Ten-man West Bromwich kept the pressure on Manchester City and Wolves yesterday as Bob Taylor gave them a potentially crucial 1-0 win against their play-off chasing rivals, Coventry.
The Baggies went into the game knowing a win would see them go level on points with second-placed Wolves and delay the Maine Road club's promotion to the Premiership.
Gary Megson, in his 100th game as West Bromwich manager, dropped Scott Dobie to the bench and handed Taylor his first start in four months while Phil Gilchrist passed a late fitness test.
For Coventry, Roland Nilsson made four changes to the side beaten by Sheffield Wednesday on Friday. Youssef Chippo, Mo Konjic, Ysrael Zuniga and John Eustace replaced Richard Shaw, David Thompson, Barry Quinn and Jay Bothroyd.
Both teams made a lively start and there were chances at each end. But, on 15 minutes, Albion scored the decisive goal. After picking up a perfect pass from Jordao, Taylor scored from six yards out.
Hughes and Eustace continued to cause the West Bromwich defence problems as they pushed forward in an attempt to find an equaliser, but their shots lacked power.
Just as the half-hour approached, Taylor had the chance to double the visitors lead although Konjic was up to the task and blocked the chance. At the other end, Colin Healy had an equally good opportunity to bring Coventry back into the game, but his effort went wide of the goal.
Nilsson was forced to make a change in the second half and the injured Gary Breen was replaced by Marcus Hall. He was called into action almost immediately as he cleared a shot from Balis.
Coventry continued to search for the elusive equaliser in a bid to get their own play-off hopes back on track, but Stan Varga was on hand to clear a Hughes shot while Colin Healey's 20-yard shot went wide of the target.
Megson swapped Danny Dichio for his leading scorer, Dobie, as West Bromwich tried to kill the game off. Nilsson threw Bothroyd on in place of Hughes as they tried to salvage something.
In the following three-minute spell, Coventry had chances from Healy, Youssef Safri and Zuniga, but all were dealt with by Hoult.
West Bromwich were reduced to 10 men for the final seven minutes when substitute Trevor Benjamin was dismissed following a bad challenge on Konjic. It was a very nervy final few minutes for Albion and deep in injury time Konjic almost snatched a point when he latched on to a cross from Carbonari, but it was safely gathered by Hoult to earn the visitors a valuable win.
Coventry City: Hedman; Chippo, Konjic, Carbonari, Breen, Trollope, Safri, Eustace, Healy, Zuniga, Hughes. Substitutes: Hall, Bothroyd, Hydlgaard, McSheffrey, Betts.
West Bromwich Albion: Hoult; Balis, Varga, Moore, Gilchrist, Clement, Jordao, McInnes, Adam Chambers, Taylor, Dichio. Substitutes: Lyttle, Fox, Dobie, Benjamin, Petterson.
Referee: G Poll (Tring).Reuse content