Report and free match highlights from the Sky Bet Championship match between Coventry City and Plymouth Argyle at the Coventry Building Society Arena on Tuesday | Haji Wright scores winner for Sky Blues.
Tuesday 28 November 2023 23:05, UK
Haji Wright's fifth goal of the season secured Coventry a second consecutive Championship win as they saw off Plymouth 1-0 at the CBS Arena.
The perplexed Pilgrims felt aggrieved after they believed the ball had gone out in the build-up when Milan van Ewijk drove to the byline before cutting back for Wright to fire home the winner.
Mark Robins' side's 3-0 win at Millwall at the weekend marked the end of a six-match winless run in the league for last season's play-off finalists, who also kept their third clean sheet on the bounce.
Plymouth's miserable time on their travels continued as Steven Schumacher's winless side were condemned to a sixth defeat away from Home Park.
Josh Eccles had Coventry's first effort on goal which was headed away bravely by Julio Pleguezuelo, before Morgan Whittaker's audacious effort from distance comfortably cleared the crossbar.
There was a touching moment midway through the half when players and fans from both sides paused to pay tribute to Hallie Reeve, a two-year-old Sky Blues supporter who recently lost her fight with cancer.
Bobby Thomas found himself in a good position but failed to connect with Tatsuhiro Sakamoto's inswinging corner before the defender picked out Jamie Allen, who fired wide.
Brad Collins was forced into action for the first time when he clawed away Kaine Kesler-Hayden's deflected cross before the former Barnsley goalkeeper beat Whittaker's free-kick to safety.
Ben Sheaf had two chances to break the deadlock before the break, his first effort curling narrowly past the far post before the ex-Arsenal player's effort was met by the chest of Michael Cooper from point-blank range.
Sky Blues' record signing Wright had notched just four goals since his summer move from Antalyaspor and blasted over after Van Ewijk had nipped in front of Bali Mumba.
Finn Azaz was then played in by Luke Cundle and after twisting and turning to find a yard for a shot, his effort was deflected for a corner.
Cundle then had a go at opening the scoring himself, driving into the heart of the Coventry defence before fizzing his shot past the post.
Plymouth's best chance came with 20 minutes to go as Jake Bidwell inadvertently diverted a corner into the path of Lewis Gibson, but the defender's close-range volley cleared the crossbar.
Seconds later they were made to pay when Van Ewijk drove to the byline and cut back for American Wright to emphatically fire home 15 minutes from time.
Coventry's Mark Robins:
"I'm pleased with the win, pleased with the three points. I thought we were better in the first half than the second half, I thought we were OK with the ball, we could have just done with a little more zip, bit more oomph. We've got to be better than we were to climb the table. Three clean sheets on the bounce, we've looked a threat more so than we had done previously, although I still think that we have been really unfortunate in terms of results. We've created good chances again and been a little bit wasteful.
"We need to do things a little bit quicker, we had Franz Beckenbauer playing at centre-half today where they were dribbling with the ball and then losing it where we have to be better than that. It's building blocks at the moment and we're a way from where we're going to be, where we want to be. But to get there is a process. There are some really good signs, we play some really good football, we just look a little bit unsure from time to time. If that ball had been over the line, the referee would have given it. I don't think there's any way that ball was over the line. I have no idea and I don't care. Those are the things that happen during a season."
Plymouth's Steven Schumacher:
"Disappointed. I feel like we're saying this too often coming into these press conferences after games and we're talking about things we shouldn't be. We should be talking about two teams who give 100 per cent effort to win a game and we're not once again because of a poor call. The linesman is right there, it's on his side so it's not as though a post or anything is in his way and in these instances he's got to get them decisions right because they've cost us the game. Both sides weren't at their fluent best, we weren't and Coventry probably the same and that one decision has been the deciding factor.
"When the linesman says to me at the end of the game only half the ball is out it's not, clearly. Gutted about that but thought the performance wasn't really our best, we didn't really show enough quality to score or create enough big chances so that's on us and something we need to do better at. It's a big call once again that's gone against us and how many times have I said that over the last few weeks? We're not getting the rub of the green on these big calls and in these big games which are so tight and when we're up against it against these good teams we need those decisions."