A LAST-GASP leveller denied Coventry City victory in their final pre-season friendly at Solihull Moors on Tuesday night.
Jake Beesley twice came to the rescue of Jimmy Shan’s men after Jack Burroughs’ deflected goal five minutes from time appeared to have won it against their National League opponents, following an own-goal from Jordan Piggott which initially handed the Sky Blues a lead in the 2-2 stalemate.
In what proved to be a largely youthful City team, sprinkled with the odd first team player and the returning duo of Fankaty Dabo and Michael Rose, it was the hosts who enjoyed the better share of possession in the early stages.
But as players eased into the game, so did the number of attempts that fell Coventry’s way.
The first, a fizzing shot from Marcel Hilssner – a recent recruit from German side Paderborn – flew narrowly past Ryan Boot’s left-hand post, followed by Josh Eccles’ strike which left the crossbar shaking.
Solihull’s Jamey Osborne was then involved with a direct free kick attempt that failed to trouble City custodian Tom Billson, before putting a corner kick on a plate for Alex Gudger but the defender was unable to make full connection with his header.
Home skipper Kyle Storer will feel aggrieved he didn’t fire his side into the lead just after the half-hour mark, as he mishit a defensive clearance that fell invitingly into his path.
A final attempt of the half for Osborne might well have gone in had the strike taken a deflection off one of the defenders placed in front of Billson, but the goalkeeper saw the ball all the way and claimed it to keep the sides deadlocked at half-time.
With a new XI taking to the pitch for the Moors in the second half, a perhaps expected blip came two minutes in when Hilssner’s low cross deflected in via Piggott.
The hosts showed plenty of endeavour to turn around their fortunes and so they were eventually rewarded when Beesley finished off from Ben Usher-Shipway’s right-flank delivery in the 67th minute.
Solihull’s trialist goalkeeper did well to deny Coventry’s Maxime Biamou, but he could do little to prevent Burroughs rippling the net after a deflection spun the ball out of reach.
The visitors were immediately pegged back however, as Beesley came to the rescue with an instinctive finish just two minutes afterwards.
It could have been all the more sweeter for Moors and their talisman however, had Billson not swooped down so low to keep the ball out with his legs moments after Coventry had restarted.
Mark Robins’ men can now turn their heads with excitement to Saturday for a first game back in the second tier for eight years, when Coventry make the trip to Ashton Gate to take on Bristol City in BS3 (3pm).