Sky Blues succumb to three second half goals in home defeat to the Millers
Coventry City lost at home for only the third time this season with a 3-0 defeat against Rotherham United.
Second half strikes from Nouha Dicko, Alex Revell and Kieran Agard gave City their second successive home defeat in a week at Sixfields. Despite having several chances, Sky Blues failed to score at home for the first time since the 2-0 defeat to Brentford at the end of September.
An even first half was littered with chances for both sides with Callum Wilson coming closest for Coventry on several occasions. Although City looked comfortable in the opening exchanges of the second half, they failed to turn possession into goals, whereas the visitors were clinical.
Manager Steven Pressley made three changes to the team that faced Tranmere at the weekend. Conor Thomas and Billy Daniels came in for the injured Leon Clarke and Adam Barton, whilst Aaron Phillips replaced Cyrus Christie, who dropped to the bench.
The first chance of the half fell to John Fleck after just over a minute played, when Carl Baker took a quick free kick. The captain passed it to Fleck, who fired just wide from outside the area.
Callum Wilson almost scored shortly after, when a chipped through ball led to the Coventry striker beating two defenders before dragging his shot wide of the post.
Rotherham's first chance came when Daniels almost turned the ball into his own net. Rotherham got a free kick on the edge of the area when Aaron Phillips brought down Dicko who had beaten the Sky Blues' defence. The ball was whipped in but Daniels was the first man to get a touch, accidentally flicking the ball towards the goal and forcing Joe Murphy into a save.
Ben Pringle shot over for Rotherham after 15 minutes, when given time by the City defence to turn and bring the ball forward, but the midfielder did not trouble Murphy as he fired well over the goal.
After 20 minutes Coventry had two chances that almost led to a goal. A Daniels flick-on led Wilson to break through the Millers' defence, but the young striker fired straight at the keeper. The chance did not end there though when Wilson flicked the rebound to Baker, the skipper surging into the box only for the Rotherham defence to block his shot.
Coventry then had appeals for a penalty turned down by referee John Moss with five minutes of the half to go when he deemed Wilson had slipped in the box whilst dribbling amongst Rotherham defenders.
The Sky Blues would have gone into the changing rooms at half time satisfied with their performance at 0-0, but the second half was completely different.
City started the half as they ended the first, with plenty of possession and pressing high up the pitch. Baker and Moussa in particular were threatening the Rotherham defence with several dangerous balls but the Sky Blues failed to get anyone on the end of them.
Despite the early pressure, it was Rotherham who took the lead. With 58 minutes played, Pringle received the ball on the left flank and whipped a dangerous ball in. Dicko rose above Andy Webster and Jordan Clarke, and flicked home past the sprawling Murphy.
The Millers almost scored a second minutes later with Dicko again the man who was causing problems. He took a bouncing ball on the half-volley from outside of the area, causing Murphy to rapidly drop back on to his goal line and watch the ball narrowly go over the bar.
With just over 25 minutes Pressley made his first change, bringing Christie on for Daniels. The change led to a tinkering of tactics as Moussa slotted in behind Wilson, Christie took the right-midfield slot and Baker shifted over to the left side.
The change almost paid off spectacularly just moments later. Christie made a great run down the wing, then split the Rotherham defence with a low cross but Moussa couldn't get the ball out of his feet and his tame shot was beaten away.
The Sky Blues fell further behind with 69 minutes gone though when Revell nodded home. In what was almost a repeat of the first goal, Nouha Dicko turned provider this time around. Pringle yet again put a dangerous ball into the box, Dicko beat the Coventry defenders in the air, but this time he nodded it on to Revell who made no mistake from eight yards out.
City went three goals down just five minutes later, this time conceding from the penalty spot. After a long ball forward, Phillips and Dicko tussled on the edge of the box with the referee deeming that the Sky Blues defender brought down the Wigan loanee.
Agard stepped up for the penalty, smashing the ball into the net, sending Murphy the wrong way in the process.
Most of City's play was focused around getting Wilson behind the Rotherham defence, and it almost proved successful with ten minutes remaining. When an Adams ball found Wilson who beat three defenders with the ball at his feet, only for his shot to be blocked by Joe Skarz.
Coventry almost scored late on when Moussa surged forward from the middle of the park before spreading the ball to Christie, whose powerful shot was blocked for a corner. The resulting corner was cleared by the Rotherham defence, and despite peppering the box with several more crosses, the Sky Blues failed to make a late break-through.
Attendance: 1,961 (517 away)
Coventry City: Murphy, Phillips, J Clarke, Webster, Adams, Baker (c), Moussa, Fleck, Thomas, Daniels (Christie 66), Wilson
Subs: Burge (GK), Garner, Haynes, Maund, Baker-Richardson, Lawton
Rotherham Utd: Collin, Brindley, Skarz, Arnason, Frecklington (Mills 90) , Revell (Davis 90) ,Tidser, Pringle, Morgan (c), Agard, Dicko (Tubbs 89)
Subs: Shearer (GK)