COVENTRY City suffered a disappointing 1-0 defeat away at Reading on their return to competitive action as the Sky Blues’ four-game winning run came to an end.
Amadou Salif Mbengue’s first professional goal condemned Mark Robins’ side to defeat at the Select Car Leasing Stadium in City’s first competitive fixture since the start of the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
The result means Coventry sit 15th in the Sky Bet Championship table, five points outside of the play-off places with two games in hand on the teams above them.
City started the stronger of the two teams when Callum O’Hare controlled Ben Sheaf’s pass before firing a low effort goalwards that was well-saved by Royals goalkeeper Joe Lumley.
The Sky Blues went close again soon after as Gustavo Hamer’s free-kick from 25-yards out travelled inches past the left-hand post with Lumley beaten.
At other end, Ben Wilson made a fine acrobatic stop to push Yakou Meite’s header behind for a corner from Tom Ince’s cross.
City came closest to breaking Reading’s resistance when Michael Rose headed against the right-hand post from Hamer’s corner from the left.
Soon after, O’Hare received Hamer’s pass in space just outside the penalty area with Lumley equal to the midfielder’s low effort.
However, Reading took the lead on 57 minutes when Mbengue headed Tom McIntyre’s initial goalbound effort into the net via the underside of the crossbar from close range.
City were unable to find a leveller despite Sheaf having a powerful effort pushed away by Lumley as Robins’ side lost for the first time in five matches.
Coventry are next in action at home to Swansea City on Saturday, December 17 with kick-off at 3pm at the Coventry Building Society Arena.