Sheffield United continue fine form with win over Coventry
Sheffield United beat Coventry 3-1 to record their seventh win in eight Championship games and maintain their automatic-promotion charge.
Goals from James McAtee, Ciaran Clark and Tommy Doyle kept the Blades second in the table, eight points ahead of Blackburn.
Viktor Gyokeres, who earlier missed a penalty, scored for the visitors midway through the second half.
United played the final 13 minutes with only 10 men after John Egan was sent off following a second yellow card.
The home line-up showed one change with Max Lowe taking over from Enda Stevens at left wing-back.
Coventry boss Mark Robins was forced to make an early change after Callum O’Hare fell awkwardly and had to be taken off on a stretcher following treatment. He was replaced by Kasey Palmer.
It was a quiet start to the match with neither side creating any meaningful openings.
United striker Billy Sharp went close to opening the scoring after 26 minutes, hitting the bar with a downward header after meeting Oliver Norwood’s delivery.
Coventry midfielder Ben Sheaf tried a shot from distance which took a deflection wide.
The breakthrough came from McAtee in the 35th minute, following excellent work from Iliman Ndiaye.
Receiving the ball from Wes Foderingham’s punch out, Ndiaye advanced beyond the half-way line before finding McAtee who was free on the right-hand side and the midfielder ran into the area, slotting past Ben Wilson in the Coventry goal.
Coventry threatened to equalise when Jonathan Panzo headed narrowly wide following Gustavo Hamer’s cross.
The visitors were handed an opportunity to draw level three minutes into the second half when they were awarded a penalty following Anel Ahmedhodzic’s foul on Jake Bidwell.
Gyokeres stepped up to take the spot-kick but it was saved comfortably by Foderingham.
After Sander Berge screwed a shot wide from inside the area, Clark put the hosts further ahead in the 52nd minute with a close-range header from Norwood’s free-kick.
Coventry made a triple substitution shortly before the hour mark with Fankaty Dabo, Liam Kelly and Martyn Waghorn taking over from Jack Burroughs, Sheaf and Jamie Allen.
With 20 minutes to go, there was a double substitution for the home side with Daniel Jebbison and Doyle replacing Sharp and McAtee.
Doyle had an immediate impact, producing a good finish at the near post after connecting with Lowe’s low cross.
Hamer’s well-struck free-kick forced a fine save from Foderingham before the same player created Coventry’s goal.
Gyokeres found the net with a glancing header from Hamer’s free-kick to reduce the arrears.
There was a further setback for United when they were reduced to 10 men in the 77th minute, with Egan receiving a second booking after fouling Gyokeres.
Waghorn threatened to score a second for the visitors at the death with a far-post header which was straight at Foderingham.