” said O’Neil.

“To celebrate in a young boy’s face was disgusting. It was important to speak to Mark about it because they are just kids doing their job.”

Robins was remorseful for his actions and could face sanctions for his petulant behaviour.

“I apologise unreservedly. I don’t usually show emotion but after he drops the ball and walked away smiling, I celebrated in front of him.”


Coventry are through to the final four while another side in sky blue, holders Manchester City, had a more predictable route to the last four.

Manchester City cruised to victory with two deflected strikes from Bernardo Silva giving them a 2-0 win over a lacklustre Newcastle United at the Etihad Stadium in Saturday’s late game.

But the real drama had occurred earlier at Wolves’ Molineux Stadium, where a few hours earlier second-tier Coventry, the Sky Blues, reached the semi-finals for the first time since 1987 — the year they won the famous old trophy for the only time.

United States striker Haji Wright completed the remarkable comeback in the 10th minute of added-on time, three minutes after Ellis Simms — with his second goal of the game — equalised for Coventry.

Sitting eighth in the Championship, Coventry are the lowest-ranked team to get to the quarter-finals. 

Coventry have endured a turbulent and financially rocky past couple of decades since relegation from the Premier League in 2001 but can now look forward to another trip to Wembley, where they lost the Championship play-off final to Luton at the end of last season.

Coventry City players are celebrating after the game during the FA Cup Quarter Final match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Coventry City at Molineux in Wolverhampton, on March 16, 2024. (Photo by MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Coventry City players celebrate after the game. (Photo by MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Robins likely saved Alex Ferguson from getting fired three years into his storied tenure as Manchester United manager by scoring the winner in an FA Cup third-round match against Nottingham Forest midway through the 1989-90 season, when Ferguson was under severe pressure.

That is widely heralded as a turning point in Ferguson’s trophy-laden tenure that lasted nearly 27 years.

For many, Man City manager Pep Guardiola ranks just as high as Ferguson and back-to-back Premier League-Champions League-FA Cup trebles would surely put him in a class of his own.

To do that, City would have to return to Wembley two more times this season — for the FA Cup final on May 25 and the title match in the Champions League, which is also being hosted by the famed London venue a week later.

City made five changes from the side that started last weekend’s 1-1 Premier League draw with Liverpool and still managed to make the semi-finals of the competition for the sixth season in a row as Newcastle provided little resistance.


City took the lead in the 13th minute when a Silva shot took a wicked deflection off Newcastle defender Dan Burn, wrong-footing keeper Martin Dubravka and sending the ball looping into the net.

The home side went 2-0 up in the 31st minute and again it was Portuguese playmaker Silva cutting in from the right and shooting, with Sven Botman’s head helping to steer the ball past Dubravka this time.

The draw for the semi-finals will be made after Sunday’s (Monday morning AEDT) remaining quarter-final ties featuring Chelsea against Leicester City and Manchester United versus Liverpool.

with AAP