Lead cut to two points as Rovers are edged out by City

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Doncaster Rovers’ promotion push suffered an unexpected blip at Coventry City.

It was only confirmed on Thursday that the game would be played at the Ricoh Arena after Coventry were docked 10 points for entering administration.

But Coventry put their problems behind them to score early and hold on despite coming under heavy pressure in the second half as Rovers’ League One lead was cut to two points.

Coventry went in front in the 13th minute after an even opening.

Rovers failed to re-organise when John Fleck’s switch ball found Cyrus Christie on the right, from where he checked inside unchallenged before firing low under Gary Woods with his left foot.

James Husband went close to levelling in the 22nd minute as his deflected effort looped over Coventry goalkeeper Joe Murphy, who produced a good reflex save to tip it wide.

Murphy was almost caught out by David Cotterill in the final minute of the half, but managed to parry Cotterill’s 25-yard strike.

Cotterill started the second half as he had finished the first, stinging the palms of Murphy with another powerful drive.

And Rovers continued their bright start as Coppinger had the ball in the net a minute later only for it to be ruled out for offside before substitute Dean Furman volleyed a great chance wide after being brought on at the break.

Christie hit the bar with a speculative effort, but the momentum was with Rovers. Jamie McCombe was the wrong man in the right place in the 62nd minute as he volleyed Coppinger’s cross over from close-range.

Furman then struck the post with a half-volley, before heading over seven minutes from time. Cotterill was denied by an incredible goal-line clearance two minutes later.

Rovers manager, Brian Flynn, said: “The better side led at half-time, but we transformed it in the second half. We deserved to get something because we had that many golden chances.

“They (Coventry) most certainly looked like a wounded animal in the first half and like they wanted to put things right on the pitch and that is credit to the manager and the players.”

Coventry City: Murphy; Christie, Martin, Edjenguele, Stewart; Baker (Bell 83), Bailey, Barton, Fleck (Thomas 90), Moussa; Ball (Wilson 70). Unused substitutes: Dunn, J Clarke, McDonald, McSheffrey.

Doncaster Rovers: Woods; Griffin, Jones, McCombe, Spurr; Cotterill, Coppinger, Lundstram, Husband (Furman 46); Brown, Hume (Bennett 67). Unused substitutes: Sullivan, Paynter, Wakefield, Sinclair, Harper.

Referee: M Halsey (Hertfordshire)

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