By Tim Hodges
Coventry City 2 Brighton & Hove Albion 0
Albion lost their fourth successive game, despite controlling the match for long periods. They now find themselves down in 16th position in the Championship.
Gus Poyet started with a central midfield combination of Matt Sparrow and Ryan Harley, and three central defenders in Adam El-Abd, Gordon Greer and Lewis Dunk. Billy Paynter returned up front.
Despite the Seagulls’ patient build-up play and retention of the ball it was Coventry who took the initiative. Gary McSheffrey, now a almost a veteran, ran through the Seagulls defence and hit a low shot from the edge of the area to put the Sky Blues 1-0 up with ten minutes left of the first half.
Almost immediately though, Craig Mackail-Smith went clean through, and was one on one with Coventry keeper Joe Murphy, but he couldn’t steer the ball into the net as Murphy saved.
Again in the second half Albion dominated but could not create a clearcut chance for either Mackail-Smith or Paynter.
Coventry were, however, quick on the counterattack, and it was from one of these that they doubled their lead. After the ball went loose McSheffrey sent in a curling cross which eluded Casper Ankergren and was met at the back post by Lukas Jutkiewicz.
Albion threw on Will Buckley, Kazenga LuaLua and Jake Forster-Caskey soon after but, apart from efforts from Alan Navarro and an effort from Dunk, the Seagulls were unable to get themselves a foothold in the match.
Albion will be without both Navarro and Dunk at home to Southampton on Monday as they serve suspensions, but will benefit from the return of Liam Bridcutt and may also recall Steve Cook from his loan spell at Bournemouth.
Albion: Ankergren; El-Abd, Greer, Dunk, Taricco; Navarro, Sparrow, Harley; Noone, Paynter, Mackail-Smith. Subs: Brezovan, Hall, Forster-Caskey, Buckley, LuaLua.
Coventry: Murphy; Christie, Keogh, Wood, Hussey; Deegan, Thomas, Baker, Bell; Jutkiewicz, McSheffrey. Subs: Dunne, Jeffers, Bigirimana, McPake, Hussey.
Referee: Mark Haywood (West Yorkshire)