The Sky Blues secured a hard fought point against Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park on Saturday afternoon despite finishing the game with 10-men.
Ben Brereton fired Rovers ahead midway through the first-half before Matty James scored his first goal for the club with a well-taken finish, five minutes after the interval, to secure a point for Mark Robins side.
City held on in the final few minutes after Leo Ostigard was dismissed for receiving two yellow cards with the Sky Blues next in action against Middlesbrough this coming midweek.
Robins made three changes from the side beaten by Swansea City in midweek with Fankaty Dabo starting for the first time since January and Matty James and Jordan Shipley coming into midfield.
The Sky Blues made a lively start when Sam McCallum’s cross from the left hit the crossbar inside the first minute and bounced away to safety with Rovers keeper Thomas Kaminski at full stretch.
Some space then opened up for McCallum on the edge of the visitors penalty area, firing a low effort wide of the target.
City continued to dominate the early exchanges at Ewood Park when Tyler Walker knocked the ball into the path of Shipley who couldn’t keep his half-volley down, shooting a few yards over the crossbar.
Rovers created their first real opening when Harvey Elliott attempted to square the ball to Brereton at the back post only for Ostigard to make a crucial interception.
Blackburn took the lead on 27 minutes when City failed to clear Ryan Nyambe’s ball across the penalty area with Brereton on-hand to finish past Ben Wilson from the edge of the penalty area to put the hosts ahead.
City had the ball in the net just past the half hour mark when Walker flicked on McCallum’s cross into the box into the path of Ostigard who finished well at the back post, only for the assistant referee’s flag to rule the goal out for offside.
The home side hit the woodwork in the final few minutes of the half when Barry Douglas’s dangerous free-kick from the right came back off the left-hand post.
Rovers almost doubled their lead right on the stroke of half-time when Elliott played Adam Armstrong through with Wilson quick off his line to meet the striker and parry his effort behind for a corner.
HALF-TIME: BLACKBURN ROVERS 1-0 SKY BLUES
The Sky Blues made a similarly quick start to the second period and equalised on 50 minutes when Walked flicked a header into the path of James who lifted an effort into the left corner of the goal to draw City level.
Robins made a triple change with just over 20 minutes left to play as Josh Pask, Hamer and O’Hare were introduced from the bench in place of Dabo, James and Shipley.
In a half of few chances, Jarrad Branthwaite headed wide from a corner from the right for the hosts as both teams struggled to create any clear-cut openings since City’s leveller.
Moments after Viktor Gyokeres went through for City, Ostigard was shown a second yellow card for a foul on Armstrong as the forward tried to break up-field, meaning the Sky Blues would play the final seven minutes with 10-men.
FULL-TIME: BLACKBURN ROVERS 1-1 SKY BLUES
Goals: Brereton (27’), James (50’)
Yellows: Douglas (61‘), Ostigard (69’, 83’)
Reds: Ostigard (83’)
Blackburn Rovers XI: Thomas Kaminski (GK), Ryan Nyambe, Darragh Lenihan (C), Jarrad Branthwaite, Barry Douglas, Corry Evans (Dack 75’), Joe Rothwell (Dolan 87’), Lewis Travis (Trybull 62‘), Ben Brereton, Adam Armstrong, Harvey Elliott,
Unused Subs: Aynsley Pears (GK), Amari’i Bell, Taylor Harwood-Bellis, John Buckley, Stewart Downing, Elliott Bennett
Sky Blues XI: Ben Wilson (GK), Fankaty Dabo (Pask 70’), Leo Ostigard, Kyle McFadzean, Dom Hyam, Sam McCallum, Liam Kelly (C), Matty James (Hamer 70’), Jordan Shipley (O’Hare 70’) Tyler Walker (Gyokeres 77’), Max Biamou
Unused Subs: Marko Marosi (GK), Michael Rose, Ben Sheaf, Jamie Allen, Amadou Bakayoko