Cody McDonald brace hands Sky Blues a winning end to their pre-season campaign
Coventry City secured their third consecutive pre-season win at Bristol Rovers with Cody McDonald grabbing a brace.
City dominated the majority of the game with McDonald scoring either side of Matt Harold's equaliser to take his pre-season goal tally to four from the last three games.
In typical pre-season friendly fashion, the game began at a slow pace on a sunny Saturday afternoon in Bristol. Coventry grew into the game and thought they had taken the lead when Richard Wood appeared to head home from Carl Baker's cross. However, the referee believed Wood fouled his marker Adam Virgo and ruled out his effort in the 10th minute.
The Sky Blues continued to press forward with Adam Barton and Baker providing a creative spark in midfield. It was Barton who was able to evade the attentions of three Rovers defenders before firing his fierce shot just wide of the keeper's left-hand post in the 16th minute.
City continued to press forward and got their reward in the 25th minute with Cody McDonald putting the side in front. Kevin Kilbane and Chris Hussey had a neat exchange on the left side before Hussey pushed forward and crossed brilliantly for McDonald to head home.
Matt Lund was able to test Chris Dunn in the Coventry net when his shot forced a low save out of the former Northampton man but the home fans had little encouragement throughout the first half.
Billy Daniels continued his run in the side, sitting deep in midfield and doing well to control play alongside Kilbane.
However, the home side were back on level terms three minutes before half-time. Lee Brown's corner found Matt Harrold charging into the box and he headed past Dunn to get draw the home side level.
McDonald almost got City back in front but his attempt was well blocked by Jim Paterson as the sides went in level.
Steven Jennings and Gary McSheffrey replaced Adam Barton and Billy Daniels at the half-time, and the changes seemed to have the desired effect four minutes into the second half.
It was McSheffrey who did well to feed McDonald on the left and after running at goal, he turned past his defender and fired home to grab his second of the game.
The Gas almost drew level when Wayne Brown was found in the middle by Joe Anyinsah but his shot was brilliantly saved by Dunn who parried over the bar.
Despite Dunn's save, City continued to dominate the game and McSheffrey almost put City further ahead in the 69th minute. Stephen Elliott did well to evade two defenders and he found McSheffrey 25 yards out whose half-volley was well saved by Iain Turner.
The heat definitely played a part in the game with the tempo constantly slowing throughout the second half. With Elliott doing well to stretch the Rovers defence, the midfield was able to benefit with Baker and Kilbane having long-range efforts.
With ten minutes to go, Coventry almost sealed the win when Jordan Clarke crossed brilliantly for Peter Poloskei to head home but the trialist was unable to hit the target.
Rovers tried in vein at the game of the to salvage something from the game but City were not going to be denied victory.
Sky Blues boss Andy Thorn would take a lot of confidence from this performance as his side prepare for the 2012/13 season.
Coventry City: Dunn, Clarke, Hussey, Brown, Wood, Kilbane, Baker, Barton (McSheffrey 46), Daniels (Jennings 46), McDonald (Poloskei 63), Ball (Elliott 63)
Subs: Burge (GK), Malaga, Edjenguele
Bristol Rovers: Turner, Smith, Paterson, Clarkson, Harrold (Anyinsah 60), Brown, Norburn, Virgo, Clucas, Broghammer, Lund
Subs: Gough (GK), Baldvinsson, Gill, Richards, Brown, Staley