Tyler Walker struck twice as Coventry beat Brentford 2-0 to give them three valuable points in their battle against Championship relegation and put another large dent in their visitors' promotion hopes.
The Sky Blues' striker took centre stage as the league's top scorer Ivan Toney missed out with an ankle injury for Brentford, scoring from the penalty spot on 19 minutes and doubling his tally for the afternoon with a smart turn and finish 10 minutes after the break.
It ends a five-game winless run for Mark Robins' side, who pressed and harried Brentford high up the pitch all game and fully deserved the three points, which see them sit five points clear of the drop-zone in 20th place.
Thomas Frank's Bees, meanwhile, remain second but were off the pace from the very first whistle and after a 21-game unbeaten run in the league had them on course for an automatic promotion spot, they have lost three successive matches for the first time this season
How Coventry pressed to an impressive three points
Brentford were without 24-goal Toney for the first time this season and on the back of two successive defeats, they never got started against an energetic Coventry side. Robins tweaked his team's formation and with two strikers on the pitch, they pressed the Brentford defenders and stopped them from playing out.
Callum O'Hare had already stung David Raya's palms from range when Maxime Biamou's volley was pushed away by the visiting 'keeper. But Biamou reacted quickly to get to the ball following the save, nipped in ahead of Rico Henry and the assistant referee immediately flagged for a penalty following Henry's trip.
It was not the best penalty from Walker, but the ball squirmed under the body of Raya and into the back of the net.
Coventry nearly doubled their lead through O'Hare. His fierce volley from close-range was somehow diverted over the bar by Raya as Brentford went to sleep in their own box again.
The second half started in the same manner and Coventry's high press finally paid dividends 10 minutes after the break. O'Hare picked off Raya's sloppy pass out from a goal-kick, found Walker in the box and the striker did the rest, turning his defender and finding the bottom corner with ease for his fifth league goal of the campaign.
Frank's frustration on the touchline was building with every minute and every time the Sky Blues' press broke down another Bees move before it started. After making a triple change on the hour-mark, Frank's misery was compounded when Henry injured his hamstring as he stretched to get on the end of a ball.
That Coventry goalkeeper Marc Wilson's first save of note came on 68 minutes showed just how Brentford struggled in attack and the efficiency of the hosts' defence. He pushed away a long-range Mathias Jensen strike before Henrik Dalsgaard's low volley bobbled past the post shortly after.
The hosts never looked like giving up their advantage in the final 20 minutes and Robins will know more performances like that will ensure their stay in the second tier does not last for a single season. Frank will need to pick up his troops quickly as they look to get their promotion push back on track.
What the managers said...
Coventry's Mark Robins: "It was a hard-fought and really brave performance. There was fight and there was determination and I think they are traits that will stand you in good stead. Tyler Walker's second goal was outstanding and we have really missed that.
"Max Biamou was outstanding as well and he showed real work-rate and endeavour to go out and win the penalty in that first half, which was stonewall. And I think the work of Callum O'Hare was huge as well to enable us to push up. The way we worked and got after the Brentford players, I thought was really brave. We did it well. It was just a really good performance, both in and out of possession."
Brentford's Thomas Frank: "We are not a bad team. That doesn't happen overnight but, yes, we are in a sticky patch. We have seen that in the last three games, with these defeats, but it is what it is. This is the Championship. We have to be ready for every game, every test.
"I think you have to give credit to Coventry City, they deserved it. Before the game, I had belief that we would win and get the three points and I think we started the game well. We then conceded the penalty. It was a minor mistake on our part and you find yourself a goal down. You could tell it hurt us, in our body language. But you go into the second half and you look to regroup, but then we made another mistake."
Man of the match - Tyler Walker
Don Goodman at St Andrew's:
"He's been excellent. Early on he set the tempo, making runs behind the Brentford backline. He got the penalty and then his fantastic second goal gave Coventry the points. Chuck in the work he did in the press and out of possession, and it's been an all-round good afternoon for Tyler Walker."
Both sides are back in action on Wednesday night at 7pm as Brentford host strugglers Sheffield Wednesday, while Coventry travel to promotion-chasing Swansea.