ANOTHER late Coventry City goal brought reward for spirit and attacking endeavour against Doncaster Rovers.
Saturday’s 1-1 home draw against a potential promotion rival came courtesy of previously out-of-favour substitute Amadou Bakayoko’s thumping 89th minute equaliser.
It preserved City’s unbeaten record this season, albeit with the first home points dropped to see them slip to fourth place in League One.
The game started slowly with the Sky Blues giving the ball away on occasion, including a mistake by the otherwise excellent new central midfielder Liam Walsh from which Rovers should have scored.
City gradually worked their way into the game and began to show their flowing passing game, albeit at a slower pace than recently.
That was because a well organised Donny side appeared to be content to sit deep in numbers rather than accepting City’s now trademark invitation to suck their opposition into the high press from which to launch their swift counter-attacking prowess.
Playing the ball out slowly from defence to achieve this has been the tactic, but at times it has looked error-strewn and fraught with danger. So it was to prove again in an otherwise sound defensive display.
Some of Coventry’s movement through midfield was again scintillating and improved as the game when on. Notable was the link-up play between the classy Aston Villa loanee Callum O’Hare, making his second start to be man-of-the-match. His passing and movement with great balance and link-up play, especially with Walsh, was a joy to watch.
Jordy Hiwula, still on four goals this season, missed two first-half chances, one guilt-edged, before Doncaster took the lead with their first real chance of the game. It was an excellent finish from Ben Whiteman low to keeper Marosi’s right on 41 minutes from the edge of the area after a precise counter-attack down City’s left.
Coventry’s main concerns again came with finishing, with striker Matt Godden again failing to convert the odd half-chance in the box – and delivery, particularly from the wide areas.
Wesley Jobello on the right appeared reluctant to take on his man – in contrast with his counterpart last season, Luke Thomas, who would beat full-backs at will but lacked end product.
Whereas Jobello’s delivery was excellent in the second-half of the last match against Wimbledon, he was not at his best against Donny while the delivery from high-pressing full-backs Dabo and Mason was also patchy.
Jobello was replaced in the second half by Gervane Kastaneer who immediately looked more threatening as City pressed for the equaliser.
It eventually came from ‘Baka’ who banged the ball into the top right of the net from just inside the area after being set up by centre-back Kyle McFadzean. He had alongside Dom Hyam defended well despite being guilty of yet another of those City errors in overplaying from the back, from which Donny should have made it 2-0.
Mark Robins said of Bakayoko, selected ahead of Max Biamou on the bench: “His performances have been really good in training this week and he has been banging the ball into the back of the net which has obviously given him the confidence to come on and score.
“I think that we were really good and we played really well creating a lot of real clear-cut chances throughout the game.”