Coventry City 2-1 MK Dons
THE LONG search for a home league win finally came to an end for the Sky Blues after they produced a brave performance to beat promotion-chasing MK Dons 2-1 at the Ricoh Arena.
A goal on his home debut by defender Chris Stokes and a fourth goal in sky blue colours for Dominic Samuel saw the home side, who were temporarily under the stewardship of Neil MacFarlane, take a 2-0 lead into half-time.
And despite Dominic Powell pulling a goal back and spending the remainder of the match camped inside their own half, the Sky Blues managed to hold out for three much-needed points which lifts them out of the League One relegation zone.
A lot of the pre-match conversation had been built around the return of former Sky Blues fan’s favourite Carl Baker.
And 32-year-old almost scored on his return after just eight minutes when he unleashed a powerful volley at goal which was well saved by Lee Burge.
Barely a minute later the first real chance for the hosts fell to Dominic Samuel who was put clean through but Ian McLoughlin was quick off his line to make the save.
However from the resultant corner full back Stokes made it a home debut to remember by sending a bullet of a header into the net to the delight of the home support.
The goal seemed to rock the visitors and just three minutes later the Sky Blues found a second.
Despite being urged to shoot as he approached the penalty area John Fleck bided his time before setting up Samuel who made up for his earlier miss by shooting low past McLoughlin to make it 2-0.
The visitors grew more into the game as the half progressed but the Sky Blues seemed determined not to concede and two heroic last ditch tackles kept their clean sheet intact before the break.
First Aaron Martin did well to block Devante Cole right in front of goal and soon after Matthew Pennington got an important touch to a dangerous low cross from the right by Jordan Spence.
Baker was proving to be a threat every time he received the ball and he grew more into the game after the re-start and it was backs to the wall for the hosts as MK Dons tried to find a way back into the match.
Another goal-saving tackle, this time from Marcus Tudgay, denied Ben Reeves in front of goal and from the resulting corner Burge had to be alert to deny Antony Kay at the far post.
Baker’s trickery and skill had been a constant threat the entire match and it was no surprise to see him set up the goal that got MK Dons back into the match.
The former City midfielder beat Aaron Phillips before picking out Daniel Powell by the penalty spot who beat Burge with a close range finish.
From then on it was all one way traffic as the visitors pressed in search of an equaliser.
Burge was tested by Cole from long range but the young goalkeeper produced a fine full stretch save to beat the ball way and soon afterwards Reeves saw his volley from just outside the area take a deflection before drifting narrowly wide of goal.
And despite dominating much of the second period the visitors failed to find an equaliser as the hosts bravely held out to secure their first league win at home since
Player ratings: Burge 9, Stokes 8, Phillips 6, Martin 7, Pennington 7, Williams 5, Fleck 8, Barton 8, O’Brien 7, Tudgay 7, Samuel 8