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Match Reports

REDS BEATEN LATE BY SKY BLUES

19 February 2022

The Reds' away day woes continued with a late loss here at the CBS Arena.

An injury-time Dominic Hyam strike was enough for the Sky Blues against a lacklustre Barnsley outfit who remain rooted to the foot of the Sky Bet Championship table.

Head Coach, Poya Asbaghi was forced into replacing Amine Bassi, with the Moroccan unfit following victory last weekend against QPR. The Swedish coach opted to bring Callum Brittain back into the starting XI, but also swapped out Josh Benson for Romal Palmer in central midfield.

The first half was one of few real chances for either side, although the hosts definitely looked the more likely to take the lead. 

Top scorer, Viktor Gyokeres twice forced Brad Collins into a save, but on both occasions the efforts were tame, and easy for the Reds' 'keeper to deal with. Both opportunities came via long balls into the channels, from which Barnsley continue to struggle with this season.

We did, though, see a number of presentable moments squandered by either a poor touch or lack of vision. Lots of decent approach play, but again, very little in terms of an end-product. In fact, both sides' inability to retain possession was a key factor in a sub-standard watch.

The best Reds chance in the opening 45 was probably Michał Helik's firm header that fell a foot wide of goal following a Callum Styles corner kick. Meanwhile, last weekend's goalscorer Domingos Quina blasted a 25-yard free-kick wide of goal before the break.

HALF-TIME: Coventry 0-0 Barnsley

The second half had barely got going before a five-minute delay after a clash of heads between Mads Andersen and Gyokeres, who had to be bandaged up in the aftermath.

Coventry were the dominant team now, however, with Barnsley struggling to get back into the contest, struggling to get into the opposing half of the pitch. That being said, Carlton Morris did well - on the counter - to scamper into the box and cut the ball across the face of goal, but the stretching Palmer couldn't quite reach it, three yards out.

Again, opportunities were rare in another tough half of football, with Reds defenders putting their bodies on the line with some outstanding blocks and interceptions preventing the Sky Blues a clear sight of goal.  

Benson replaced Palmer, a like-for-like change in midfield; Devante Cole came on in place of wing-back Rémy Vita, seeing a change of position for Styles in the process, and finally Jasper Moon appeared late on, for the tiring Brittain, thus enabling another shift in personnel, with the sub moving into the back three and Jordan Williams moving to right wing-back.

The changes had little positive impact, as the home side ramped up the pressure, winning a number of set-pieces and going ultra-direct as we approached the last knockings of normal time.

Brief forays forward on the break were about all we could muster in terms of our own attacks, and after the announcement of nine added minutes at the end of the game, Mark Robins' men finally found a winner.

A poorly attempted clearance fell kindly for defender Hyam inside the box and he sweetly struck the ball home, first-time, giving Collins no chance and condemning the Reds to yet another defeat on the road this season. 

FULL-TIME: Coventry 1-0 Barnsley

Collins, Brittain (Moon), Williams, Helik, Andersen, Vita (Cole), Styles, Palmer (Benson), Gomes, Morris, Quina.

Unused: Walton, Halme, Hondermarck, Wolfe.


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