WORCESTER City failed to capitalise on a golden opportunity to pick up their first three points of the season as they played out an entertaining 2-2 draw with Coventry United.

A lively and competitive Midland League Premier Division contest saw City come from behind to lead 2-1 before being pegged back by the visitors.

But after Coventry went down to 10 men around the hour mark City were guilty of missing a host of good chances to wrap up the points at the Victoria Ground.

City boss John Snape praised the work-rate and organisation of Coventry after the red card but it was those missed opportunities that he felt cost his team the victory.

He said: “When the sending off happened we had a lot of the play but they have locked in and played with just one up front and we missed four or five fantastic chances. That’s something that has cost us three points.

“We are disappointed, the big lad up front caused us problems and they had good wide runners a couple of times that gave them opportunities to score on the counter. But we missed clear-cut chances in and around the six-yard box.

“We lacked a bit of a lack of quality in the final pass and maybe some tired legs from the other night but that’s not an excuse.”

Snape felt that Coventry should have been down to 10 much earlier in the match after right-back Daniel Cassidy committed a clear foul while already on a yellow card.

After only being given a final warning by referee James Whittington, Coventry promptly substituted Cassidy in only the 20th minute to jeers from the home faithful.

More bad fortune followed soon afterwards when United midfielder Kyle Carey’s cross-shot sailed agonisingly over Matt Gwynne into the top corner to give the visitors the lead.

“The right-back not being sent off might have been the turning point for me,” said Snape.

“He’s gone past him again, he’s pulled him back and he should be off. Then we got caught with a sucker punch. I think the lad’s crossed it and Gwynne’s lost it in flight and it's in the top corner.”

But the goal seemed to galvanise Worcester and it was a moment of magic from Mat Birley that saw them get back on level terms.

The midfielder turned well on the edge of the box before unleashing an unstoppable shot that flew past Caswell.

Birley almost added a second in as many minutes but the disappointment didn’t last long as a well-worked City free-kick saw the ball come to Dave Reynolds who drove powerfully home to turn the game on its head five minutes before half-time.

In a game of spectacular goals, Coventry’s Ben Vallance decided to get in on the act as he set out on a mazy run before cutting inside and finishing expertly with the outside of the boot to make it 2-2 in the 52nd minute.

Shaquille McDonald received the red card shortly afterwards for a reckless challenge.

Snape said: “Mat has produced a bit of magic and from the free-kick we have worked the ball absolutely fantastic.

"They were two excellent goals. The disappointment is their goal, we switched off. The first goal is a fluke and the second is a poor one to concede so we need to cut that out.

“We have some injuries and knocks but I feel that we are getting more balance. It was fantastic to see a good crowd here again and we were desperate to get the win for them."

City: Gwynne, English, Smith, Gallinagh, Stoddart, Forsyth, Birley, Lockett (Evans 56), Bates (Withington 68), Reynolds, Baldwin (Harrison 76). Subs not used: Jezeph, Caines.

Attendance: 346.