IT TURNED out to be another frustrating afternoon for the Sky Blues as they were made to settle for a point at home to Crawley Town after throwing away a two-goal lead.
Looking to bring to an end a run of three consecutive defeats Steven Pressley’s side got off to the perfect start at the Ricoh Arena on Saturday with Josh McQuoid and Simeon Jackson firing the hosts 2-0 in front.
But three minutes of madness allowed the visitors to pull level at the break and despite soaking up heavy pressure in the second period they came away with a point.
The Sky Blues were quick out of the blocks and had three chances in the opening minutes to go in front in what was a full on attack at the Crawley goal.
First John Fleck was unlucky to see his low shot come back off the post, then recalled striker Josh McQuoid fired narrowly over the bar before Andy Webster was denied a rare goal when his header was saved by Brian Jenson.
The onslaught on the visitors’ goal continued and despite the club’s recent poor form the home crowd of just over 7,000 were right behind their side.
And that faith was rewarded on 14 minutes when Jenson failed to deal with a Jim O’Brien free kick and McQuoid demonstrated his goal-poaching instincts by reacting quickest and poking the rebound home.
A 1-0 lead was much deserved for the hosts who by now were in complete control of the match.
They continued to create several notable chances with McQuoid coming close again with a long range effort and the 24-year-old headed just over the bar from an O’Brien cross.
Another goal was looming and it came on 27 minutes when goalscorer McQuoid turned provider this time to set up Jackson who beat Jenson with a low finish across goal.
Crawley had barely ventured into the Sky Blues half in the opening half-an-hour but they were given a lifeline when winger Gwion Edwards beat Ryan Allsop with a wonderful curling effort.
And four minutes later the visitors were back on level terms thanks to striker Izale McLeod who fired low past Allsop.
From a position of complete control the hosts had somehow allowed Crawley to go in level at the break.
The second half proved to be a more tame affair with the hosts enjoying large periods of but they failed to find any real quality in the final third.
Playmakers O’Brien and Fleck were given lots of time on the ball but there was no end product to and in truth Pressley’s struggled to break down a stubborn Crawley defence.
The introduction of Mohamed Coulibaly injected some skill and pace into the Sky Blues attack but by now Crawley had seemingly already settled to come away from the Ricoh with a point.
A late flurry of attacks offered hope but ultimately the hosts could not find a breakthrough but at least a dismal run of three straight defeats has been ended.
Attendance: 7,708 (240)
Player ratings: Allsop 5, Pugh 5, Phillips 6 (Clarke ), Webster, Hines, Willis, Fleck, Thomas (Coulibaly 76), O’Brien, Jackson, McQuoid (Miller 85)
Subs not used – Burge, Barton, Tudgay, Finch.