COVENTRY City go to Bristol Rovers on Saturday in good league form after two consecutive wins.
Six points saw the newly promoted side move to 12th in League One – four points off a play-off berth – with a 1-0 victory against Barnsley at the Ricoh Arena.
The trip to Bristol – with Rovers in the bottom four – comes ahead of tough-looking fixtures against high fliers Sunderland and Portsmouth.
Last Saturday’s win came courtesy of defender Jordan Willis’s 80th minute winner, bundled in from close range after a Michael Doyle set-piece free kick from outside the area resulted in a Dominic Hyam header back across the box.
It was Barnsley’s first League One defeat of the season, after relegation last season, in front of their optimistic supporters who witnessed a closely fought but surprisingly open contest, with chances missed at both ends.
The best of those fell to Coventry City’s new recruit Conor Chaplin early on, when he burst into the box with only the keeper to beat, latching on to a through-ball from the eye-catching Derby loanee and wide-man, Luke Thomas.
With around 10,000 home fans expecting the net to bulge, the diminutive striker guided his shot wide.
The former Portsmouth player did however show his class with a very well taken second-half chance, only for the goal to be mysteriously disallowed for offside, during an extended period of attacking play through the Barnsley lines.
Chaplin also once again showed promise – after his debut at Oxford last week – with a committed and energetic performance in which he linked up well with teammates.
It was also a good afternoon for man-of-the-match Lee Burge, who was solid throughout and made two stunning one-handed saves.
A first-half save to his left denied Jacob Brown after a sloppy Junior Brown backpass, and a flying left handed stop prevented Mamadou Thiam’s 20-yard curling shot from nestling in the top right corner.
City’s manager Mark Robins said: “It wasn’t a perfect performance but a 1-0 win against a side who had gone so far unbeaten is a great afternoon’s work.
“I thought we were the better team even though they gave us a really tough afternoon.
“We gave them a tough afternoon as well.
“We had four or five chances that you’d expect the players who had the chances to score and if it weren’t for a mixture of rushing things, their blocks and goalkeeper saves we would’ve been out of sight.
“They’re decent and will shift you around. They’ll try and make things narrow so that they can utilise the width. They have good players that can move the ball and deliver balls well out wide to try and shift the balance.
“But we defended really well, we had to be solid and strong.”
“The four plus Burgey were very good.
“Shipley must have run a marathon today, and Luke Thomas. Doyler was outstanding and marshalled everybody really well, Bayliss too was really, really good all the way through.
“Bakayoko hasn’t had many minutes but he came on and gave us an extra foothold in the game which helped to stop their right-back’s progress. It was a really good result for us.”