A fortunate winning goal from Billy Sharp gave Sheffield United a 1-0 victory over second-placed Coventry City in League One on Sunday.
The experienced striker saw Paul Coutts’ corner bounce off his shoulder and into the back of the net late in the second half after goalkeeper Reice Charles-Cook failed to reach the cross.
Coventry’s disappointment was compounded by a late red card for Sam Ricketts and the defeat means they remain five points behind leaders Burton Albion, while United move above Port Vale into 11th.
Nigel Adkins’ side were fortunate not to see themselves reduced to 10 in the first half when Jay McEveley escaped with a yellow card following a reckless lunge on Ruben Lameiras.
The game was evenly balanced for the majority but luck was on United’s side. Goalkeeper George Long spilled a cross but just managed to clutch the ball and stop it crossing the line and, 11 minutes from time, Sharp’s lucky goal settled the contest.
Charles-Cook got nowhere near Coutts’ corner and the ball bounced off the turf and hit Sharp on the shoulder before finding its way into the open goal through a crowded penalty area.
Coventry looked for a response but the loss of Ricketts to a second yellow card following a high-footed challenge allowed United to see out the victory.