Coventry 2-0 Barnsley: Sky Blues moves within inches of survival as Dom Hyam and Matty Godden strike

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Coventry 2-0 Barnsley: Sky Blues moves within inches of survival as Dom Hyam and Matt Godden strike … Mark Robins’ squad can now look forward to returning home to Ricoh Arena

  • Barnsley traveled to Coventry in the championship on Sunday afternoon
  • Dom Hyam and Matty Godden struck for a surprise during the playoff pursuers
  • The Sky Blues are almost safe from relegation and can plan their return to Ricoh

While nothing can ever be taken for granted in the championship, it is now quite certain that Coventry can look forward to a second season in the second tier.

Dom Hyam’s well-taken early goal and Matty Godden’s second stoppage time delivered a win that should allay any concerns about relegation as the Sky Blues came nine points from the drop zone.

While it’s true that Rotherham United has two games in hand in 22nd place, there are three games – Birmingham, Huddersfield and Derby – that act as a buffer between Coventry and the Millers.

Coventry is almost safe after a crucial win over play-off pursuers Barnsley on Sunday

Matt Godden shot in stoppage time after Dom Hyam struck early in the game to seal victory

Matt Godden shot in stoppage time after Dom Hyam struck early in the game to seal victory

Another three points, maybe in Stoke City mid-week, should be for Mark Robins and his team, whose run of three wins of four is perfectly timed.

With Coventry on the cusp of returning to the Ricoh Arena next season, the on and off-pitch horrors of the past few years seem to be over.

They deserved this result against a side from Barnsley that was surprisingly flat given that they could have bolstered their play-off spot with a win.

They stay sixth and have the luxury of a four-point pad to Reading down them, but they didn’t get close to all three points here.

Muted cheers could be heard from the houses around St Andrew’s as Harlee Dean scored the late Birmingham winner at Rotherham in the early kick-off of the championship.

Barnsley could miss these kinds of results late in the season in their hunt for the playoffs

Barnsley could miss these kinds of results late in the season in their hunt for the playoffs

And that goal would have encouraged their Coventry tenants as well, as it provided an opportunity to put clear blue water in third place between themselves and Rotherham, who they defeated themselves Thursday night.

Their positive start in the game reflected this and they were in charge for most of the first half and took a deserved lead.

Sam McCallum launched a series of catapults into the Barnsley box, while visiting goalkeeper Brad Collins had to get off his line more than once to deal with long balls.

Coventry’s ninth minute opener was brilliantly taken by Hyam and was also the result of a throw-in, albeit a shorter one.

Gustavo Hamer took it quickly and caught Barnsley’s defenders by surprise and Max Biamou’s strength saw him send the ball back to Hyam, lurking just inside the penalty area.

If Coventry returns to the Ricoh Arena next season, they appear to be in the second tier

If Coventry returns to the Ricoh Arena next season, they appear to be in the second tier

Hyam didn’t look at goal, but turned his body to make a sweet right shot with such force that Collins didn’t stand a chance, even at the front post. At least it wasn’t bad for a defender.

Coventry pushed on, with Leo Ostigard, their match winner at Rotherham, a header to the roof of the net after a free kick from Matty James.

And one more of those McCallum pitchers found Hyam looking for another one, but went there.

Barnsley did not play as a team with Premier League ambitions, nor as a side that, unlike Coventry, had a blank midweek. They barely got close to Coventry’s box in the top 45 and still almost leveled at half-time.

Good work from Daryl Dike and Conor Chaplin put Cauley Woodrow behind the home defense. Closed by goalkeeper Ben Wilson, Woodrow got his shot through but wide of the post.

Coventry has been committed to safety by winning three in their last five league games

Coventry has been committed to safety by winning three in their last five league games

After the break there was more about Barnsley, helped by the fresh legs that Valerien Ismael introduced, but few clear opportunities in the way.

Instead, a hopeful long ball put Coventry substitute Viktor Gyokeres to flight and Michel Helik had to tackle one last slide to block his shot. McCallum scraped an attempt wide from the corner.

Barnsley finally made an opening when Callum Styles drove forward diagonally from left to right before picking Dominik Frieser into the space on the right. His drilled shot was pushed out by Wilson.

In the last moments of normal time, Daryl Dike, who had struggled to make his mark on the game, was suddenly free in the Coventry box. You expected it to just bulge, but the American attack flew wide.

Barnsley entered the final phase, but was put through a break in Coventry in the second minute of injury time. Godden was played clear and showed great composure by cutting in a defender and curling his shot into the far corner.

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