Leon Clarke's opener for City cancelled out by Mark Ellis to make it level at the break with Crewe
Coventry City go into the break on level terms with Crewe Alexandra after Leon Clarke's opener for the Sky Blues was cancelled out by a Mark Ellis equaliser.
Clarke gave City the lead with a well taken goal after 12 minutes but the visitors were level three minutes later when Ellis powered home from a Gregor Robertson corner.
City interim boss Lee Carsley made just one enforced change to the side that beat Crewe 2-0 in the JPT in midweek, bringing in William Edjenguele at centre-half for Richard Wood who was ruled out with a groin injury.
The Sky Blues seemed to pick up right from where they left off in midweek and came out of the blocks firing, first when Carl Baker had a shot blocked in the opening seconds and then when a floated cross from the left from Gary McSheffrey found Clarke to head just over the bar from eight yards.
Baker did test Crewe 'keeper Steve Phillips in the seventh minute though with a 12-yard shot through traffic which was parried by Phillips into the path of Clarke who was toppled over by Ellis before he could make contact with the loose ball, the referee waving away any claims for a penalty.
Phillips had no chance with City's opener after 12 minutes though, Cyrus Christie's long ball over the top finding Clarke to chest the ball down and fire home a half volley.
Joe Murphy was required at the other end after 15 minutes when Robertson fired from the edge of the area, Murphy tipping the shot over the bar.
Crewe were level from the resulting corner though when Robertson's delivery picked out Ellis eight yards out to side-foot a volley into the net.
The Railwaymen's set pieces continued to cause City problems when, just after the half hour, another delivery from Robertson caused panic in the Sky Blues' area forcing Murphy to come off his line and block Harry Davis' effort at the near post.
City were still in control of the game though and enjoyed the majority of possession, something they nearly made the most of with ten minutes of the half to go when Carl Dickinson got forward and was played down the left flank by James Bailey, the full-back whipping in a cross-cum-shot which flashed across the face of goal and just wide of the far post.
Bailey then went close with two minutes of the half to when he was squared a ball by Elliott just inside the area, Bailey trying to pick his spot but sending the ball hwide of the post
Coventry City: Murphy, Christie, Cameron, Edjenguele, Dickinson, Baker (c), Jennings, Bailey, McSheffrey, Elliott, L Clarke
Subs: Dunn (GK), J Clarke, Thomas, Fleck, Wilson, Willis, Moussa
Crewe: Phillips, Davis, Ellis, Dugdale, Murphy (c), Pogba, Moore, Mellor, Robertson, Osman, Inman
Subs: Martin (GK), Clayton, Leitch-Smith, Turton, Ray, Aneke, Colclough