Max Biamou’s early goal secured an important three points for the Sky Blues against Derby County at St Andrew’s on Saturday afternoon.
The striker capitalised on a Derby mistake before breaking clean through on goal and finishing into the bottom corner to hand City a deserved victory.
City’s victory leaves them level on points with the Rams in the table and travel to Rotherham United next weekend looking to move further clear of the bottom three.
Mark Robins made two changes from the side that was beaten late on against Middlesbrough in midweek with Leo Ostigard returning from suspension and Matty James coming into midfield in place of Michael Rose and Tyler Walker whilst Matty Godden was fit enough to make the bench
The Sky Blues had the first chance of the game when Gus Hamer’s corner from the left was headed narrowly wide of the right-hand post by Ostigard.
Hamer then tried his luck from a free-kick around 20-yards from goal which was held by Rams keeper Kelle Roos.
City took the lead on 11 minutes when Biamou collected a loose pass from a Derby defender before racing through on goal and coolly finishing into the bottom left corner.
The Sky Blues had a chance to double their lead when a fine move ended with Fankaty Dabo whipping a ball across the box for Biamou who was inches away from scoring his second of the afternoon.
Derby’s first opportunity of the match came through Patrick Roberts who saw his low effort deflected behind by McFadzean.
The visitors came close to an equaliser from the resulting set-piece with Ben Wilson making an excellent save to deny Matt Clarke from close range.
City had another chance from a corner in the final few minutes of the half with Ostigard heading over the bar from around eight-yards out at the near post.
HALF-TIME: SKY BLUES 1-0 DERBY COUNTY
The Sky Blues picked up where they left off in the second period, pressing Derby high up the pitch, and created the first opportunity of the half when Sam McCallum’s long throw was flicked onto the head of Dom Hyam who saw his effort saved by Roos.
Derby countered and came close to levelling when Colin Kazim-Richards glanced a header wide of the right-hand post from six-yards out.
City then came agonisingly close to doubling their lead when a well-worked move saw Hamer set the ball back to James whose effort from 25-yards out cannoned back off the left-hand post.
The Sky Blues came forward again when Callum O’Hare played a superb lofted ball over the top for Biamou to chase with the striker taking a touch before firing a half-volley inches past the right-hand post.
City comfortably saw out the remainder of the game limiting the Rams to a couple of half-chances and will now turn their attention to next weekend’s clash with Rotherham United.
FULL-TIME: SKY BLUES 1-0 DERBY COUNTY
Goals: Biamou (11’)
Yellows: Clarke (9’), Hamer (30’), Buchanan (37’), Knight (49’), Kazim-Richards (57’), McCallum (88’)
Sky Blues XI: Ben Wilson (GK), Fankaty Dabo (Pask 74’), Leo Ostigard, Kyle McFadzean, Dom Hyam, Sam McCallum, Liam Kelly (C), Matty James, Gus Hamer (Allen 74’), Callum O’Hare (Sheaf 90’+1), Max Biamou
Unused Subs: Marko Marosi (GK), Michael Rose, Jordan Shipley, Tyler Walker, Viktor Gyokeres, Matty Godden
Derby County XI: Kelle Roos (GK), Nathan Byrne, Andre Wisdom (C), Matt Clarke, Lee Buchanan, Max Bird, Graham Shinnie (Watson 69’), Martyn Waghorn (Gregory 69’), Jason Knight, Patrick Roberts (Jozwiak 69’), Colin Kazim-Richards
Unused Subs: Emmanuel Okokon Idem (GK), Kornell McDonald, Craig Forsyth, George Edmundson, Teden Mengi, Louie Sibley