It was a frustrating afternoon for Coventry City at the Ricoh Arena as they were held to a 1-1 draw by AFC Wimbledon.
It was the worst possible start for the Sky Blues as they fell behind after the first minute. A Wimbledon corner lead to a scramble in the box which resulted in Jake Jervis smashing the ball in from close range to put the visitors ahead.
Despite a strong response from City, a defensive error almost gifted Wimbledon a second. A Liam Kelly slip allowed Mitch Pinnock to pick up the loose ball and his curling shot from the edge of the area rattled the crossbar.
Kelly then almost made it level with fifteen minutes played. A cross wasn’t dealt with by Wimbledon and the midfielder’s volley from the edge of the area required Don’s keeper Aaron Ramsdale to tip it over the bar.
Luke Thomas then had the next chance to get City back on level terms. The winger played a lovely give and go with Tom Bayliss in the box, but he blazed his shot over.
The home side continued to dominate proceedings and Hiwula was next to be denied. Tom Bayliss found Bright Enobakhare on the edge of the area who skipped past a couple of challenges before setting up Hiwula. However, his low shot was kept out by the legs of Ramsdale.
Lee Burge was called in to action by Jake Jervis with ten minutes remaining in the half. The wide man cut inside from the right and his fierce shot stung the palms of the Sky Blues shot stopper.
The final chance of the first half fell to Dujon Sterling. The Chelsea loanee was slipped in by Tom Bayliss, but his shot went high over the bar from a tight angle.
It was a slow start to the second half and Tom Bayliss’ deflected shot was the closest either side came to scoring in the opening exchanges. Liam Kelly’s corner found him unmarked on the edge of the box, but his low shot took a deflection and trickled wide.
The Sky Blues were back on level terms just after the hour mark thanks to a deflected strike from Luke Thomas. He picked up the ball on the edge of the area and drilled a low shot towards the far corner which took a deflection before nestling in the back of the net.
The Derby loanee then had a shot from a similar position, but his driven shot went inches wide of the near post.
It was the Sky Blues who were pressing for the winner, but Lee Burge had to be on hand to deny Andy Barcham. The Dons winger picked up the ball on the edge of the area, however his shot lacked the power to beat Burge in the City goal.
Somehow the Sky Blues failed to take the lead in the 89th minute. Sublime work from Tom Bayliss on the right wing saw him skip past the defender before crossing for Jordy Hiwula. The striker took a touch before playing it back to Bayliss, who gave it back to Hiwula, before he screwed his eventual shot wide.
Liam Kelly then crashed a long range shot off the crossbar in the dying stages. The midfielder picked up the ball thirty yards from goal and his powerful shot struck the bar with Aaron Ramsdale helpless.
Regardless of the late pressure from Mark Robins’ men, City couldn’t find a crucial winner and will now travel to Plymouth Argyle next Saturday.
Sky Blues XI: Lee Burge (GK), Dujon Sterling, Jordan Willis, Dom Hyam, Sam McCallum (Grimmer 89’), Liam Kelly (C), Tom Bayliss, Luke Thomas, Bright Enobakhare (Clarke-Harris 62’), Conor Chaplin, Jordy Hiwula.
Unused Subs: Corey Addai (GK), Tom Davies, Michael Doyle, Jordan Shipley, Zain Westbrooke
Wimbledon XI: Aaron Ramsdale, Tennai Watson, Abdul-Yussuf Oshilaja, Will Nightingale, Anthony Hartigan, Jake Jervis (Connolly 68’), Mitch Pinnock, Tyler Garratt (Pigott 68’), Andy Barcham, Paul Kalambayi, Anthony Wordsworth
Unused Subs: Joe McDonnell (GK), Liam Trotter, Toby Sibbick, Tommy Wood, Alfie Egan
Attendance – 10, 420 (667)
Yellows – Chaplin (74’), Wordsworth (77’)