Tyler Walker’s brace boosted Coventry’s Sky Bet Championship survival hopes as they claimed a deserved 2-0 win over stuttering Brentford.
The promotion-chasing Bees headed into the clash at St Andrew’s in the midst of a wobble after two surprise defeats in a week to Barnsley and QPR.
And news that they were missing 24-goal top scorer Ivan Toney with a minor ankle injury would have done little to improve the nerves of their fans.
He was badly missed as the visitors lacked bite in forward areas, while a hard-working and positive Sky Blues side impressed in attack and defence.
Brentford started well enough and Coventry defender Kyle McFadzean was alert to clear Vitaly Janelt’s goal-bound header from Bryan Mbuemo’s corner.
But, in testing conditions, Mark Robins’ side soon grew into the game and Callum O’Hare’s half-volley warmed the palms of Brentford goalkeeper David Raya.
Now settled into the contest, Coventry, boosted by skipper Liam Kelly’s first start since December, went ahead from the penalty spot after 19 minutes.
Raya saved Maxime Biamou’s fierce strike but, from the rebound, Biamou was caught by Rico Henry inside the box. Walker stepped up and slotted the penalty under the Spanish keeper.
Brentford could have been level inside a minute but Mathias Jensen could not quite get his head to a free-kick, cleverly chipped into the box.
Coventry, going into the game on the back of three defeats in four and looking perilously over their shoulders at the bottom three, nearly doubled their lead as O’Hare’s powerful strike was kept out from close range by Raya’s fine reaction save.
Walker also blazed over as the home side threatened again and, while the visitors remained dangerous themselves, City were resolute and prevented Brentford from finding their rhythm.
Referee Stephen Martin swapped from black to a purple shirt for the second half, the result of a colour clash with Coventry’s one-off darker kit.
The home side started well after the break, with Gustavo Hamer firing into the side-netting before Coventry doubled their lead in the 55th minute.
O’Hare capitalised on sloppy defensive play and fed Walker, who turned smartly and fired low into the right-hand corner of Raya’s net.
Brentford made a triple change, with Josh Dasilva, Tarique Fosu and Henrik Dalsgaard brought on, but found clear chances hard to come by and it was Coventry who threatened a third as Dom Hyam went close from a corner.
Dalsgaard prodded wide for Brentford as the game entered the final 20 minutes and Dasilva saw an effort deflect over, but Coventry were comfortable and well worth their victory.