Mike Ashley, the billionaire owner of Sports Direct and House of Fraser, has served Coventry City with an eviction notice ordering the Championship football club to leave its home stadium.
Frasers Group, which is majority owned by Ashley and took over the stadium last month, on Monday said the Sky Blues had no continuing rights to use the ground after the club refused to sign a new tenancy agreement it claimed was “less favourable”.
The club said in a statement: “Following the Frasers Group acquisition of the stadium from administrators, Coventry City have been told that we must agree a new licence to play at the Coventry Building Society Arena.
“We were surprised to learn of this intention by Frasers Group, given that discussions with Coventry City prior to the completion of their purchase of the arena led us to understand the existing terms would continue unchanged with Frasers Group as the new owners of the arena.
“Coventry City football club (CCFC) has an existing long-term licence to play at the arena, which was agreed in March 2021 to run until 2031.”
News of the eviction notice came after Coventry announced on Friday its FA Youth Cup game against Southampton on Saturday had been switched to Leamington FC “due to unforeseen circumstances”.
The club said after Frasers Group’s purchase of the stadium – from the former owners Wasps rugby club, which collapsed into administration in October – the new owners had said they were “looking forward to working with Coventry City football club”.
The club added that it hoped Ashley’s company would “act on those words for the good of the arena, the football club, our fans and the city and community that they are now part of”.
Frasers Group said it wanted to work with the club to secure its future at the stadium. “Frasers has, throughout all its involvement with the stadium, been supportive of securing the long-term future of CCFC playing its games at the stadium. This position remains unchanged,” it said.
“Prior to acquiring the stadium, Frasers issued a new licence mirroring the terms CCFC had agreed with the previous owners. However, CCFC chose not to sign it at that time.
“A revised proposal, together with a new licence, has been issued to CCFC and will secure the immediate future of CCFC at the stadium.
“Signing the licence would allow for more detailed discussions to take place about CCFC’s long-term arrangements at the stadium, including to accommodate a number of requests which were raised by CCFC. Frasers looks forward to working with the club to host the upcoming games.”
The Coventry owner, Sisu Capital, has agreed to sell a majority stake to local businessman Doug King in a deal which will leave the club debt free.
The Sky Blues were placed under a transfer embargo at the end of October while they repay money owed to HM Revenue & Customs but King taking an 85% share will clear all current debts.
As a result Coventry are also to make an equity bid to acquire the CBS Arena, after the owners Wasps Rugby Club went into administration this month and were soon followed by the stadium’s operating companies applying to enter administration.
A successful stadium bid will ensure Coventry remain able to play home games in the city.
“It is no secret that Coventry City FC has faced challenges in recent years,” said King, the chief executive of the Stratford-upon-Avon-based Yelo Enterprises which recently invested more than £70m in the region through the construction of a state-of-the-art oilseed processing facility to generate renewable energy.
“Working together we want to deliver a new start, beginning with securing our home in Coventry. We know fans, and others across the region, want long-term security and the guarantee of playing football in our city. This is critical to our ambition.
“We have made it a priority – and one of our first acts as majority owners – to submit a bid to acquire the CBS Arena. We are keen to meet with Coventry City Council representatives and others as soon as possible to set out our vision, which includes the regeneration of the area.”
The deal is subject to English Football League approval but Joy Seppala, chief executive at Sisu Capital, is confident it is in the best interests of the club. “This is a fantastic moment for Coventry City FC and the city. I know that Doug has long been an admirer of the Sky Blues and will be a powerful steward of the club moving forward,” he said.
“I am looking forward to a bright new future working with Doug, and all our partners across the city.
“The sale of the CBS Arena does provide short-term uncertainty and with Doug on board we intend to set out a robust bid for the stadium which, if successful, will provide a platform for long-term success.”
Sheffield United were denied the chance to go top of the Championship after South Yorkshire rivals Rotherham triumphed at Bramall Lane for the first time in 42 years.
Ben Wiles scored the decisive first-half goal after Chiedozie Ogbene drifted into the box and found the Millers captain unmarked to coolly turn the ball home.
Enda Stevens had the ball in the back of the net before the break as the Blades searched for a leveller, but the scrambled effort was ruled out for offside.
Viktor Johansson kept a fierce John Egan shot out early in the second half and dealt with a late Oli McBurnie effort, while substitute Billy Sharp also headed wide for a Blades side that failed to take anything from a game they dominated.
Josh Ruffels scored his first two goals for Huddersfield – including an audacious winner – as the Championship’s bottom side overcame high-flying QPR 2-1 at Loftus Road.
Lyndon Dykes had taken just 81 seconds to put the hosts ahead in his 100th appearance for the club, with the opener coming just moments after Seny Dieng kept Danny Ward out in a one-on-one at the other end.
The Terriers were quick to respond as the frenzied early pace of the game continued, with Ruffels levelling with a powerful finish into the top corner. The defender decisively beat Dieng again with a hooked overhead finish from the top of the box before the break.
Luton manager Nathan Jones says he will speak to Southampton about their managerial vacancy on Wednesday, but has insisted that a move to the Premier League club is “not a done deal”.
Speaking after Tuesday’s 2-0 loss at Stoke City, the Welshman said it was a “wonderful honour” to be approached and added: “I hope the fans understand why I’m going for the chat because it’s a different world in the Premier League. I want to be there one day, whether that’s with Luton or with someone else. It’s just an opportunity to go and chat and to find out if it is right for me.”
Jones’ side conceded twice inside the first 13 minutes, both goals coming from left-wing crosses by Morgan Fox. Nick Powell arrived late in the box to head in the opener before Tom Lockyer, under pressure from Liam Delap, diverted into his own net.
Joao Pedro’s double was enough for a victory over Reading that sent Watford into the Championship playoff places. The Brazilian forward scored a goal in each half to give the Hornets a sixth win in 10 games since Slaven Bilic took charge.
Pedro calmly converted from the spot after he had been fouled by Ovie Ejaria as Reading failed to clear a Watford corner. And he wrapped up a deserved victory with a controlled half-volley past substitute goalkeeper Dean Bouzanis late on.
Michael Carrick’s outstanding Middlesbrough dominated Blackpool to claim a 3-0 victory at Bloomfield Road and leap four places to 16th.
Rejuvenated Boro went ahead following Isaiah Jones’ 15th-minute strike and never relinquished control. Carrick’s team scored the second goal their superiority merited when Marcus Forss crashed in a penalty three minutes after half-time.
The excellent Chuba Akpom converted Ryan Giles’ low 65th-minute cross for his fourth goal in four games to end any lingering doubts over the outcome.
Boro, who were winless in their opening six away games this season, have now won three out of four on the road following this emphatic success. Carrick has taken seven points from four games since his appointment last month.
Liam Rosenior was impressed with what he saw from Hull in the 3-2 win at Cardiff despite only having three training sessions with his new team. The former defender took over the Tigers last week and has picked up four points from his first two games.
Having dominated the first half in the Welsh capital, Hull only had a fourth-minute goal from Dimitrios Pelkas to show for their efforts. The boos from the Cardiff fans as the team left the field for half-time showed what they thought of the performance.
Callum Robinson then scored 90 seconds into the second half before crossing for Gavin Whyte to head the home side ahead. But Regan Slater fired in two goals in as many minutes to steal the show to give Rosenior his first win at Hull.
Troy Deeney’s late goal saw Birmingham City claim a point from an entertaining 2-2 draw with Swansea City. Swansea had looked set for a comeback victory having fallen behind to Scott Hogan’s early header.
Olivier Ntcham’s fine 20-yard drive brought the visitors level at St Andrew’s before a rare goal from Swansea captain Matt Grimes. But veteran Blues skipper Deeney struck from point-blank range to salvage a point for John Eustace’s side.
Coventry continued their recent revival as they registered a third consecutive Championship win by beating out-of-form Wigan. The Sky Blues pressed for the opener and were rewarded as the game wore on as Gustavo Hamer fired home a deflected shot. Thelo Aasgaard headed Max Power’s delivery straight at Coventry keeper Ben Wilson as Wigan pushed for a leveller but Viktor Gyökeres pounced on Josh Eccles’ ball to wrap up the win late on.
Jamie Allen dragged Coventry out of the Championship relegation zone as he denied Blackburn the chance to go top. Allen fired City in front four minutes before the break and Rovers’ hopes of a fightback were effectively dashed five minutes from time when the substitute Jake Garrett was dismissed for a foul on Callum Doyle.
Coventry climbed a point clear of the relegation zone as a result of their 1-0 win, while Blackburn could find themselves five points adrift of the leaders Burnley if they beat Rotherham on Wednesday evening.
Iliman Ndiaye’s header dragged Sheffield United to within a point of Rovers after a 1-0 victory at Bristol City. Ndiaye struck four minutes after the restart to hand the visitors the advantage, although the goalkeeper Wes Foderingham needed the help of an upright to preserve his clean sheet after George Tanner took aim from distance.
Tanner’s evening took a further turn for the worse deep into stoppage time when he was sent off for an ugly challenge on James McAtee which sparked something of a melee.
It proved a better night for the new managers Michael Carrick and Carlos Corberán as both tasted victory for the first time in their posts.
Carrick’s Middlesbrough won 3-1 at Hull, with a significant helping hand from their hosts. Chuba Akpom headed Boro into a 30th-minute lead from Tommy Smith’s cross, but Hull responded and, after Jean Michaël Seri had rattled a post, the Boro old boy Cyrus Christie levelled on the hour in front of the watching Liam Rosenior, who is expected to be named as Shota Arveladze’s replacement on Wednesday.
However, the visitors were back in front within three minutes when Tobias Figueiredo bundled into his own net under pressure from Dael Fry, and Christie was similarly unfortunate when he defected Ryan Giles’ cross past his own keeper with 10 minutes remaining.
West Brom’s need was even greater as Corberán guided them to a 1-0 victory against Blackpool in his second game at the helm even after furious fans turned on the owner Guochuan Lai. They left it late, however, with Okay Yokuslu making the decisive intervention with just five minutes remaining to end West Brom’s three-match losing streak and clinch a first home win since 20 August.
Albion fans mobilised against Lai in the 12th minute with the chairman, in charge since 2016, the target of their anger having borrowed £5m from the club during the Covid pandemic. The home supporters turned on their torches to ‘shine a light’ on the club’s problems, a move planned by group Action for Albion, and chanted for Lai to go.
A Brad Potts goal was enough to hand Preston victory against high-flying Swansea. Potts put the home side ahead on the half-hour mark when he followed up after Ched Evans’ attempt had been saved, in the process sending Preston level on points with sixth-placed Swansea.
Luton and Reading had to make do with a point apiece after a 0-0 draw at Kenilworth Road on a night when Jeff Hendrick and Andy Carroll both went close for the visitors after the break.
Coventry have reached a ‘time to pay’ agreement with HM Revenue and Customs following “cashflow imbalances” caused by early-season match postponements.
The first four games of the Sky Blues’ campaign were affected when the pitch at the Coventry Building Society (CBS) Arena was deemed “unsafe and unplayable”, with three games postponed and a Carabao Cup clash with Bristol City played at Burton. A further match was called off in September due to the death of the Queen.
The club said the agreement gives them “an extended period of time to pay HMRC and ensure that our legal commitments to them continue to be met”.
Coventry will be unable to sign players until they have met the terms but, with the agreement due to end in December, it is not expected to affect their ability to do business in the January transfer window.
Sky Blues chief executive Dave Boddy said on the club’s website: “As we have indicated in recent weeks, the postponement of four out of five home league games at the start of this season has had a significant impact on the club and our current cashflow. The Wasps/ACL (Arena Coventry Limited) position has presented some serious challenges to the football club and the sporting performance, and distress to our supporters, and is continuing to do so.
“This has been combined with the club providing initial finance for the pitch improvements, though overall we will not pay any additional costs on top of our rent agreement at the Arena. This agreement with HMRC will help us in the running of the club in the short term and ensure our commitments continue to be met, and we have already paid three of the six required instalments. .
Meanwhile, the club insisted on Sunday afternoon that, while they are “exploring alternative back-up venues”, they “still hope” they can hold Tuesday’s Sky Bet Championship match against Blackburn at the CBS Arena.
On Thursday afternoon Coventry City told their supporters that they would fulfil Saturday’s Championship fixture against Blackpool and that the venue would be the Coventry Building Society Arena. Confirming a home fixture 48 hours before kick-off is not the sort of thing a football club usually has to do, especially not one that has experienced a remarkable rebirth these past half-dozen years. But when you are a tenant at England’s most cursed stadium, you should never take anything for granted.
Legal action, rent strikes, extended exile and, this autumn, the collapse of one of the country’s leading rugby clubs: the CBS (formerly Ricoh) Arena has seen it all. Little of it has been pretty. The question people in the city are now asking is: does the future hold the prospect of anything better?
The current state of play is characteristically uncomfortable. This month Wasps went into administration, the second Premiership rugby club to do so this autumn, causing a crisis that has shaken domestic rugby profoundly. Players have been made redundant, the team have been suspended from competition and the club hope against hope for a buyer.
The consequences have not ended there. Wasps are also holders of the lease to the CBS Arena, a once-prized asset that the club purchased in 2014. That lease is managed under the auspices of a separate company, which may also go into administration on Monday if a buyer for it cannot be found.
There is interest in acquiring the lease, with Sky News reporting the NEC group, which manages a series of entertainment venues in Birmingham, has tabled a bid. But nothing has yet transpired publicly and this week the bondholders who financed the £35m debt that allowed Wasps to make their move to Coventry were asked to stump up cash immediately to help facilitate the “marketing” of a potential deal.
Were the news not so grim, it might provoke a wry smile among fans and followers of Coventry City, whose recent history has been characterised by dispute over the ownership of the Arena. The Sky Blues’ owner, Sisu Capital Ltd, a London-based hedge fund, only recently abandoned a lengthy, bitter and futile attempt to seek damages from Coventry city council over the deal that allowed Wasps to acquire the lease in the first place.
Sisu argued that the council – which previously owned 50% of the Arena’s lease – had done a deal with Wasps at a subsidised rate. The council argued otherwise and a succession of courts agreed. Only when Sisu was denied the opportunity to pursue the case at a European level were proceedings finally abandoned, on Valentine’s Day this year. Twenty-four hours later, Sisu’s Joy Seppala declared a new era free of antagonism. “We want to draw a clear line under the past and continue to build new and strong relationships with all our partners, including Coventry city council,” she said.
Three months later and Wasps had failed in their obligation to repay the £35m they had borrowed, setting in motion the spiral that reached a climax this autumn. There was, however, time for one further spat. Coventry’s start to the Championship season was delayed after a series of inspections declared the pitch unsuitable.
The blame for substantially churned turf was laid at the feet of rugby players who had competed in 65 sevens matches over three days in July as part of the Commonwealth Games. The pitch had been leased to the Games by Wasps. According to reports in the Telegraph, the possibility of more legal action from Coventry City was incoming. Wasps said that Coventry were well aware of the possibility of a substandard pitch and had been advised to stage their matches away from home.
That latest row may cast a different perspective on the conciliatory pronouncements from Sisu, but what its next move is remains to be seen. The club is involved in a partnership with the University of Warwick to explore the possibility of building a new stadium on its grounds. At the same time, there are consistent reports that Sisu is looking to sell Coventry City, perhaps to an owner who could pick up the stadium lease too.
For Dr Dan Plomley, a specialist in sports finance at Sheffield Hallam University, owning your own ground is crucial for professional sports clubs, especially those outside the Premier League. “The ground is the main asset a club uses to generate money,” he says. “Clubs don’t have a lot of physical assets: it’s pretty much training ground and stadium for the most part. So for a club to be in control of that is always the number one thing. Coventry City have been playing second fiddle [to] Wasps since they took it over in 2014. The minute you become a tenant in your own home it’s a problem.”
Perhaps the one thing worse than being a tenant in your own home is not having a home at all. Wasps’ owners uprooted a club that had a century-long history in London, taking them first to High Wycombe before landing in Coventry where the team, in their latter years especially, have played fixtures to banks of empty sky blue seats. Meanwhile, over the period of Sisu’s ownership, Coventry City have endured two periods of exile, first in Northampton, then in Birmingham. A return to the CBS Arena, under whatever terms, was celebrated by fans.
Dave Eyles, the acting chair of the supporters’ group the Sky Blue Trust, says the uncertainty caused by Wasps’ collapse is “yet another worrying distraction” for the football team and the fans. “We all hope that this can be resolved soon, with the ownership issue of the stadium resolved and a long‑term lease agreed for the club to continue playing in Coventry.” The alternative is beyond contemplation. “A move outside of the city again would be nothing shy of disastrous,” Eyles said.
Jay Rodriguez scored his eighth goal of the season for Burnley as his penalty against Norwich sent Vincent Kompany’s side to the top of the Championship.
Burnley were handed the chance as Grant Hanley blocked Manuel Benson’s cross with his elbow with just eight minutes left, and when it seemed Norwich might hold out for a second successive draw to halt their slide. But Norwich remain outside the playoff spots after extending their winless run to six matches.
The first half was one-way traffic as Norwich clung on despite Burnley continually stretching them through the attacking play of Vitinho and Anass Zaroury. Norwich defended doggedly enough but the fact that they survived until half-time without conceding was more down to the lack of an end product from the hosts.
Norwich were much brighter after the break and when Teemu Pukki escaped from Jordan Beyer, he crossed for Todd Cantwell who was denied by a brilliant sliding block from Johann Berg Gudmundsson.
Rodriguez, though, punished Hanley’s error of judgement and the win means Burnley are unbeaten since 12 August, a run of 14 games.
Elsewhere in the Championship, Viktor Gyokeres’ stoppage-time penalty earned Coventry a 2-2 home draw against Rotherham.
The hosts had twice found themselves behind through Cohen Bramall’s first goal for Rotherham and then Conor Washington. Gustavo Hamer had briefly levelled things at 1-1 but it was Gyokeres’ spot-kick that earned Coventry a point.
QPR remain top of the Championship after a 2-1 win over Wigan at Loftus Road capped a perfect week for the west London club.
Sam Field put Rangers ahead on 12 minutes, and Leon Balogun quickly restored their lead after Nathan Broadhead’s equaliser. Rangers’ victory was their fifth in six matches and came 48 hours after manager Mick Beale delighted fans by turning down the chance to manage Wolves.
Burnley staged an incredible second-half comeback with three goals inside 19 minutes to beat Sunderland 4-2 at the Stadium of Light.
The hosts made an impressive start, securing a 2-0 lead through quickfire goals from Amad Diallo and Dan Neil inside the opening 20 minutes. But with Sunderland hoping for only their second win in seven games, Burnley showed their promotion credentials by turning things around after the break.
Nathan Tella pulled one back in the 50th minute before Vincent Kompany’s Belgian compatriots Manuel Benson and Anass Zaroury put the visitors on course for maximum points with goals in the 61st and 69th minutes. There was still time with three minutes left for captain Josh Brownhill to put the seal on another win for Burnley, who remain third, while Sunderland sit 13th.
Teenager Adam Wharton’s first senior goal helped high-flying Blackburn to a battling 2-1 win over Birmingham. The Rovers academy graduate fired in a fine low strike just before the break, adding to the hosts’ 17th-minute opener from former Birmingham loanee Sam Gallagher. Scott Hogan pulled one back with ten minutes to go.
Teemu Pukki spurned the chance to earn Norwich victory and complete his hat-trick as a poor penalty ensured Sheffield United took a share of the spoils in a 2-2 draw at Bramall Lane. Goalkeeper Adam Davies made a comfortable save as goals from Ben Osborn and Ollie McBurnie earned the Blades a point following Pukki’s first-half double.
Substitute Tyler Burey struck a 90th-minute winner as Millwall made it four league wins in a row by coming from behind to defeat West Brom 2-1 at The Den. The hosts are now up to fifth in the table after making their pressure count against the Baggies, who had Kyle Bartley sent off with five minutes left, after Callum Styles had cancelled out John Swift’s opener.
Hull made it back-to-back wins under interim head coach Andy Dawson after a resounding 4-2 win at Rotherham. The Millers headed into the game full of confidence after recording two wins on the bounce under their new manager Matt Taylor, but they were swept aside by their neighbours from East Yorkshire, with goals from Jacob Greaves, Cyrus Christie, Ryan Longman and Ozan Tufan.
Reading ended a run of three successive league defeats with a hard-earned 2-0 victory over Bristol City at the SCL Stadium. Neither side offered much going forward in a drab first half, but Reading made the breakthrough in the 52nd minute, when loanee Mamadou Loum headed in from a Tom Ince corner. And, deep in stoppage time, Andy Carroll made the points safe for the hosts by clinically finishing a quick counter-attack.
Blackpool upset the division’s tightest defence with a four-goal display to beat Preston 4-2 in a pulsating Lancashire derby. CJ Hamilton sealed the win at Bloomfield Road with the last kick of the game, placing the ball into an open goal from 45 yards.
Jerry Yates had opened the scoring on 30 minutes but Preston hit back quickly when Ben Whiteman scored from the spot. Teenager Charlie Patino then fired the hosts back in front on 68 minutes, before teeing up Yates for his second. A Callum Connolly own goal on 89 minutes gave Preston hope, but Hamilton made it safe in added time, finding the empty net with Freddie Woodman out of his goal having gone forward for a corner.
Coventry’s revival continued as they secured a third successive victory with a 2-0 win at Stoke. The Potters, who slumped to a second home defeat in the space of five days, dominated but to no avail. Gustavo Hamer created the opener for Jamie Allen in the second half and added a second as the visitors closed the gap to safety to just one point.
Leo Percovich’s reign as Middlesbrough’s temporary manager continued with a goalless draw at home to Huddersfield. While Michael Carrick has been widely touted as Boro’s likely new manager, the former Manchester United midfielder was nowhere to be seen at the Riverside as the Teessiders were frustrated by a dogged Huddersfield side, who nevertheless remain rooted to the bottom of the table.
Lyndon Dykes scored twice as Queens Park Rangers moved to the top of the Championship with an easy 3-0 victory against 10-man Cardiff at Loftus Road. Dykes struck a 19th-minute penalty after Jack Simpson was shown a straight red card for bringing down Sinclair Armstrong, then doubled his side’s lead before the break.
Kenneth Paal added a third to make it four wins from five for QPR, whose manager Michael Beale is set to hold talks with Wolves over their vacancy this week.
The impending arrival of Michael Carrick as new manager inspired Middlesbrough to a thumping 4-1 win at Wigan, despite the hosts grabbing a 34th-minute lead through Will Keane. Isaiah Jones equalised just before the break and second-half strikes from Duncan Watmore, Hayden Hackney and a Chuba Akpom penalty left Middlesbrough in full control.
Burnley missed the chance to leapfrog local rivals Blackburninto top spot as they were held to a 1-1 draw at Birmingham. Johann Berg Gudmundsson belted the visitors in front in the 74th minute but they were denied a third straight win when Scott Hogan equalised six minutes later for the hosts.
Sheffield United also missed the chance to go back to the summit as they saw their winless streak extend to five games after a 1-0 defeat at Coventry. The home side pushed throughout and got their reward three minutes from time when Martyn Waghorn converted a penalty to lift Coventry off the bottom of the table.
Goals from Ryan Longman, Greg Docherty and Regan Slater saw Hull end a run of two straight losses with a 3-1 winat Blackpool, who had equalised through Kenny Dougall. Tom Bradshaw scored a first-half hat-trick as Millwall cruised to a 3-0 victory over Watford at the Den.
QPR stunned the Championship leaders Sheffield United with a 1-0 victory at Bramall Lane as Norwich missed the chance to go top of the table after drawing against Reading.
Chris Willock’s 51st-minute strike sent the Blades spinning to a first home defeat of the season and pushed in-form Rangers up to fourth place. Willock’s winner came after he played a clever one-two with Ethan Laird and squeezed his shot from an acute angle between goalkeeper Wes Foderingham and the near post. Tommy Doyle came closest to a Blades equaliser from distance, with his effort just going wide, but Rangers held on to make it five wins from seven games.
Second-placed Norwich moved level on points with United despite taking the lead at Reading. Grant Hanley put Norwich ahead from a corner five minutes after half-time but Reading claimed a share of the spoils through Jeff Hendrick’s excellent dipping strike from outside the box 10 minutes later. Paul Ince’s Reading remain in third, two points adrift of the top two.
Luton and Huddersfield shared a six-goal thriller at Kenilworth Road – with five goals coming before half-time. Huddersfield twice led in the first period through a Carlton Morris own goal and a Jordan Rhodes penalty. But Elijah Adebayo’s double saw the Hatters level before Jordan Clark struck seconds before the interval. Ben Jackson equalised for Huddersfield after 70 minutes, but the Terriers finished with 10 men as David Kasumu was sent off in added time for two bookable offences.
Cardiff claimed a first win under their interim manager Mark Hudson as they beat Blackburn 1-0 in the Welsh capital. In a dramatic finale, substitute Mark Harris fired Cardiff ahead with a rasping 20-yard shot seven minutes from time.
Ryan Allsop then saved an injury-time penalty from George Hirst after the Bluebirds goalkeeper had brought down Dominic Hyam as Cardiff struggled to clear a free-kick.
Bottom-placed Coventry drew 0-0 at Bristol City. Han-Noah Massengo and Antoine Semenyo went close for the hosts as the Robins sought to end a three-game losing streak. But Coventry were much-improved after the break and Matty Godden saw his second-half header cleared on to the bar by home defender Mark Sykes. Bristol City had late appeals for a Callum Doyle handball in the penalty area waved away.
Sunderland also had to settle for a goalless draw against Blackpool. It was Sunderland’s second such result at the Stadium of Light in the space of three days after they were held by Preston on Saturday.