TOWN earned a point on the road in a goalless but entertaining draw at Coventry City.
In a game of few chances, the visitors - backed by nearly 2,500 travelling fans at the Ricoh Arena, were indebted to Ty Belford at the death who pulled of a fine save to deny the hosts' Darius Henderson while Jon Obika and Nicky Ajose both saw opportunities come and go.
Alongside the absence of Raphael Rossi-Branco in the Town defence, the major omission from the starting line-up was that of Lawrence Vigouroux, who was ruled out with an injury. Will Henry kept his place on the bench while Tyrell Belford was give the task of keeping goal at the Ricoh. There was also a recall for Jamie Sendles-White who slotted in on the right of Town’s defensive trio while Anton Rodgers replaced Fabien Robert in midfield.
The first half was an even contest, largely played in the middle third of the pitch as neither side could effectively dominate the other for sustained periods of time. John Fleck’s long-range sighter was easily pouched by Belford and Jon Obika’s half-volley from a wide position inside the box was kept out by the hosts’ Reice Charles-Cook before the half-hour mark.
Arguably, Town’s best chance came courtesy of Anton Rodgers, who flighted a free-kick inches wide of the post from 25 yards.
Coventry did manage to find the back of the net before the break – Andy Rose snuck in at the far post to turn in a low cross but he was denied the honour of opening the scoring by an offside flag.
Seconds before the half-time whistle, Rodgers’ clever ball with the outside of his right boot picked out Brandon Ormonde-Ottewill on the left flank. He helped the ball into the six-yard box where it appeared to ping off a number of bodies before rolling wide of the target.
Town had the better of early second half exchanges. Rodgers’ inviting cross was just too long for Ajose to latch on to while Obika’s shot was well claimed by Charles-Cook and Ormonde-Ottewill fired wide.
As the Sky Blues slowly got a foothold, former Town loanee, Sam Ricketts headed wide when a cross came all the way through to him at the far post.
Substitute, Fabien Robert sent a volley wide after launching into an acrobatic overhead kick before Ajose saw his snapshot blocked and Louis Thompson's volley thumped into the chest of Charles-Cook.
The hosts also had chances to win it: Adam Armstrong couldn't connect properly with a half-volley then, with virtually the last kick of the game, Darius Henderson was denied by a superb Belford stop. As the ball dropped to the striker in the area, he smashed a half-volley in towards the roof of the net. With the ball slightly behind him, the Town stopper clawed at the ball and diverted it over the top to earn a hard-fought point for the visitors.