Coventry relegated from Championship after 2-0 defeat against Doncaster

 

Coventry will play npower League One football next season after defeat to Doncaster confirmed their relegation.

Andy Thorn's side's chances of taking their relegation battle into the final week of the season were reliant on a victory over Rovers and fourth-bottom Bristol City losing at home to struggling Barnsley.

But the Sky Blues' fate was sealed as the Robins secured their Championship status with a 2-0 win of their own.

Doncaster hammered the final nail into their coffin as James Hayter scored a penalty after Richard Keogh was sent off for hauling down the striker in the penalty area and Simon Gillett added a second.

The two sides will face each other again in the third tier of English football next term after a 4-3 defeat to Portsmouth condemned Rovers to relegation last week.

After news of Bristol City's early opener at Ashton Gate filtered around the Ricoh Arena, Doncaster almost piled more misery on Thorn's team with an early strike, but Joe Murphy denied Gillett from 20 yards.

Coventry started to settle, Keogh heading wide from on-loan Manchester United midfielder Oliver Norwood's corner.

The hosts upped the tempo, Gary McSheffrey trying to inspire his side with a number of threatening runs, with the winger also seeing a 12-yard shot blocked by Adam Lockwood.

The Sky Blues, lacking the services of injured captain Sammy Clingan, almost got their reward on the half-hour mark, but Clive Platt's close-range header from Jordan Clarke's cross was headed off the line by defender George Friend.

Clarke then tried his luck from 12 yards, only to see visiting shot-stopper Gary Woods cling on, while Norwood delivered another dangerous ball towards Platt, who failed to direct his header on target.

Doncaster manager Dean Saunders was forced into a change four minutes before the interval as Chris Brown was replaced by Hayter.

Coventry ended the half strongly as Woods denied Platt after the striker once again combined with Clarke.

In an attempt to find the all-important opening goal, Coventry started the second half positively. Defender Chris Hussey was given license to advance forward, eventually shooting wide from 20 yards.

After 70 minutes, McDonald was denied an opener as his shot cannoned back off the upright and soon after McSheffrey fired over from six yards.

Coventry's frustration continued 10 minutes from time as Keogh was shown a straight red card after hauling down Hayter, who picked himself up to convert from the spot.

After missing a couple of chances in the opening half, Gillett then got his name on the scoresheet three minutes from time, finding the bottom corner from 20 yards.

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