The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO - By Josh Richards

DE­SPON­DENT man­ager Mark Robins felt Coven­try were not ruth­less enough as they failed to score for a fourth time this term and missed the chance to keep pace with the league’s lead­ing pack.

With­out tal­is­man Duck­ens Na­zon, away on in­ter­na­tional duty with Haiti, the Sky Blues reg­is­tered just a hand­ful of ef­forts on goal as Bar­net halted a run of three suc­ces­sive league de­feats.

Robins said: “It was rub­bish. The first half was dire and the sec­ond half was a lit­tle bit bet­ter.

“The pres­sure was build­ing in the sec­ond half and they’ve got to thank their goal­keeper for keep­ing them in it, but we’ve got to take one of our chances and be more ruth­less.

“The crowd we brought were mag­nif­i­cent and it felt like a home game; that raises stan­dards. The pos­i­tive was keep­ing a clean sheet, but it’s dis­ap­point­ing not to come away with three points.”

Bar­net were also with­out their lead­ing light – the di­vi­sion’s player of the month Shaq Coulthirst ab­sent with a ham­string in­jury.

So per­haps the lack of first-half fire­works should have been ex­pected, with the 1,400-strong away con­tin­gent more con­cerned by the wel­fare of the lo­cal drum­mers and Santa Claus’s pre­ma­ture ap­pear­ance be­hind the press box than their team per­sis­tently opt­ing to by­pass their tal­ented mid­field­ers with long way­ward passes.

Ac­tion in the fi­nal third was lim­ited to a Max Bi­amou header that fell wide and Jodi Jones, a player clearly des­tined to en­joy a ca­reer far higher than this level, aimed for the top-right cor­ner with the out­side of his left foot, but his in­ven­tive ef­fort flew clear of the cross­bar.

It took 52 min­utes for the game’s first shot on tar­get – a tame lon­grange strike from Devon Kelly-Evans was eas­ily col­lected by Craig Ross.

The Sky Blues then upped the ante, briefly, with a pow­er­ful Bi­amou header caught by Ross, who also held a low 20-yard strike from right-back Jack Grim­mer.

A half-vol­ley from sub­sti­tute Fum­naya Sho­mo­tun drew ironic cheers as the home sup­port­ers’ 80-minute wait to see a shot on tar­get ended, but keeper Lee Burge was equal to the strike. And the con­test’s fi­nal chance fell to Liam Kelly, but his fiercely struck halfvol­ley was pushed wide by Ross. Bar­net head coach Rossi Eames said: “The play­ers have got to cher­ish that point, be­cause they worked ever so hard for it. “If you get reg­u­lar clean sheets, you’ll do well in the sea­son, so that’s a real pos­i­tive. “It was a fair re­sult. The per­for­mance from us out of pos­ses­sion was ex­cel­lent. We couldn’t ac­cept any­thing less and the clean sheet was mas­sive for us. I’m re­ally pleased.”

PIC­TURES: Ac­tion Im­ages

SCRAM­BLE: Play­ers from both sides bat­tle for the ball

OFF TAR­GET: Coven­try’s Jack Grim­mer shoots wide

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