Match action
Coventry manager Mark Robins is now winless in all six of his league meetings with Swansea, losing four and drawing twice

Swansea City got back to winning ways and maintained the pressure on the top two in the race for automatic promotion in the Championship with a hard-fought win over a resolute Coventry City.

Ben Cabango put the hosts in front on 54 minutes from close range as he headed home a Conor Hourihane corner.

Swansea were never at their best but saw out the contest fairly comfortably.

The win keeps Swansea fourth, just a point from second with two games in hand, while Coventry remain 20th.

Swansea were seeking a lift after being stunned at the weekend by a really clinical display from Huddersfield Town, who inflicted the Swans’ worst defeat of the campaign.

Steve Cooper’s side were without defender Ryan Bennett, who missed out with a calf strain, meaning a recall for Cabango, while Yan Dhanda returned to the team as the hosts looked to continue their recent hoodoo over Mark Robins’ men.

Coventry had not won against Swansea in nearly 40 years, with their last victory coming in October 1981 at Highfield Road, while the Swans came into this contest unbeaten in their last 10 league games against the Sky Blues, who had not won in Swansea since January 1950.

The omens were against them but the form book was not, however, with Robins unsurprisingly naming an unchanged starting XI to the one that stunned automatic promotion hopefuls Brentford at the weekend. While Swansea were coming off their worst display of the season, Coventry probably just had their best.

Robins’ side were bidding to end a horrible run of form in not just Swansea but South Wales, with this result meaning they are now winless in their last 10 away league matches in Wales, failing to beat Cardiff City, Newport County and Swansea since a 1-0 win at Cardiff in August 2007.

They were competitive enough in an opening that saw chances at a premium with Ben Wilson standing firm to save from an acute angle as Jamal Lowe found a rare patch of space, while Gustavo Hamer scuffed a shot weakly at Freddie Woodman.

We waited a full 30 minutes before a really clear chance at goal when Connor Roberts and Dhanda combined well and Roberts picked a perfect cross for Lowe, but he got his body shape all wrong and side-footed the ball wide from the edge of the penalty area.

Lowe then turned provider as Swansea broke with pace, but Jake Bidwell’s shot was blocked, before Dhanda fired over.

However, the best chance of the half fell to the visitors when Swansea failed to clear their lines and Maxime Biamou had a sight of goal from just outside the six-yard box but he flashed the ball wide with his right foot when more composure was required.

Coventry looked resolute and organised and would have been pleased to be level a the break.

Cabango goal
Ben Cabango, pictured here giving Swansea the lead, has now scored four goals this season

The visitors had the first effort of the second period when Sam McCallum flashed an effort from fully 25 yards just past the upright, but after all their hard work, they were undone by a corner routine on 54 minutes to fall behind.

The goal could have been simpler with Cabango headed in from close range through a crowded six-yard box after Hourihane’s teasing delivery, though the Coventry defenders appealed in vain for an infringement on the goalkeeper.

The hosts missed a good chance to ease their nerves on 73 minutes when Lowe cut in from the left and curled inches past the post, while Matt Grimes flashed an effort from long range just wide.

However, the fact is that Swansea’s defence has been imperious at home this season and if any side is going to be comfortable holding a lead, it would be one who have now conceded just three goals in their last 13 home league matches, keeping 10 clean sheets and taking 31 points from an available 39.

And so it proved as Swansea were rarely threatened protecting their lead, though Kyle McFadzean might have done better with a late chance, but he fired wide after a dangerous free-kick, while Tyler Walker failed to find the target in injury time.

Swansea manager Steve Cooper said:

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“I thought we deserved it. I thought we were the team who created the real chances in the game.

“I thought we created numerous chances in the game to win it more comfortably in what was a tough game.

“You saw the game at their place, we were quite happy with a point and we knew it was going to be tough. They had an excellent win at the weekend against Brentford and named an unchanged team.

“I thought we were the superior team and created the clearer chances in the game.”

Coventry manager Mark Robins said:

“It was a really poor goal and when it comes down to something like that its unforgivable.

“It was a brilliant into the box and Connor Hourihane has got a wand of a left foot. But we all know that.

“He put it into an area where we weren’t strong enough to stop Cabango coming though. He rose above our goalkeeper and it was a really poor goal for us to concede – lamentable.

“We were undoubtedly the better team tonight and I think we have been a bit unfortunate. We have got to be better because we are being punished for things.”

Line-ups

Swansea

Formation 3-4-1-2

  • 1Woodman
  • 26NaughtonSubstituted forLatibeaudiereat 70′minutes
  • 44CabangoBooked at 87mins
  • 5Guehi
  • 23Roberts
  • 8Grimes
  • 14HourihaneSubstituted forFultonat 66′minutes
  • 24Bidwell
  • 21DhandaSubstituted forSmithat 66′minutes
  • 10A Ayew
  • 9Lowe

Substitutes

  • 3Manning
  • 6Fulton
  • 7Smith
  • 17Whittaker
  • 18Hamer
  • 19Arriola
  • 22Latibeaudiere
  • 31Cooper
  • 34Freeman

Coventry

Formation 3-4-1-2

  • 13Wilson
  • 2ØstigardBooked at 82mins
  • 5McFadzean
  • 15Hyam
  • 29Da CostaSubstituted forDaboat 45′minutes
  • 38HamerSubstituted forSheafat 65′minutes
  • 6KellySubstituted forJamesat 65′minutes
  • 21McCallumBooked at 21mins
  • 11O’HareSubstituted forBakayokoat 83′minutes
  • 19Walker
  • 9BiamouSubstituted forGyökeresat 65′minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Marosi
  • 4Rose
  • 8Allen
  • 12Gyökeres
  • 14Sheaf
  • 20Bakayoko
  • 23Dabo
  • 25James
  • 26Shipley

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