Mark Robins' men maintained their strong home form with a point against Birmingham City at the Coventry Building Society Arena tonight.
With the Sky Blues faithful in good voice at kick off, the team began with real intent and had the first shot of the match when skipper Liam Kelly had a go from range, but he couldn’t quite steer the ball on target.
Callum O’Hare then found Matty Godden, who had lost his marker in the box, but his attempt on goal was blocked by the Blues captain Marc Roberts 15 yards out.
The visitors first opportunity came when Scott Hogan was played in however, he was forced wide and his cross to the back post was dealt with by Dominic Hyam.
From this the Sky Blues went on the counter however Fankaty Dabo’s cross was well caught by the flying Blues’ ‘keeper Matija Sarkic.
With the home side dominating possession the away side wasted a chance to take the lead against the run of play when, on a rare foray into the Sky Blues’ box, Hogan could only manage a tame shot straight at Simon Moore.
Viktor Gyökeres then attempted an effort from 30 yards out but Sarkic got down low to deny the forward.
The Swede’s strike partner Godden was the next to spring Sarkic into action with the Wolves loanee diving across his goal to tip the forward’s shot away.
The Sky Blues continued to pressure Blues’ defence with Gyökeres winning a corner and after the ball was recycled, Gus Hamer whipped in a cross, but Sarkic beat Gyökeres to the ball in the air.
O’Hare then flicked the ball onto Hamer who then passed to Gyökeres to set up Maatsen, but the left back was denied by Sarkic before Hamer fired a free kick just wide of the post a minute later after O’Hare was brought down.
Hamer then linked up with O’Hare again, but the latter’s cross from the byline was caught by Sarkic, who was proving to have a busy evening.
The visitors earned a corner with five minutes to go of the half, which was played short, but after Jeremie Bela beat Dabo the on rushing Moore ensured the ball went out for a goal kick.
After O’Hare almost poked Godden’s cross goal bound, Blues midfielder Riley McGree curled an effort from distance but it went high over the bar.
HALF TIME: Sky Blues 0-0 Birmingham City
Robins’ side began the second half as they began the first with Dion Sanderson the first name in the book after his poor challenge on Gyökeres just as the forward was about to enter the box, with the Blues defender then heading Hamer’s resulting free kick away from just under the bar.
The ball then dropped to Hogan in the box, but he couldn’t divert his first time shot on Moore’s goal.
Maatsen then did well to clear his lines with O’Hare running onto his clearance before finding Gyökeres out wide. The Swede then beat two Blues defenders as he cut inside and Hamer ran onto his through ball but his effort was straight at Sarkic.
The Dutch full back then chipped the ball away from his man and his run inside was cut short after he was appended with Hamer’s low free kick was blocked by the wall.
Godden received the ball on the edge of the box an worked his way into a good shooting position with Sarkic at full stretch to keep the score level before he tipped over the resulting corner.
Gyökeres was getting the better of the Blues’ defence, turning Roberts on this occasion, but his attempted through ball to substitute Allen didn’t quite reach the midfielder.
After Troy Deeney’s deflected through ball was well cut out by Michael Rose the visitors found themselves down to ten men after Ryan Woods slid in from behind on Maatsen as he broke away on the counter.
The Sky Blues won another free kick with Maatsen’s free kick cleared to as far as Kelly but he couldn’t keep his effort down.
In injury time Gyökeres then had the ball played to him on the edge of the six-yard box but unfortunately his strike beat Sarkic and the goal.
Maatsen fired over a minute later, with Walker having the last chance but he dragged his shot wide as City had to settle for a draw.
FULL TIME: Sky Blues 0-0 Birmingham City
YELLOW CARDS: Dion Sanderson (54’), Marc Roberts (76’), Ivan Sunjic (90+2)
RED CARD: Ryan Woods (82’)
ATTENDANCE: 22,676 (4,068 Away Fans)
Sky Blues XI: Simon Moore (GK), Fankaty Dabo, Michael Rose, Kyle McFadzean, Dominic Hyam, Ian Maatsen, Liam Kelly (C), Gus Hamer (Jamie Allen 73’), Callum O’Hare (Tyler Walker 90’), Viktor Gyökeres, Matty Godden.
Unused Subs: Ben Wilson, Jodi Jones, Ben Sheaf, Todd Kane, Jordan Shipley.
Birmingham City XI: Matija Sarkic (GK), Dion Sanderson, Marc Roberts, Harlee Dean (C), Marcel Oakley (Juan Castillo 65’), Ryan Woods, Ivan Sunjic, Jeremie Bela, Riley McGree, Scott Hogan (Jordan James 86’), Troy Deeney (Lukas Jutkiewicz 86’).
Unused Subs: Neil Etheridge (GK), Chuks Aneke, Jobe Bellingham, Mitchell Roberts.