Sat Sep 15, 2018 2:54 pm
Sat Sep 15, 2018 5:23 pm
Andy Turner's verdict on victory over Barnsley
A late Jordan Willis goal gave Coventry City a deserved three points against in-form Barnsley who suffered their first defeat of the season.
The centre-half nodded home bravely at the far post with ten minutes to go, setting up a frantic and nervous end to the game as the Sky Blues hung on to their slender lead amid six long minutes of added time.
But hang on they did to flex their League One muscles with a superb victory over a Tykes side that manager Mark Robins believes is one of the best in the division.
The win also extended the visitors’ miserable record in the city where they have not beaten the Sky Blues on their own patch since 1923.
Robins made just one change to the side that beat Oxford United last week, with Dujon Sterling starting at right-back in place of the injured Jack Grimmer.
The story of the first half was missed opportunities.
Conor Chaplin should have scored as early as the seventh minute when he exchanged passes with Luke Thomas who played him in, but the striker side footed wide from seven yards out with the goalmouth gaping and just the keeper to beat.
City had the post the thank as they were almost punished when Junior Brown under hit a back pass to the keeper and Jacob Brown nipped in on goal.
The forward’s hard and low shot looked to have beaten Lee Burge who got a touch and it hit the left-hand post.
The visitors went close again minutes later when Jacob Brown put the ball wide 12 yards when all he had to do was hit the target in a game that ebbed and flowed with both sides enjoying spells of pressure and both guilty of wasting gilt-edged chances.
Burge came to the rescue again early in the second half when he tipped over a Mamadou Thiam effort to deny the visitors the lead.
There was controversy at the other end in the 53th minute when Chaplin had what looked like a brilliant goal disallowed for off-side.
Tom Bayliss started the move when he won the ball outside the box before a bit of head tennis resulted in Jonson Clarke-Harris nodding it out to Chaplin who turned his man and the ball onto his right foot and fired inside the far post. City celebrated but the linesman’s flag went up and the goal was ruled out.
Coventry’s endeavour finally paid off in the 80th minute, however, when Willis nodded home at the far post from a Michael Doyle free-kick that bobbled about in the box before the centre-half sent it over the line from close range.
Robins’s men then hung on for grim death amid a frantic end to the game when they were forced to defend a number of corners, with Burge commanding his box brilliantly.
Attendance: 11,465 (1,800 away).