Josh Pask scored a debut goal and Max Biamou netted a brace as the Sky Blues comfortably secured their place in the fourth round of the Emirates FA Cup with a 3-0 win against Bristol Rovers on Tuesday night.
Biamou opened the scoring on four minutes after he was played through by Callum O’Hare before debutant Pask doubled the lead from another O’Hare assist early in the second half.
City completed the scoring on 56 minutes when Biamou turned home Liam Walsh’s drilled cross from close range in a dominant display from Mark Robins side and will meet Birmingham City in the next round of the competition.
Robins opted to make five changes from the side that drew with Milton Keynes Dons at the weekend which included handing a debut to Pask.
The Sky Blues started the brighter of the two sides when Walsh tested Jordi van Stappershoef with a first-time effort from outside the penalty area after two minutes which the keeper did well to save.
That early pressure paid off a couple of minutes later when Biamou was sent clean through on goal by a defence-splitting pass from O’Hare before slotting his effort into the bottom right corner of the goal after just four minutes.
City continued to threaten the Rovers goal with O’Hare next to try his luck from distance with van Stappershoef equal to his effort.
Robins side continued to play free flowing football and came within inches of finding a second goal on 22 minutes when Pask’s dangerous cross from the right just evaded Biamou at full stretch.
However, the visitors responded shortly after when Luke Leahy crossed for Jonson Clarke-Harris whose header came back off the crossbar before heading narrowly over with another headed chance moments later.
Having conceded from a set-piece in the first tie, the Sky Blues almost scored from one this time around when Jamie Allen’s corner from the right was met well by Dom Hyam who saw his header cleared off the line by Clarke-Harris.
The chances continued to flow when Pask produced another good cross from the right only for Biamou’s spectacular overhead kick attempt to go wide of the goal.
O’Hare continued to cause Rovers problems when he picked the ball just past the halfway line and went on a mazy dribble before eventually seeing his effort deflected behind for a corner five minutes before the interval.
Just before half time City went on the attack again with Biamou picking out Liam Kelly 20-yards from goal with the captain side footing his effort over the crossbar as the Sky Blues went into the break with a thoroughly deserved one-nil lead.
HALF-TIME: SKY BLUES 1-0 BRISTOL ROVERS
The Sky Blues picked up where they left off at the beginning of the second half when Kelly played Allen in down the right-hand side of the penalty area with the midfielder’s goal bound effort deflected just wide of the post.
City doubled their lead soon after when O’Hare played another perfectly weighted pass in behind the Rovers defence with debutant Pask bursting into the penalty area and hammering an unstoppable effort past van Stappershoef.
The Sky Blues caught Rovers cold from a short corner six minutes later, with Allen finding Walsh in the penalty area before his drilled cross was turned home from close range by Biamou who doubled his tally for the game.
The comfortable three-goal lead allowed Robins to hand game time to Jodi Jones and Josh Eccles from the bench, with Jones making just his second appearance of the season since returning from a year-long injury.
Despite being three goals behind, Rovers still threatened to deny City a clean sheet when Clarke-Harris curled a free kick around the wall from 25-yards out which was pushed around the post by the alert Marko Marosi.
Former City man Clarke-Harris continued to be a nuisance in the air when he flicked on Leahy’s hopeful ball into the penalty area but saw his effort trickle harmlessly wide of the target.
Alex Rodman was next to try his luck for Rovers but rifled his effort from distance well over the crossbar in the final few minutes.
The Sky Blues saw out the final moments to secure a well deserved win and will play Birmingham City in the next round in an exciting local match-up.
FULL-TIME: SKY BLUES 3-0 BRISTOL ROVERS
Goals: Biamou 4’, 56’, Pask 50’
Yellows: Craig 22’, Menayese 69’, Clarke 90'+3
Sky Blues XI: Marko Marosi (GK), Josh Pask, Dom Hyam, Kyle McFadzean (Shipley 85’), Michael Rose, Brandon Mason, Jamie Allen, Liam Kelly (C), Liam Walsh (Eccles 71’), Callum O’Hare (Jones 60’), Max Biamou
Unused Subs: Ben Wilson (GK), Declan Drysdale, Jordy Hiwula, Amadou Bakayoko
Bristol Rovers XI: Jodi van Stappershoef (GK), Rollin Menayese, Alfie Kilgour, Tony Craig (C), Luke Leahy, Alex Rodman, Ed Upson (Clarke 84’), Liam Sercombe, Tareiq Holmes-Dennis (Adeboyejo 46’), Jonson Clarke-Harris, Cameron Hargreaves (Kelly 62’)
Unused Subs: Alexis Andre (GK), Tom Davies, Kyle Bennett, Tom Nichols