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Match Reports

Report: Wycombe 0-1 Coventry

McNulty's penalty proves the difference.

27 February 2018

Coventry City edged a tight encounter on their first EFL visit to Adams Park with Marc McNulty’s penalty separating the sides on a freezing night of League 2 football.

Chances were few and far between in an evenly-matched affair but the decisive moment came when Tom Bayliss was tripped in the area and McNulty made no mistake from the spot with 10 minutes remaining.

Gareth Ainsworth made three changes to the side that lost 4-2 at Morecambe on Saturday, bringing Dan Scarr into the defence at the expense of the injured Nathan McGinley, while there were recalls for Marcus Bean and Nathan Tyson as Matt Bloomfield and Craig Mackail-Smith dropped to the bench.

Having conceded early in their previous two home outings, Wanderers made an assured start and carved open a half chance when Paris Cowan-Hall’s cross fell for Dominic Gape, but his left-footed strike was blocked en route to goal.

The midfielder then did well to beat his man on the corner of the box but couldn’t pick out a team-mate with his low pass across the penalty spot, before Luke O’Nien drilled an effort on target after turning neatly 20 yards out, but keeper Lee Burge was equal to it.

Tom Bayliss fired wide from distance moments later as the Sky Blues looked to find some attacking rhythm, and then Dan Scarr did excellently to slide in and deny Marc McNulty a shooting chance after Jonson Clarke-Harris sped away down the left.

Marcus Bean sent a speculative shot over the top as he hunted a third goal this month, before Adebayo Akinfenwa’s looping header was held by Burge as a first goalless first half at Adams Park since December came to an end.

As temperatures plummeted to -8 degrees and below, the second half began just as even, with both keepers reduced to chilly spectators for long periods. However, Wanderers almost barged their way to an opener when Akinfenwa’s presence put the City back four under pressure and Tyson’s low shot was held by Burge at the second attempt.

Coventry made their first change when Kyel Reid replaced Jordan Shipley on 54 minutes, while Gareth Ainsworth swapped Cowan-Hall with Nick Freeman and City later introduced Max Biamou for Clarke-Harris as the game reached virtual stalemate.

Nathan Tyson did just enough to put Tom Bayliss off his shot from near the penalty area after City kept a chance alive after a corner, while at the other end, Akinfenwa looped a difficult header over the top from Dominic Gape’s clever cross.

But the breakthrough came with just 10 minutes remaining, and it was a well-struck penalty from Marc McNulty that put the visitors in front. Joe Jacobson miscued a pass and Tom Bayliss capitalised, sprinting into the box before jinking inside and going down under the challenge of Adam El-Abd.

Wycombe’s attempts to make a late comeback saw Matt Bloomfield and Craig Mackail-Smith enter the fray as Bean and Gape made way, but time ran out on the Chairboys as they slipped to successive League 2 defeats for the first time in a year.

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