Coventry City 1-0 Sunderland AFC
Sunderland fell to a narrow defeat at St Andrew’s against Coventry City on Sunday afternoon.
The home side burst out of the traps and led after less than two minutes, with top scorer Matt Godden dispatching a cool finish beyond Jon McLaughlin.
Tom Flanagan and Charlie Wyke both spurned chances before the break, as the former volleyed off target before the latter headed over from close range.
A fiery encounter throughout, Max Power thought he had levelled on 76 minutes, but the midfielder’s deflected effort took a vital ricochet off an offside Luke O’Nien.
The Lads pushed forward until the final stages, but City refused to be breached and Godden’s strike proved to be the winner.
Phil Parkinson named an unchanged side at St Andrew’s, but he shuffled his pack and made changes to the bench, as Joel Lynch and Will Grigg returned to the squad.
Coventry City entered the fixture amidst a 12-game unbeaten run in Sky Bet League One – and with just 90 seconds on the clock, they proved why.
A lively start saw Callum O’Hare menace on two occasions, but the Lads failed to adhere to the earning warning signs, as Godden fizzed a low drive into the net.
Sunderland dusted themselves down and Wyke almost crafted a goal out of nothing on eight minutes, volleying just wide from range.
The Lads should have levelled shortly after, but Flanagan side-footed a first-time finish well off target after being picked out at the back post by Chris Maguire.
Thunderous challenges followed as neither side held back, but clear-cut chances were at a premium and it remained 1-0 at the break.
The heavens opened following the restart, but it did little to dampen a fiery atmosphere as both sides looked to stamp their authority on the game after the restart.
Parkinson’s men pressed forward from the off and forced an early corner, with City responding through successive counter attacks that yielded little reward.
The game remained in the balance as the hour marked passed, with Kelly blazing over before a George Dobson effort deflected wide.
With just over 20 minutes remaining, Kyle Lafferty joined the action and he made an immediate impact, holding up the ball to engineer a counter attack which ended when Wyke headed straight at Marosi.
A wicked deflection saw Power’s strike deceive the City stopper and nestle into the net on 76 minutes, but the defining touch came off O’Nien and after consulting one another, the officials ruled it out.
Sunderland continued to battle, but City held firm to take the points.
Coventry City: Marosi, Rose, McFadzean, Kelly, Allen (Bakayoko 79), Hyam, O’Hare, Walsh, Dabo, Godden, McCallum.
Subs not used: Wilson, Biamou, Pask, Giles, Westbrooke, Shipley.
Sunderland: J McLaughlin, Willis (Semenyo 78), Ozturk, Power, Maguire, Wyke, Gooch, Flanagan, O’Nien, Dobson, Hume (Lafferty 69).
Subs not used: Burge, C McLaughlin, Grigg, Lynch, Scowen.