Coventry City 0-2 Bradford City
IT WAS not a happy return for Mark Robins as his Sky Blues side fell to another defeat, this time at home to promotion chasing Bradford City as City’s chances of survival in League One took another major blow.
Two goals in the space of three second half minutes proved to be Coventry’s downfall as Alex Jones and Jordy Hiwula beat Lee Burge to consign the Sky Blues to a 20th defeat of the season, while Bradford march on toward automatic promotion.
The return of Robins looked to have the desired effect early on as the Sky Blues were quick out of the blocks and started the stronger of the two teams.
Stuart Beavon had a fourth-minute shot comfortably saved by Colin Doyle after cutting inside by the edge of the penalty area and Ben Stevenson, recalled the midfield in place of the injured Andy Rose, sent a long range effort narrowly wide.
The best chance of the half fell to Beavon in the 15th minute after Kwame Thomas had glanced the ball on and the City striker produced an acrobatic shot on the volley which had Doyle troubled, but the ball dropped inches wide.
Three minutes later Charlie Wyke thought he had put the visitors in front when he met Mark Marshall’s deep cross at the far post but his header came back off the post and was hacked off the line by Jordan Turnbull.
Neither side created any real notable chances in what turned into a competitive encounter against two sides desperately seeking three points.
Dion Kelly-Evans was introduced for the injured Kevin Foley and there was half a chance for George Thomas just before the break but his low shot from just outside the area was well saved by Doyle.
With plenty to play for in the second period the Sky Blues looked for an early breakthrough after the break and almost found it when Clarke’s looping head was saved at the second attempt by Doyle.
Instead it was Bradford who did their promotion push the world of good by scoring two goals in the space of just three minutes.
First first half substitute Alex Jones poked a Tony McMahon corner home from close range on 51 minutes andaL just minutes later Jordy Hiwula beat Burge with a powerful shot from just outside the area.
Robins looked a depleted man on the touchline and he looked even more angered when George Thomas blazed a first time volley high over the bar in front of goal on the hour mark. The academy graduate should have at least hit the target and was one of very few chances for the Sky Blues in the second period.
In truth the two goals conceded in quick succession seemed to knock the stuffing out of the home side and despite trying his best to rally his troops from the touchline, the Sky Blues failed to create any real notable chances.
At the other end Bradford came close to extending their lead further when Billy Clarke curled in a dangerous free kick from the right but Burge did well to force his effort over the crossbar.
Team: Burge, Stokes (Rawson 66), Turnbull, Clarke, Vernam (Jones 58), Reilly, K.Thomas, Beavon, Foley (Kelly Evans 30, G.Thomas, Stevenson
Subs – Charles-Cook, Bigirimana, Reid, Tudgay