SKY Blues manager Mark Robins was full of praise for his young guns, after Coventry City picked up two points in their opening Leasing.com Trophy group game against Walsall on Tuesday night.
A drab 0-0 draw after 90 minutes provided both sides with a point in Group D, with the hosts winning the resulting penalty shoot-out 5-4 to take home an extra point.
The result puts them second in the group behind Forest Green Rovers, who beat Southampton U21s 3-2 in their first appearance in this year’s competition.
Robins believes the game was a beneficial one, especially for a number of his younger players who were given a run out, and singled out a vital first-half stop from goalkeeper Ben Wilson for praise.
“That’s the nature of the game, they’re young players, they’re learning the trade,” he said.
“Some things were good and some things they found difficult, but that’s good for their development.
“Ben’s made a really good save in the first half and really, one in the second half, but they didn’t threaten us at all really.
“It was a fairly straight forward performance, it was about us trying to work out passing angles and movement and it just fell short a little bit at times.”
Both sides had just one shot on target each, with Wilson tipping over Elijah Adebayo’s half-volley from the edge of the area, while substitute Will Bapaga squeezed a shot towards the near post that was saved low by Jack Rose.
With the match heading straight for penalties, early misses by Amadou Bakayoko and Kyle McFadzean put Coventry on the backfoot, but were bailed out by Rory Gaffney and Adebayo fluffing their efforts.
Wilson produced a low save to keep out Liam Kinsella, leaving Tennai Watson with the opportunity to blast the ball home and earn an extra point for Coventry.
Coventry next host Blackpool at St Andrew’s on Saturday (3pm).