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Fabio Tavares guides Coventry to victory

Coventry City v Preston North End – Sky Bet Championship – Coventry Building Society Arena
(Image credit: Nigel French)

Fabio Tavares’ first Coventry goal secured the 10-man Sky Blues a last-gasp point against10-man Preston.

Daniel Johnson looked to have earned Ryan Lowe’s men the victory with an 86th-minute penalty but 21-year-old Tavares sent the CBS Arena wild with the last kick of the game.

Liam Lindsey and Fankaty Dabo had been given their marching orders within 120 seconds of each other as fans encroached onto the pitch before Johnson put North End a goal to the good.

Coventry’s starting eleven showed three changes from their dramatic win over Bristol City in midweek, Martyn Waghorn replacing Jake Bidwell, whilst Ben Sheaf replaced Jamie Allen and Michael Rose was preferred to Kyle McFadzean.

Ryan Lowe was forced into one change from North End’s stalemate with Nottingham Forest, Josh Earl replacing the injured Patrick Bauer.

Coventry started the brighter of the two sides, enjoying almost 70% of possession in the opening quarter of an hour with Viktor Gyökeres and Dom Hyam meeting inviting Todd Kane crosses.

But Lowe’s men, who hadn’t conceded in their last four away games, defended resolutely and earned their first chance through Ched Evans just before the half hour mark.

The Welsh striker forced Simon Moore into what was to become a string of saves, most notably on 40 minutes after a free flowing move that saw Johnson and Alan Browne combine to free Evans but his effort was clawed away for a corner.

The Sky Blues found themselves hanging on at the end of the first half and it was more of the same after the break as Moore was forced once again to thwart the former Manchester City front man.

The 33-year-old started the move through pure persistence, holding off Jake Clarke-Salter before being the first to react to Cameron Archer’s deflected shot.

But Moore was up to the task and down low to his right to push away Evans’ header before being called into action again to tip Johnson’s curling effort round the post.

Despite the Whites’ pressure, Coventry still posed a threat when Ian Maatsen teed up a volley which he fired wide before Sepp van den Berg’s last-ditch tackle denied Waghorn a clear path to goal.

Preston refused to settle for a point and it was Moore once again who came to Coventry’s rescue, beating away Archer’s effort before substitute Bidwell acrobatically blocked Brad Potts’ follow-up.

The visitors were reduced to ten men with six minutes remaining when Liam Lindsey was shown a second yellow card for clattering Gyökeres into the advertising hoardings.

Less than 120 seconds later Keith Stroud evened things up when Dabo brought down Emil Rils in the box and was shown his second red card of the season.

After a lengthy delay due to pitch encroachments from home supporters, Johnson stepped up and sent Moore the wrong way to earn what looked like Preston’s third away win in succession.

But Tavares had other ideas, the former Rochdale man cutting inside and rifling his effort into the top corner at the death in just his second Sky Blues appearance.

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