Gyoekeres steers Coventry past Stoke
Viktor Gyokeres scored for the first time since early October as he hit the winner in Coventry's 1-0 victory at home to Stoke. The striker, who had been without a goal since a brace in a 4-1 win again
Viktor Gyokeres scored for the first time since early October as he hit the winner in Coventry's 1-0 victory at home to Stoke.
The striker, who had been without a goal since a brace in a 4-1 win against Fulham on October 2, struck in the 68th minute to earn the Sky Blues their first home win in the Championship in five attempts.
The Swede kept his place in the starting line-up, having returned to the side for the weekend defeat to QPR due to Matty Godden's appendicitis, while Josh Eccles was handed his first start of the season at right wing-back, with Todd Kane, Fankaty Dabo and Ian Maatsen out injured.
There was also a first start for new signing Jake Bidwell as Jordan Shipley returned to a more familiar midfield role, while Michael O'Neill made just one change to his Stoke side, with Tom Ince replacing Joe Allen.
Unlike Saturday's 2-1 loss to Rangers, this match started slowly, Stoke applying the early pressure but failing to create any meaningful opportunities.
It was Gyokeres' persistence down the left that brought the game's first opening as he dispossessed a Potters defender before cutting inside, but his low effort was comfortable for Stoke goalkeeper Jack Bonham.
The 23-year-old forward had a golden chance to end his drought when he intercepted James Chester's slack pass in front of goal but lacked composure as he once again shot straight at Bonham.
It was almost third time lucky for the former Brighton man when he was agonisingly close to getting on the end of a knock-down in the six-yard box, but the Stoke defence stood firm.
Gyokeres was looking devoid of confidence, but, after Shipley's effort was deflected narrowly over by Tommy Smith and Eccles headed wide, the Swede stepped up to notch his 10th goal of the season.
City won the ball high up the field and Ben Sheaf's forward pass found Gyokeres, who turned and took aim from outside the area and powered an effort past a helpless Bonham.
Coventry almost doubled the lead when Martyn Waghorn's long-range effort fizzed past the right-hand post with 15 minutes to go.
Stoke finished the evening without a shot on target as they slumped to back-to-back defeats in the wake of their weekend loss to Fulham.