SKY blue spirits were severely dampened as Steven Pressley’s side were well beaten 3-0 by League One leaders Swindon Town on a soaking wet night at the Ricoh Arena.
In front of the lowest crowd since the club returned to the Ricoh in September, the Sky Blues found themselves 2-0 down at the break following a dismal opening 45 minutes.
And despite showing improvement after the break the hosts were unable to find a breakthrough and remain just four points away from the relegation zone.
Plenty of the pre-match talk had centred around a large-scale protest against owners Sisu.
But the boos aimed at the much disliked hedge fund were almost replaced by cheers when Frank Nouble picked out of Simeon Jackson with a low cross but the City striker’ shot was smartly saved be the alert Wes Foderingham in the Swindon goal.
The boos however returned four minutes later when Andy Williams got on the end of a superb Harry Toffolo cross from the left and beat the helpless Ryan Allsop to put the visitors in front.
Jackson almost found an equaliser on 13 minutes when Aaron Martin headed a Jim O’Brien free kick across the face of goal but Foderingham was alert to make a brave save.
But Swindon were looking dangerous with every attack and they were given a helping hand to go 2-0 in front in the 17th minute.
Louis Thompson drifted into the penalty area unmarked and Nouble brought the midfielder down. There were no complaints from the Sky Blues players and Williams was on-hand to fire home his second of the match from the spot.
Swindon had chances to put the result beyond doubt by half-time but Michael Smith wasted two guilt-edge opportunities inside the area.
While at the other end Conor Thomas should have done better when the ball dropped nicely on the edge of the area but the Sky Blues midfielder flashed his shot high over the bar.
There seemed to be more energy from Pressley’s side after the break and the hosts were inches away from finding a way back into the game on 47 minutes.
Thomas picked out Nouble wide on the left and he beat his marker before delivering a dangerous cross which was met by Thomas at the far post but his effort failed to cross the line.
Two minutes later Swindon again had the chance to stretch their lead swift counter attack that saw midfielder John Swift get a free shot at goal from close range but Allsop got down well to make a smart stop with his leg.
As the second half progressed the protest chants seemed to spur Pressley’s side on and they continued to press in search of an opening.
Nouble was seeing lots of the ball down the left but there was no real quality in the final third which has been the case on many other occasions this season.
Swindon seemed happy to sit back and hit the Sky Blues on the counter and this strategy led to a third and final goal nine minutes from time.
A mix-up between Allsop and Martin saw the latter attempt to guide the ball to safety with a sliding challenge, but the ball fell into the path of substitute Jonathon Obika who slotted home from a tight angle with is first touch.
Player ratings: Allsop 5, Haynes 6, Pennington 6, Webster 5, Martin 5, Fleck 6, Thomas 5, O’Brien 5 (Swanson 69), Nouble 7, Jackson 6 (Thomas 80), Madine 5