Adams' men deepen Forest gloom in survival struggle

Coventry City 2 - Nottingham Forest 0
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The Independent Football

Bitterly disappointed when Gary Megson pipped him for the Nottingham Forest job, Micky Adams might yet have the last laugh after Coventry's decisive victory over their Midlands rivals gave their own survival chances a considerable boost and left Forest's grip on their Championship status looking increasingly flimsy.

Bitterly disappointed when Gary Megson pipped him for the Nottingham Forest job, Micky Adams might yet have the last laugh after Coventry's decisive victory over their Midlands rivals gave their own survival chances a considerable boost and left Forest's grip on their Championship status looking increasingly flimsy.

Megson had identified this game as one his side dare not lose but in the event they were comprehensively outplayed, trailing to goals by Gary McSheffrey and Dele Adebola and indebted to their goalkeeper Paul Gerrard for escaping a heavier defeat. Forest remain five points below the safety cut-off.

Packed stands at Highfield Road recalled better times but the quality of the football had more in common with the desperate days facing both clubs in the struggle to avoid the drop.

Coventry settled more readily and their early command of midfield created chances for Dele Adebola and Richard Duffy. After 22 minutes, the referee Andy D'Urso judged that Gareth Taylor had controlled the ball with an arm, and McSheffrey converted his second penalty in as many matches.

With that, Forest looked still more uncomfortable and were fortunate not to go further behind when Gerrard spilled a McSheffrey shot, Adebola looming with intent as the ball ran loose only for Gerrard to recover just in time.

Four minutes from half-time, however, Gerrard had no chance but every right to look daggers at his team-mates as Adebola charged through from the left, evading backpedalling defenders with ease before slipping the ball under the goalkeeper to put his side in control.

Forest switched to 4-4-2 but Coventry's dominance was not disturbed. McSheffrey continued to torment them and only Gerrard, three times saving from the midfielder, ensured the result was not put beyond doubt well before the final whistle.

Their side's lack of craft against well-organised defending reduced Forest's travelling supporters to near silence as the contest moved into its final phase, the evidence of last night's display lengthening the odds against their survival without a substantial improvement in form and confidence.

Coventry City (4-4-2): Steele; Duffy, Page, Staunton, Hall; McSheffrey, Hughes (Osbourne, 86), Doyle, Dyer (Whing, 85); Goater (Benjamin, 72), Adebola. Substitutes not used: Pressman (gk), John.

Nottingham Forest (5-3-2): Gerrard; Louis-Jean, Morgan, Melville, Doig, Robertson (Bopp, 51); Commons, Powell (Gardner, 57), Perch; Dobie, Taylor. Substitutes not used: Doyle (gk), Thompson, Harris.

Referee: A D'Urso (Essex).

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