Both sides came into this Monday night clash in the Championship with contrasting fortunes. The Baggies arrived at the CBS Arena looking to follow up a 2-0 win against QPR with another three points, while Mark Robins’ Coventry City were desperate to get back to winning ways following a shock defeat at Rotherham United last time out.
COV: Wilson; Thomas, McFadzean, Kitching; van Ewijk, Eccles, Sheaf, Dasilva; Allen, Sakamoto, Wright
WBA: Palmer; Pieters, Bartley, Kipre; Pipa, Chalobah, Yokuslu, Phillips, Mowatt; Diangana, Wallace
A chilly evening at the CBS Arena saw the Baggies dominate the opening stages of the game, as the first clear chance saw Matt Phillips fire the ball in low towards Alex Mowatt at the far post, but Jay Dasilva was in the right place at the right time to clear the ball out for a corner, which nothing came from.
West Brom went even closer just moments later as Kyle Bartley’s header bounced back off the inside of the woodwork – only for the linesman’s flag to be up already, cutting short any potential celebrations.
It was then Coventry’s turn to go forward, with Haji Wright and Tatsuhiro Sakamoto both being denied from close-range by Alex Palmer in the space of thirty seconds.
However, the side in the ascendency from the start were West Bromwich Albion, and they’d take the lead through a mistake that Ben Wilson will not want to watch back. The Baggies got forward once again through Nathaniel Chalobah, whose low and fierce effort stung the palms of Wilson, but the Coventry stopper failed to collect the ball and Grady Diangana punished him by pinching the ball off Wilson and slotting home calmly to give Carlos Corberan’s side the lead in the 17th minute.Embed from Getty Images
City knew they had to get back into this game quick, and began to do just that as Ben Sheaf’s long-range effort whistled just over the bar, in what proved at this stage the home side’s best chance of the game so far. Jay Dasilva then found Sheaf again moments later, with the midfielder’s second attempt of the game again travelling over the bar. Haji Wright then received the ball from Liam Kitching and directed his low effort towards goal, only for the ball to instead drift just wide of the near post.
The second half began quietly in the way of chances for either side, but not before Haji Wright had the best chance of the game. The American found himself through one-on-one with Baggies goalkeeper Alex Palmer, but the Coventry frontman somehow fired past the near post rather than into what looked an open goal!
West Brom, despite being dominated by Mark Robins’ City side, still looked dangerous on the attack, and they did so again in the 63rd minute. Matt Phillips made an excellent run down the left hand side and sent the ball in towards substitute Brandon Thomas-Asante, whose shot was deflected into the path of Pipa, who fired hard and low towards the far corner, only for Ben Wilson to get down well.
A few moments later, the CBS Arena rose up out of their seats to welcome back fan favourite Callum O’Hare, who had been out with injury since Boxing Day last year.
With just over 20 minutes to go, West Brom finally made their advantage look more comfortable, as they doubled their lead. Having been dominated for most of this game, the Baggies looked the more clinical of the two sides, as Matt Phillips’ brilliant ball up the pitch found Brandon Thomas-Asante, who raced towards goal and fired the ball wonderfully into the far corner past Ben Wilson – albeit with a few thoughts of offside being thrown about.Embed from Getty Images
Carlos Corberan’s side almost added a third goal eight minutes later, as Thomas-Asante raced through the Coventry defence and was through on goal. However, instead of squaring the ball across to Grady Diangana, the striker took the shot on himself, but the effort flew over the bar. This proved to be the final clear-cut chance of the game as West Brom made the short trip back to Birmingham with all three points.
Next time out, Coventry City travel up north to face Preston North End, while West Brom return to the Hawthorns, where Hull City are the visitors – both 3pm kick-offs this Saturday.