Sky Blues lose to George Waring's second half header after a close 90 minutes...Coventry City were narrowly beaten 1-0 by Barnsley at Oakwell. George Waring's second half header was enough for the Tykes to secure all three points, after City went close on a number of occasions.
Interim manager Neil Macfarlane made one change from the side that beat MK Dons on Saturday, with Sanmi Odelusi returning from injury to replace Luke Williams. New City boss Tony Mowbray was in the stands.
The game started cagily, with both sides tightly packing the middle of the park. The first chance of the game went to Dominic Samuel after four minutes, who did well to charge down Adam Davies' kick, the ball trickling past the far post.
Martin Cranie headed just wide from a corner a minute later, which woke the Sky Blues' defence up.
Barnsley started brightly, harrying the City midfield but the Sky Blues got back into it gradually. They hit the post with a quarter of an hour played, when Jim O'Brien burst forward and layed it off to Marcus Tudgay, who slammed a drive against the foot of the goal.
In swirling wind and a bumpy pitch it was tough for either side to get much going. O'Brien forced a diving stop from Davies on the half hour mark with a volley but the Scot was judged to have been in an offside position.
It was the City captain who again found himself in the thick of the action eight minutes from the break when his through ball released Odelusi in the penalty area but Davies was out quickly to smother.
Aaron Martin was booked four minutes from the half for cynically bringing down Josh Scowen. The resulting free kick was fired well over Lee Burge's crossbar.
After being caught offside several times Samuel finally broke the Tykes' offside trap in stoppage time but he lost his footing at the crucial moment and the shot was comfortably saved. It was the last action in a half of few chances.
The second half started brightly for the hosts, who produced some early pressure as their fans got behind the team.
In play similar to their first half chance, O'Brien found Odelusi with a pin-point cross, but his header from eight yards was covered by Davies five minutes in.
The hosts broke the deadlock ten minutes into the second half. A brilliant whipped free kick found the head of George Waring, who finished well. It was tough on City who looked the more like scoring up to that point.
Th goal rejuvenated the home side, who had their tails up. Milan Lalkovic was next to test Burge on the hour, but he saved well following the 12-yard strike.
City were nearly back in it with just under 15 minutes remaining. Great skill from substitute Blair Turgott on the right opened up some space. He fired the ball across goal but agonisingly no-one from City was there to tap home.
Penalty appeals were turned down two minutes later as substitute Frank Nouble went down in the box after getting the wrong side of the Barnsley defender. Referee Tony Harrington remained unmoved.
City threw everything at Barnsley in the remaining stages and they nearly forced an equaliser. Matty Pennington's header was cleared off the line by Cranie.
It was not meant to be for the Sky Blues and focus now turns to Tony Mowbray's first game in charge against Port Vale on Saturday.
Attendance: 9567 (349 Sky Blue Army)
Coventry City: Burge (GK), Phillips, Martin, Pennington, Stokes, O'Brien (C), Fleck, Barton (Turgott 74'), Odelusi (Nouble 63'), Tudgay (Proschwitz 58'), Samuel.
Subs: Charles-Cook, Webster, Finch, G. Thomas.
Barnsley: Davies (GK), Holgate, Nyatanga, Cranie (C), Smith, O'Sullivan (Bailey 81'), Pearson, Scowen, Hourihane, Lalkovic (Berry 81'), Waring (Winnall 87').
Subs: Dibble (GK), M'Voto, Winnall, Jennings, Oates.