Coventry City tasted defeat as Barnsley defeated the Sky Blues on a cold Tuesday night at Oakwell. Goals from Marc Roberts and Ashley Fletcher gave the Tykes all three points.
Manager Tony Mowbray made two changes to the side that started against Fleetwood on Saturday. In came Marcus Tudgay and Steven Hunt, replacing Joe Cole and James Maddison respectively.
Barnsley nearly took the lead straight from kick off with less than a minute played. A floated cross found the head of Sam Winnall but Reice Charles-Cook tipped the ball over the bar well.
That chance woke City up and they nearly fashioned a chance of their own a few minutes later when Hunt ran at the Tykes backline and threaded a pass into Armstrong, but Marc Roberts just did enough to cover.
The Tykes responded in kind and after ten minutes Lloyd Isgrove drive into the box and fired low to the near post but Charles-Cook was there again.
However the reprieve was short-lived and from the resulting corner Roberts rose highest to steer a header into the top corner.
City looked to make a reply quickly and they had their first real effort on goal after 20 minutes when Adam Armstrong darted towards goal and let fly from 25 yards, with keeper Adam Davies doing just enough to turn the ball behind.
Charles-Cook was called into action again midway through the first half, diving to his left to stop a Conor Hourihane effort from distance.
The game was being played with real endeavour but the Sky Blues were finding chances hard to come by. Tudgay had a header comfortably saved ten minutes from the break whilst their defense were continuing to keep the Tykes at bay.
Barnsley were nearly given a gift with five minutes of the half remaining when Sam Ricketts passed the ball back to Charles-Cook, but Ashley Fletcher nearly nipped in, Charles-Cook just being able to clear the ball at the last second.
John Fleck had the last chance of the half as he fired a half-volley from the edge of the area but the ball flashed wide of the far post. It was a tough 45 minutes, not helped by the tricky and wet conditions.
The second half kicked off with the hosts on top and Charles-Cook made another great save from debutant Harry Chapman’s long range curling effort.
The Tykes doubled their lead on the hour, as an in-swinging free-kick was missed by Charles-Cook and the ball fell for Ashley Fletcher to smash home.
City were trying desperately to get back into the game but the Reds were pressing themselves and Chapman flashed a shot just wide as they attacked on the counter.
Mowbray introduced James Maddison and Darius Henderson in search of goals but Davies in the Barnsley goal was standing strong to City’s attacks.
But the hosts almost grabbed a third late on, with Chapman almost going clean through, only for Jack Stephens to get back and block the shot.
It was a tough night for the Sky Blues and attention now turns to a clash with Rochdale at the Ricoh Arena on Saturday.
City: Charles-Cook, Stokes, Stephens, RIcketts (c), Cargill, Vincelot (Rose 53’), Fleck, Hunt (Maddison 61’), Murphy, Tudgay, Armstrong
Subs: Addai (GK), Lameiras, Lorentzson, Ramage, Henderson
Barnsley: Davies (GK), Bree (Smith 72’), Roberts, Mawson, Williams, Watkins, Isgrove (Scowen 45’), Hourihane (c), Fletcher, Brownhill, Winnall (Chapman 45’)
Subs: Townsend (GK), Tuton, Nyatanga, Khan
Attendance: 9,344 (535 SBA)