Match Report: Coventry City 2 Barnsley 2

Leroy Lita celebrates his goal and lifts his shirt to show a message for his friend
Leroy Lita celebrates his goal and lifts his shirt to show a message for his friend
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Leroy Lita’s second goal in as many games made sure Barnsley snatched a battling draw on their travels last night.

The Reds twice came from behind to snatch a share of the spoils at the Sixfields.

Conor Hourihane celebrates scoring from a free kick to level at 1-1.

Conor Hourihane celebrates scoring from a free kick to level at 1-1.

But poor defending nearly cost Danny Wilson’s side dear after the Sky Blues were gifted a string of chances to claim a second successive league win having beaten Sheffield United 1-0 on Saturday.

Josh McQuid gave the hosts a fourth minute lead only for Conor Hourihane to level matters with his first Reds’ goal in the 31st minute.

Lacklustre defending saw Jordan Clarke put the hosts in front for the second time in the match a minute before the break.

However, less than a minute later Lita tapped home from close range for the second game running for what ultimately secured a draw a valuable point.

Wilson resisted the temptation to make any changes to his team which beat Crewe Alexandra 2-1 away at the Alexandra Stadium on Saturday. Man City loan striker Devante Cole, signed earlier in the day, was included as one of the Reds’ substitutes.

And there was good news for striker Kane Hemmings, another of Wilson’s summer recruits, as he proved his fitness to also be included as a replacement.

Hemmings had not played this season – including pre-season – having picked up an ankle injury during training.

And so it was a good sight for the Barnsley fans to see the former Scottish Championship Player of the Year given the chance to make his debut, even though it was very late in the action.

Former Reds’ winger Jim O’Brien lined up for the hosts as did former Reds’ loan striker Marcus Tudgay.

Reds skipper Martin Cranie lined up against his former club, while it was also a return to their former loan club for new Barnsley recruits James Bailey and Reece Brown.

Wilson’s team started brightly and Sam Winnall blazed over after a lovely pass from Luke Berry.

Winnall should have done better from the penalty spot, but he fired well over the bar.

A minute later Coventry had their first chance of what was to prove many during a night of poor defending from the visitors.

And it led to a goal as some horrible defending allowed Bournemouth loanee McQuoid to break the deadlock.

Brown’s weak header left Cranie under real pressure and McQuoid pounced to give the hosts’ an early lead.

Three minutes after Reda Johnson headed over the bar after more sloppy defending.

O’Brien was denied a goal after keeper Adam Davies thwarted him with a fine point-blank save as the home side heaped on the pressure.

Striker Winnall was forced to clear off his own goalline as the Sky Blues went close to scoring after a scramble inside the Reds’ six-yard box.

Winnall lashed over with an ambitious long-range effort as the Reds went in search of an equaliser, but O’Brien went within a whisker of doubling the hosts lead when he hit the woodwork with a powerful free-kick.

Midfielder Hourihane then levelled matters shortly after the half hour mark.

Keeper Ryan Allsopp could have arguably been done better with Hourihane’s free-kick, but the former Plymouth Argyle man wasn’t complaining.

Keith Treacy had a shot blocked for the Reds as they looked to take the lead, but Clarke put the home side ahead for a second time.

The Reds failed to defend an O’Brien’s free-kick and Clarke smashed home all too easily from close-range. But Lita bundled over on the stroke of half time and the visitors were back in the contest.

Danny Swanson and Johnson both had efforts saved from Davies, while McQuoid had a diving head blocked by the keeper.

Hemmings and new signing Cole, the latter watched by his father Andy – the former England , Newcastle United and Manchester United striker – were introduced late on, but the Reds simply couldn’t bag a winner.

Coventry: Allsop, Willis, Webster, Johnson, Fleck, McQuoid (Miller 67), Swanson (Daniels 81) ,O’Brien, Tudgay (Jackson 81), Clarke, Haynes.

Subs: Burge, Thomas, Coulibaley, Phillips.

Booked: Clarke

Barnsley: Davies, Brown, Dudgeon, Berry, Nyatanga, Cranie, Treacy (Digby 64), Hourihane, Winnall (Hemmings 90+1), Bailey, Lita (Cole 65).

Subs: M’voto, Abbott, Dibble, Bree.

Booked: Cranie, Hourihane.

Referee: Pat Miller (Bedfordishire)

Attendance: 2,376 (away 893)