The Sky Blues earned a Capital One Cup second round berth at Victoria Road after a dramatic last-gasp penalty winner from captain Kevin Kilbane.
Kilbane stroked home from the spot in injury time after a tense affair with League Two outfit Dagenham to put City in the hat for the second round for the first time since 2008.
City boss Andy Thorn named three of his summer signings in his first starting line up of the 2012/13 season, starting Kevin Kilbane, Reece Brown and Callum Ball among a collection of otherwise familiar faces with the exception of young Academy graduate Billy Daniels whom he also handed his competitive debut for the club.
It was Ball's strike partner Cody McDonald who had the first chance of the half after nine minutes when he latched onto a through ball and had to cut inside down the left into the area, his shot from ten yards saved by Daggers 'keeper Chris Lewington.
McDonald went close again on 23 minutes when he connected with a whipped in cross from the left by Chris Hussey, glancing a header just over the bar.
The first was looking to be a relatively quiet affair with McDonald having the only two chances of the game up until the final five minutes of the half when the game exploded into life.
Scott Doe had a gilt-edged chance to put the hosts ahead on 42 minutes when a he controlled a deep cross at the back post and took a touch before firing a half volley just over Joe Muprhy's bar from less than eight yards.
Oluwafemi Ilesanmi then rushed into City's final third before firing wide from just outside the area a minute later.
Ilesanmi then whipped in a dangerous low cross across Murphy's six-yard area on Dagenham's next attack only for the delivery to find no-one.
The sudden flurry of home activity was capped off by Josh Scott a minute before the break when he ran at Hussey before dropping his shoulder and curling a shot around the post.
City had the last say of the half though when Carl Baker tapped a ball over the top of the Daggers defence for McDonald who tried to tap the ball over the on rushing Lewington only to guide it just over the bar.
The Sky Blues came very close to having the first say of the second half as well when McSheffrey fired a low cross into Dagenham's six-yard box which caused Daggers to hack away a panicky clearance five minutes after the restart.
The second 45 minutes though descended into a more scrappy affair as both sides tried to balance an attacking threat with not getting caught on the break.
So much so the only other real effort of note was infact Kilbane's late penalty winner.
Hussey drew a free kick 20 yards out and when Baker's floated delivery into the box searched out for Wood, the central defender was bundled over by Michael Spillane, forcing the referee to point to the spot where Kilbane fired straight down the middle of the goal to hand the Sky Blues a second round berth.
Attendance: 1,904 (580 Sky Blue Army)
Coventry City: Murphy, Brown, Wood, Hussey, Clarke, Kilbane, Daniels, Baker, McSheffrey (Elliott 70), Ball (O'Donovan 84), McDonald
Subs: Dunn (GK), Malaga, Jeffers, Edjenguele, Garner
Dagenham and Redbridge: Lewington, Ilesanmi, Doe, Spillane, Scott, Elito, Howell, Hoyte, Ogogo (c), Woodall (Williams 56), Bingham
Subs: Davies (GK), Wilkinson, Green, Reed, DJ Green, Dennis
Bookings: Elliott (COV) Kilbane (COV) Ilesanma (DAG) Spillane (DAG)
Referee: I Williamson
Assistant Referees: A Coggins, N Lugg
Fourth Official: J Hopkins