Ryan Haynes made his injury comeback as a second half substitute during Coventry City Under 23's 1-0 defeat at Queens Park Rangers this afternoon.
Haynes, who picked up a knee injury at Sutton United in the first game of pre-season, came on in the 60th minute of the Under 23s Professional Development League encounter at Loftus Road.
Jason Farndon was in charge of the Under 23s and was able to select a strong side. Jordan Ponticelli was up front, on the back of his first-team league debut on Saturday, alongside Kwame Thomas who has returned to the Sky Blues following the end of his Sutton loan spell.
Meanwhile at the heart of the defence, Tom Davies and Dominic Hyam both got valuable game time.
The game itself was slow to get going. The first meaningful effort for either side came after 17 minutes when Chris Camwell, who was always keen to join in Sky Blues attacks, got forward again and forced the QPR keeper into a save low to his left.
Camwell was in the action again on 26 minutes, when he entered the referee’s book for a foul. QPR were starting to exert more pressure on the Sky Blues and took the lead in the 34th minute of the game.
A cross from the right by Kakay was spilled by Corey Addai, and the ball dropped to QPR striker Shodipo to put the home side into the lead.
Despite going behind, City remained positive in their play. In the 43rd minute, Ben Stevenson played another searching ball to Ponticelli wide right. The striker cut inside, and his dangerous cross had to be put behind by the QPR defender under pressure from Thomas.
The second half started with QPR on the front foot, almost doubling their lead through Kakay in the 54th minute. His shot had the beating of Addai, but Tom Davies was on the line to clear.
Five minutes later, City had a close chance of their own. Camwell was in an advanced position again, and Steven Caulker put the ball behind for a corner, via his own post. From the resulting corner, Davies saw his effort go wide.
The Sky Blues continued to keep possession well, as Haynes replaced Camwell and Tom Bayliss came on for Jordan Shipley, before Bilal Sayoud entered the fray for Ben Stevenson.
Entering the final 15 minutes, Farndon’s side continued to search for an equaliser. Dion Kelly-Evans, Callum Maycock and Tom Bayliss all had half chances from outside of the box but the goal required proved elusive.
Deep into stoppage time and good work from Haynes released Bayliss, who had been pressing forward at every opportunity. Breaking into the box, it looked like he would get the chance to test the QPR keeper one last time but a strong block closed the door on the opportunity and the Sky Blues were to leave West London emptyhanded.
The Under 23s are next in action on Monday 16th October, when they face Bristol City at the Alan Higgs Centre (1pm ko).
Sky Blues: Addai, Di Kelly Evans, Davies, Hyam, Camwell (Haynes 60), Shipley (Bayliss 60), Maycock, Stevenson (Sayoud 75), Finn, Thomas, Ponticelli.
Unused subs: Hickman, Ford.
Bookings: Camwell, Di Kelly Evans, Davies.
QPR: Dieng, Kakay, Caulker, Hall (Phillips 45), Fox (Stylianides 45), Tilt, Goss, Borysiuk, Shodipo (Darbyshire 65), Rowe, Oteh.
Unused subs: Herdman.