Keane on target but honours even again
Will Keane was on target for the second successive game as Town and Coventry shared the spoils again.
The former Manchester United striker headed in from a corner to give Blues a deserved lead with Paul Lambert’s side threatening to add to the advantage before the break with Gwion Edwards and Alan Judge both going close before Keane smacked the post with another header.
The Sky Blues rallied in the second-half and Max Biamou levelled the scores before the hour. Callum O’Hare hit the bar late on as the teams couldn’t be split in the second of three head to head meetings in 10 days.
Town made one change from the team that drew with Coventry in the FA Cup last weekend, knee injury victim Danny Rowe replaced by Edwards. Luke Chambers missed out with a neck problem, Flynn Downes skippering the side with Cole Skuse, who took a knock on his hip in midweek against Peterborough, starting on the bench.
Edwards was immediately in the action, sending Jon Nolan down the right with an incisive ball, Kyle McFadzean aware of the danger to clear as Blues started with attacking intent.
Nolan did superbly at the other end to stop Amadou Bakayoko getting on the end of a free-flowing Sky Blues move, the midfielder central to the action again, this time back as a forward threat, throwing himself at a cross that just evaded him 10 yards out.
Will Norris was quickly off his line to quell the threat as Bakayoko looked to get on the end of a long ball, Luke Garbutt in the right place to clear as Coventry showed their attacking side.
Downes made good ground with a driving run from deep before Liam Kelly toe-poked the ball to safety, then really clever play in midfield with Nolan initiating the move released Edwards down the right and his shot was inches away from being diverted in by Judge.
Downes dragged a 30 yarder wide as Town looked the more likely to break the deadlock, Edwards earning a corner with a wicked delivery from the right that was headed behind and it was no surprise when Blues struck, Keane rising highest to head in from a well worked corner just past the half hour.
Keane thumped a header against the post from another corner five minutes later as Blues continued to dominate, Edwards sending in another delicious delivery that Marko Marosi held on to at his near post under pressure from the every-willing Nolan.
Garbutt volleyed wide after another intricate move through the midfield as Town pressed for that second goal, with Coventry forced into a change before the break with the injured Dom Hyam replaced by Jordan Shipley.
O’Hare headed over in a rare look at Town’s goal, Luke Woolfenden showing a combination of strength and composure to clear from Biamou, with the last action of a first-half bossed by Blues seeing Judge’s free-kick cleared at the near post.
Norris produced an excellent save to keep out Shipley’s piledriver from 25 yards as the Sky Blues looked for an early equaliser and it came on 56 minutes, Biamou finishing with an angled drive into the corner after Kelly’s pass.
Edwards and substitute Gervane Kastaneer were booked after a ‘disagreement’ off the pitch, the Town wideman missing next week’s game against Bristol Rovers following his fifth yellow of the season.
Judge had a cross cleared, the Republic of Ireland international making way for Kayden Jackson, Edwards for Skuse in a double change for Blues midway through the half.
O’Hare was a coat of paint away from putting his team in front when he smashed a shot against the bar, Janoi Donacien doing well to stop the Aston Villa loanee getting in at the back post, then Biamou headed wide as Coventry looked a different team from their first-half showing.
Jackson’s cross was cleared after he had escaped down the left, at the other end Blues got bodies in the way of successive shots from Bakayoko and O’Hare, McFadzean then heading straight at Norris from a corner.
A brilliant ball from Skuse just couldn’t find Keane at the far post, with Jamie Allen firing wide in added on time, as like last week's FA Cup encounter, the game ended even. Round Three on Tuesday!
Coventry: Marosi, Rose, McFadzean, Kelly, Biamou (Godden 90), Hyam (Shipley 44), O’Hare, Bakayoko, Dabo, Westbrooke (Allen 77), McCallum. Subs not used: Wilson, Hiwula, Drysdale, Kastaneer. Booked: Kastaneer.
Town: Norris, Donacien, Wilson, Woolfenden, Garbutt, Edwards (Skuse 67), Downes, Dozzell, Judge (Jackson 67), Nolan, Keane. Subs not used: Holy, Kenlock, Georgiou, El Mizouni, Dobra. Booked: Edwards, Woolfenden, Jackson.