It was a frustrating afternoon in front of goal for the Sky Blues as they were held to a 0-0 draw by Bristol Rovers at the Ricoh Arena.
The first chance of the game fell to the home side through Dominic Hyam. The defender’s only league goal prior to this game had come against the Gas, but his header on this occasion cleared the crossbar and failed to trouble visiting goalkeeper Jack Bonham.
Brilliant defending from Rovers then prevented City from breaking the deadlock. A superb run from Brandon Mason down the left-hand side saw him get to the by-line and put in a strong cross. It was spilled by Bonham and with the net gaping, Stuart Sinclair put in a goal saving challenge to deny Luke Thomas.
Moments later and Jordy Hiwula had another chance for the home side. Luke Thomas put in a teasing cross which was met by the forward, but his volley went inches wide of the post.
Chances were few and far between as the first half progressed with Bright Enobakhare having City’s next opportunity ten minutes before half time. The forward found himself in space on the edge of the area but volleyed harmlessly over.
The final chance of the half fell to Tom Davies. A free kick was whipped in by Kelly and met by the defender, but his header flashed wide of the post. That was the last of the action in the first half as the sides went in level at the break.
Luke Thomas had the first chance after the restart. Excellent work from Enobakhare saw him play in Brandon Mason who crossed for Thomas, but the winger’s header was well kept out by Bonham.
Thomas then flashed a shot wide just after the hour mark. Good initial work from Thomas saw him dispossess Upson on the halfway line and release Bakayoko. The striker then pulled the ball back to Thomas on the edge of the area, but his low curling shot went wide.
Despite not registering a noteworthy chance throughout the game, the away side had a chance to take the lead with 15 minutes remaining. A low cross found its way to Liam Sercombe who hit a fierce volley, but Dujon Sterling produced a terrific block to keep the game goalless.
Somehow the Sky Blues failed to score the games first goal in the 78th minute. A cross was met by Tom Davies at the back post which forced a good save from Bonham, but the rebound fell to Hyam who put his effort wide with the net gaping.
Bonham was then on hand to make another crucial save for Rovers. A clever flick from Bakayoko put Hiwula clean through on goal, but his low shot was well saved by the goalkeeper.
Despite the City pressure, Lee Burge had to be alert to stop an Upson shot. Good work from Clarke-Harris teed the midfielder up on the edge of the area, however his low drive was smartly kept out by Burge.
Tom Nichols tested Burge once again in injury time. A smart flick on found the striker, who’s volley was turned around the post by Burge.
Substitute Conor Chaplin had a final chance to nick all three points in added time. Enobakhare released Thomas over the top with a fantastic through ball and he cut the ball back to Chaplin in the area. However, the striker’s fierce shot was parried away by an inspired Bonham.
Sky Blues Xl: Lee Burge (GK), Dujon Sterling, Dom Hyam, Tom Davies, Brandon Mason, Liam Kelly (C), Tom Bayliss (David Meyler 60’ - Conor Chaplin 73’), Bright Enobakhare, Jordy Hiwula, Luke Thomas, Amadou Bakayoko (Jordan Ponticelli 90’)
Unused Subs: Corey Addai (GK), Morgan Williams, Junior Brown, Charlie Wakefield.
Rovers XI: Jack Bonham (GK), Tom Lockyer ©, Tony Craig, Ed Upson, Liam Sercombe (Kilgour 90’), James Clarke, Jonson Clarke-Harris, Gavin Reilly (Jakubiak 69’), Stuart Sinclair (Nichols 69’), Abu Ogogo, Michael Kelly.
Unused Subs: Adam Smith (GK), Chris Lines, Joe Partington, Luke Russe.
Attendance: 12,664 (2,187)
Yellows – Clarke Harris 38’, Bakayoko 42’