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Coventry and Stoke share spoils in goalless draw

Derby County v Stoke City – Sky Bet Championship – Pride Park
(Image credit: Nigel French)

Stoke recorded a fourth successive Championship clean sheet but were held to a third straight stalemate on the road as they wasted a string of chances in an entertaining 0-0 draw at Coventry.

It was also a third consecutive goalless game for the Sky Blues at their temporary St Andrew’s home as the visiting Potters spurned half a dozen golden opportunities to claim the points.

Jordan Thompson missed Stoke’s clearest openings, firing one wide and another onto the bar, while Steven Fletcher wasted two big headed chances as Stoke missed out on climbing into the top six.

Coventry striker Matty Godden, making his first start for almost two months after a foot injury, fired the hosts’ best chance straight at Joe Bursik as a draw kept them 18th, seven points above trouble.

Stoke had scored just four goals in their previous seven games, three fewer than Coventry in that timeframe, but for two sides struggling in front of goal they served up a glut of first-half chances.

The Potters spurned a chance to go ahead three minutes in as Fletcher chested down Nick Powell’s diagonal ball in the box but fired his half-volley over under pressure from two defenders.

Powell was involved again on the quarter-hour as nervy Coventry keeper Ben Wilson miscontrolled a Dom Hyam backpass and saw his clearance charged down by the Stoke midfielder but it rolled wide.

The returning Godden produced Coventry’s first effort of note a minute later, exchanging passes with Jamie Allen before firing straight at Potters keeper Bursik from 15 yards.

It was Stoke’s turn to look nervous defensively on 24 minutes, Tommy Smith’s backpass selling Bursik short, but the keeper just managed to block Callum O’Hare’s attempt to poke beyond him.

Sky Blues stopper Wilson needed a strong arm to tip over Jacob Brown’s fierce 33rd-minute strike after the hosts failed to clear a Stoke free-kick.

But, arguably the best opportunity of the first half fell to Thompson three minutes before the break, arriving late in the box to flash Brown’s low cross inches wide first time from around 15 yards.

Thompson missed an even better chance six minutes into the second half, scuffing into the ground and onto the bar from 12 yards after Brown’s pull-back drew keeper Wilson out of position.

O’Hare and Allen saw efforts deflected wide as Coventry responded but Stoke – for whom Joe Allen came off the bench after nine months out with an Achilles injury – continued to create more.

Fletcher really should have earned them all three points but sent two good headed chances wide, first when Nathan Collins headed a deep free-kick across goal and the second from a Smith cross.