DEBUTANT Daniel Agyei received high praise from manager Tony Mowbray after scoring on his debut but it proved to be in vain as the Sky Blues let slip a one-goal lead to lose 3-1 at promotion-chasing Bradford City.
Agyei marked his move to the Sky Blues on loan from Burnley by scoring the opening goal at Bradford as Mowbray’s side held a 1-0 lead at half-time.
But the game turned on its head after the break when fellow debutant Jordan Turnbull was sent off after bringing down Billy Clarke inside the area.
Tony Mahon scored from the spot and winger Mark Marshall scored superb long range effort before Mahon was successful from 12 yards out again after Josh Cullen had been fouled by Vladimir Gadzhev.
It leaves the Sky Blues still searching for their first league win of the season having picked up two points from a possible 12.
“We came here and wanted to show them that Coventry City are going to be a strong team this year and I felt it was another game where we should have had the points,” said Mowbray.
“It’s been a bit of a common theme this season when really we could have been out of sight in matches but haven’t been taking our opportunities.
“In and out of possession we managed to control the tempo of the game for an hour, it could have been two or three but it wasn’t to be. Even when they came on strong I don’t think we were under any pressure until right at the death of the first-half.
“It was good that Daniel scored on his debut – he’s a big, powerful boy and looked a threat.
“We took him off after and hour because he was out on his feet to be honest but you could see what he adds to the team.”
It is becoming something of a theme for the Sky Blues this season with Mowbray’s side dominating possession in the first half and creating plenty of chances but Bradford came into the match in the second 45 minutes with Turnbull’s sending off changing the match.
Nineteen-year-old Agyei opened the scoring with 12 minutes on the clock when he got on the end of a pass by youngster Ben Stevenson and let the ball roll towards the penalty spot before dinking the ball over Bradford goalkeeper Colin Doyle.
Gadzhev almost doubled City’s lead on 26 minutes but he free kick drifted narrowly wide of the post.
It stayed 1-0 at half-time but cheered on by 17,000 home fans, Bradford found a way back into the match.
Former City midfielder Romain Vincelot saw his header hit the bar before Turnbull brought down Clarke on 67 minutes. The former Saints defender was given his marching orders and Mahon made no mistake from the spot.
Two minutes later Marshall then scored the goal of the game after beating Marshall with a superb 25-yard left-footed shot and Mahon put the result beyond doubt with his second from the spot 15 minutes from the end.
“It’s very disappointing for the fans who made the trip,” Mowbray added. “But for me there are plenty of positives and we need to take them on to the next game.
“When we were down to ten men is was obviously more difficult and we have to learn how to do that better.
“We gave it back to them too quickly and we have to be better at keeping the ball if somebody gets sent off in the future. When things settle down – when we get the window out of the way and they all integrate together, we’ll get some work done.”