Steven Pressley made a winning start as Coventry City's new boss to leave Scunthorpe United remaining perilously close to the League One drop zone.

Akpo Sodje headed the Iron in front, but Carl Baker levelled on half-time.

Leon Clarke, who scored 11 times in 15 games during a loan spell at Scunthorpe earlier in the season, then nodded in the winner 13 minutes from time.

Leon Clarke wins it again . . .

  • Both this season's meetings between Coventry and Scunthorpe ended in 2-1 home defeats, yet Leon Clarke hit the winning goal each time . . . when the Sky Blues lost 2-1 at home to the Iron at the Ricoh Arena on 10 November, Clarke, then on loan from Charlton Athletic, bagged both Scunthorpe goals.

Karl Hawley hit a post, then Coventry keeper Joe Murphy saved from Jimmy Ryan to deny the home side an equaliser.

Defeat leaves Scunthorpe just two points above the bottom four.

Coventry's fifth successive away win was their 11th in the league this season - a new club record.

Pressley, who left Falkirk in midweek for the Ricoh Arena, now faces his first two home tests at the Ricoh Arena, against Colchester United in midweek, then Hartlepool next Saturday.

And his first big challenge is to put right Coventry's home form.

Although the Sky Blues are soaring on their travels, they have lost their last four at the Ricoh.

VIEW FROM THE DRESSING ROOM

Scunthorpe United manager Brian Laws told BBC Radio Humberside:

"It was the one major decision to be made - whether their centre-half stays on the park when he's actually chopped Andy Barcham across the neck, which is a clear one.

"Everybody has seen that it should have been a sending off. That could have changed the game completely. It was a major talking point and the referee got it wrong.

"We've got to capitalise on our opportunities because you're not going to dominate every game, and you're certainly not going to dominate teams like Coventry City.

"Just as the game was opening up we took some wrong choices. We tried to be creative by going diagonal from 60-yard passes. They were getting cut out and I don't like that. Keep the game short, keep it simple as we did in the first half, and it opened them up."

Sky Blues manager Steven Pressley told BBC Coventry and Warwickshire:

"The great thing from my perspective is that from going a goal down the response was magnificent.

"I said to them that if I get that out of them every week we've got a real chance at this football club. Their character was outstanding on what was a difficult afternoon on the surface.

"I thought they were outstanding. All in all it was magnificent. There's a lot more to come from this team. We can improve as a team. That's what excites me. It was a wonderful afternoon's work from the players.

"It's a good two and half hours back down the road for our fans. They created an intensity to the game, and I'm delighted for them that we provided such a good performance."

Lineup, Bookings (1) & Substitutions (4)

Scunthorpe United

  • 18 Nolan
  • 26 Johansen
  • 05 Mirfin
  • 06 Reid
  • 21 Newey
  • 07 Ryan
  • 16 Duffy
  • 19 Collins
  • 09 Sodje (Alabi - 73' )
  • 11 Barcham (Jennings - 87' )
  • 22 Hawley

Substitutes

  • 13 Severn
  • 02 Ribeiro
  • 15 Canavan
  • 04 Walker
  • 10 Grella
  • 12 Jennings
  • 27 Alabi

Coventry City

  • 01 Murphy
  • 03 Dickinson
  • 21 Christie
  • 25 Edjenguele
  • 35 Martin
  • 08 Baker (Willis - 90' )
  • 12 Jennings
  • 32 Moussa
  • 38 Bailey Booked
  • 11 McSheffrey (Fleck - 77' )
  • 15 Clarke

Substitutes

  • 13 Dunn
  • 26 Willis
  • 31 Stewart
  • 04 Thomas
  • 07 Bell
  • 10 Fleck
  • 09 McDonald
Ref: Bates
Att: 3,676

Match Stats

Shots

13 9

On target

9 4

Corners

5 4

Fouls

9 16

Live Text Commentary

90:00 +5:53 Full time

Full Time The final whistle goes and the game is over.

90:00 +5:19

Paul Reid is ruled offside. Joe Murphy restarts play with the free kick.

90:00 +4:14

Carl Dickinson gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Eddie Nolan. Free kick crossed right-footed by Mark Duffy from right wing, Carl Dickinson manages to make a clearance.

90:00 +2:43 Substitution

Substitution Jordan Willis is brought on as a substitute for Carl Baker.

90:00 +2:43

Corner taken short by John Fleck.

90:00 +1:12

The official flags Leon Clarke offside. Indirect free kick taken by David Mirfin.

90:00 +0:34

Short corner worked by Mark Duffy. Effort from 20 yards by Eddie Nolan. Save made by Joe Murphy.

90:00 +0:17

Mark Duffy produces a cross, clearance made by William Edjenguele.

86:39

Carl Baker gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Michael Collins. Direct free kick taken by Eirik Holmen Johansen.

86:08 Substitution

Substitution Connor Jennings comes on in place of Andy Barcham.

84:45

Shot by Jimmy Ryan from 30 yards. Save made by Joe Murphy. Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Mark Duffy, James Alabi has a header from close range and clears the crossbar.

83:41

Jimmy Ryan gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Franck Moussa. Carl Baker crosses the ball from the free kick right-footed from left channel, Tom Newey makes a clearance.

82:17

The referee blows for offside against Tom Newey. Free kick taken by Joe Murphy.

78:53

Franck Moussa delivers the ball.

77:00 Substitution

Substitution John Fleck is brought on as a substitute for Gary McSheffrey.

76:10

Gary McSheffrey provided the assist for the goal.

76:10 Goal scored

Goal! - Leon Clarke - Scunthorpe 1 - 2 Coventry Leon Clarke finds the net with a headed goal from inside the penalty area. Scunthorpe 1-2 Coventry.

75:56

Gary McSheffrey delivers the ball,

75:01

Effort on goal by Michael Collins from outside the area goes harmlessly over the bar.

72:41 Substitution

Substitution James Alabi joins the action as a substitute, replacing Akpo Sodje.

71:19

Drilled left-footed shot by Mark Duffy. Comfortable save by Joe Murphy.

70:45

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on David Mirfin by Leon Clarke. David Mirfin takes the direct free kick.

69:25

Centre by Gary McSheffrey. The offside flag is raised against Leon Clarke. Free kick taken by Eirik Holmen Johansen.

66:09

The ball is delivered by Cyrus Christie, free kick awarded for a foul by Leon Clarke on Eirik Holmen Johansen. Free kick taken by Eirik Holmen Johansen.

64:28

Franck Moussa has an effort at goal from outside the box which goes wide right of the goal.

63:11

Carl Baker challenges Mark Duffy unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by David Mirfin.

59:36

Leon Clarke is caught offside. Eirik Holmen Johansen takes the indirect free kick.

58:35

The official flags Akpo Sodje offside. Aaron Martin takes the indirect free kick.

57:07

Andy Barcham concedes a free kick for a foul on James Bailey. Cyrus Christie takes the free kick.

56:16

Shot by Gary McSheffrey. Save made by Eirik Holmen Johansen.

52:32

Cyrus Christie sends in a cross, clearance made by Paul Reid.

52:13

Free kick awarded for a foul by Gary McSheffrey on Eddie Nolan. Eddie Nolan takes the direct free kick.

51:32

Shot from 20 yards from Carl Dickinson. Save by Eirik Holmen Johansen.

50:19

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Andy Barcham by Cyrus Christie. Free kick taken by Michael Collins.

46:30

Eddie Nolan gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Gary McSheffrey. The free kick is delivered right-footed by Carl Baker from left channel, clearance by David Mirfin.

45:53

Akpo Sodje takes a shot. Joe Murphy makes a save.

45:21

Carl Baker concedes a free kick for a foul on Tom Newey. Free kick crossed by Mark Duffy.

45:01

The referee gets the second half underway.

45:00 +2:58 Half time

Half Time The ref blows to signal half-time.

44:55 Goal scored

Goal! - Carl Baker - Scunthorpe 1 - 1 Coventry Carl Baker scores a goal from just outside the area low into the middle of the goal. Scunthorpe 1-1 Coventry.

44:25

The ball is delivered by Cyrus Christie, clearance made by Jimmy Ryan. Carl Baker takes the outswinging corner,

43:00

Unfair challenge on James Bailey by Michael Collins results in a free kick. Steven Jennings takes the free kick.

42:27

Unfair challenge on Andy Barcham by James Bailey results in a free kick. Jimmy Ryan restarts play with the free kick.

41:52

Shot by Carl Dickinson from a long way out goes over the net.

40:34

Effort from outside the penalty box by Gary McSheffrey goes wide left of the goal.

39:36

Corner taken by Mark Duffy, Leon Clarke manages to make a clearance.

38:42

Andy Barcham is ruled offside. Indirect free kick taken by Joe Murphy.

38:25

Jimmy Ryan fouled by Leon Clarke, the ref awards a free kick. David Mirfin takes the free kick.

35:43

Cyrus Christie delivers the ball, Tom Newey makes a clearance.

35:15

Cyrus Christie fouled by Jimmy Ryan, the ref awards a free kick. Cyrus Christie restarts play with the free kick.

34:29

David Mirfin fouled by Leon Clarke, the ref awards a free kick. David Mirfin takes the free kick.

32:41

Direct free kick taken by Eirik Holmen Johansen.

32:41 Booking

Booking James Bailey booked.

32:21

Foul by James Bailey on Andy Barcham, free kick awarded.

28:40

Jimmy Ryan gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Franck Moussa. Direct free kick taken by Steven Jennings.

27:38

Corner taken right-footed by Carl Baker. Unfair challenge on David Mirfin by Leon Clarke results in a free kick. Eirik Holmen Johansen takes the direct free kick.

25:22

Shot by James Bailey from outside the box goes over the net.

24:51

Centre by Cyrus Christie, David Mirfin makes a clearance.

23:22

The ball is crossed by Cyrus Christie, Eirik Holmen Johansen makes a comfortable save.

22:44

Foul by Michael Collins on Franck Moussa, free kick awarded. William Edjenguele takes the free kick.

20:57

The ball is swung over by Mark Duffy, save made by Joe Murphy.

20:17

Carl Dickinson delivers the ball, clearance by David Mirfin.

19:53

Gary McSheffrey sends in a cross, clearance made by Paul Reid.

19:22

Corner taken short by Carl Baker.

18:36

Gary McSheffrey produces a left-footed shot from just outside the penalty box that misses to the left of the target.

18:02

A cross is delivered by Carl Baker, Eddie Nolan manages to make a clearance.

13:47

Carl Baker sends in a cross. Leon Clarke is caught offside. Indirect free kick taken by Eirik Holmen Johansen.

13:23

Free kick awarded for a foul by Jimmy Ryan on James Bailey. Carl Baker takes the free kick.

12:56

Carl Dickinson delivers the ball.

11:30

Akpo Sodje takes a shot. Joe Murphy makes a save.

10:53

Gary McSheffrey concedes a free kick for a foul on Akpo Sodje. David Mirfin takes the free kick.

10:25

Carl Baker crosses the ball.

9:48

Karl Hawley produces a right-footed shot from inside the box and strikes the post.

9:04

Effort from 18 yards by Mark Duffy. Aaron Martin gets a block in. Akpo Sodje concedes a free kick for a foul on Joe Murphy. Joe Murphy takes the direct free kick.

7:16

The assist for the goal came from Eddie Nolan.

7:16 Goal scored

Goal! - Akpo Sodje - Scunthorpe 1 - 0 Coventry Akpo Sodje grabs a headed goal from inside the penalty area. Scunthorpe 1-0 Coventry.

7:01

The ball is delivered by Eddie Nolan,

5:47

The assistant referee signals for offside against Karl Hawley. Steven Jennings takes the indirect free kick.

3:30

Jimmy Ryan takes a shot. Save by Joe Murphy. Outswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Mark Duffy.

2:27

Centre by Mark Duffy, William Edjenguele makes a clearance. Corner taken by Mark Duffy from the right by-line to the near post, clearance made by Carl Baker.

2:12

Free kick awarded for a foul by Leon Clarke on David Mirfin. Direct free kick taken by Paul Reid.

1:38

Andy Barcham has an effort at goal from just inside the box that misses to the right of the target.

1:14

Effort on goal by Karl Hawley from 18 yards. Save by Joe Murphy.

0:48

Free kick awarded for a foul by Cyrus Christie on Michael Collins. Mark Duffy restarts play with the free kick.

0:21

Carl Baker sends in a cross, David Mirfin manages to make a clearance.

0:00

The game begins.

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