Coventry end four-match losing run with goalless draw against Stoke

Coventry halted their four-match losing run with a 0-0 Sky Bet Championship draw against Stoke.

The Sky Blues had been on a miserable run which culminated in a 3-2 loss against Preston last time out, but could have taken all three points as Ellis Simms hit the post in the first half.

Stoke left the West Midlands with their own unbeaten run intact as their second stalemate in succession left them six unbeaten.

Simms came closest to giving Coventry a much-needed three points when Jake Bidwell hung up an inviting cross to the back post which the former Everton man headed against the woodwork.

It was a much-changed Coventry side that saw Simms partnered by Matty Godden and Haji Wright up front, with all three strikers starting together for the first time in a new-look 4-3-3 formation.

Brad Collins was handed a first start in goal at the expense of Ben Wilson, whilst Bidwell was preferred to Jay Dasilva at left-back and Kyle McFadzean unavailable after the death of his mother on Tuesday.

The unchanged Stoke line-up featured two former Sky Blues at centre back as former loanee Luke McNally was partnered by Michael Rose.

After a dull opening 20 minutes, two of the front three linked up when Simms chested down for stand-in captain Godden, his deflected effort clawed away by Jack Bonham.

Collins was forced to save low to his left from Daniel Johnson at the other end with the Coventry back line stood still after the offside flag had been raised and then put down, cueing a chorus of boos from the majority of the 25,003 inside the ground.

Mark Robins’ side started well after the break when Wright headed Godden’s pinpoint cross over the crossbar before the American picked out Jamie Allen in the box, but the midfielder scuffed his effort.

Dwight Gayle forced Collins into a second save in a rare foray forward for Alex Neil’s men whilst Matt Vidigal’s acrobatic effort went wide.

Josh Eccles won possession high up the field and drove forward before feeding Simms but the 22-year-old skewed his effort wide before Wright could only find the side netting when he was played in down the left.

Godden then found a yard in the box but he could only nod Bidwell’s corner wide of Bonham’s goal.

The Sky Blues may have failed to find their all-important goal but a seventh draw of the season meant Robins’ men avoided a fifth straight defeat for the first time since February 2017.