MARK Venus was left cursing basic defensive errors after watching his Sky Blues side fall to a 3-0 defeat away at Charlton Athletic as they remain firmly rooted at the bottom of the League One table.
Despite being backed by a strong away following of over 1,300 visiting fans, caretaker boss Venus was unable to galvanise the team as the slipped to a fifth away defeat of the season.
A close range effort from Ricky Holmes shortly after the half-hour mark gave Charlton a narrow lead at the break and second half goals from Ademola Lookman and Josh Magennis settled the match as City’s miserable start to the season continued.
“I enjoyed the game and the way we played but I didn’t enjoy the goals we conceded,” said Venus.
“They were pretty basic mistakes and if you give those sort of goals away you’ve got a problem. The first goal we lost concentration and the second goal we got out-muscled in the corner and gave the ball away.
“We created enough opportunities to punish them, but struggled to take those chances”The final ball wasn’t quite there and we were punished. No excuses.
“It is proving a little difficult for us to master at the moment. We aren’t effective enough from crosses and need to find the right coloured shirt more often.”
A mass protest took place ahead of Saturday’s match at the Valley as both sets of fans united against their current owners and the game was delayed for several minutes while pigs were thrown onto the pitch.
Once the action got underway it was the home side who made all the early running with Patrick Bauer heading against the post on ten minutes.
With 24 minutes on the clock Ruben Lameiras, recalled for his first start since early September, took the ball around one player before setting up Jamie Sterry on the overlap but although he beat Declan Rudd, his shot hit the side netting.
Lameiras was proving a threat in attack and on the half-hour mark he combined well with Gael Bigirimana before firing a powerful effort at goal and it looked as though the visitors were going to take the lead but the Portuguese midfielder saw his effort come back off he post.
Just moments later the deadlock was broken but it was the home side were got their noses in front when Holmes was deemed onside inside the area before stabbing the ball past Lee Burge.
The goal lifted the hosts who could have doubled their lead before the break with Josh Magennis coming within inches of connecting to a dangerous cross from Holmes.
It looked as though a few choice words got the Sky Blues buoyed for the start of the second half but chances came went with the best falling to Chris McCann who was denied by a fine Rudd save on 51 minutes.
At the other end Lee Burge did well to deny Lee Novak on the hour mark and Magennis but the hosts were able to double their advantage ten minutes from time when Jordan Turnball lost possession and Lookman was on-hand to stab the ball home from close range.
Magennis completed the scoring when he beat off the attentions of Sam Ricketts before lifting the ball over Burge.
“We’ve got a couple of home games coming up and we have to try and make the most of them and get some points,” Venus added.
“We need to keep believing in what we’re doing and put the ball in the back of the net.”