Stoke City 0 Coventry City 1

It must be extremely frustrating for Micky Adams that Coventry City have finally ended their away-day hoodoo.

The team didn't register their first three-point haul on their travels this season until their 12th league outing when Queens Park Rangers were beaten last December.

But the Sky Blues' away results finally have a positive gleam after securing two victories and one draw in their last three games away from the Ricoh Arena.

Not that Adams is getting carried away. The Sky Blues manager admitted that finding the formula to away victories has come too late for this season.

If their record on away soil had been only half as good as their results at home, then they would have been mixing it with the teams at the top of the table.

But the club is making progress. Victory against Cardiff on Sunday could secure their highest league placing at the end of a season since their demise from the Premiership in 2001. The real test, of course, is to continue this form and results next season to prove the club really can be serious promotion contenders.

Saturday's success was ground out by a line-up which featured a mix of experienced pros and young upstarts eager to prove their worth.

The Sky Blues started and ended the game strongly, but in between their performance was lacking from an attacking point of view.

Stoke's experienced centrehalves, Clint Hill and Michael Duberry, chaperoned Stern John in his lone striker role with consummate ease. That all changed following the 64th minute introduction of the burly Dele Adebola.

The 4-5-1 formation was ditched in favour of 4-4-2 as John and Adebola joined forces upfront. The transformation was immediate as the Sky Blues began to create chances and Kevin Thornton came back into the game again.

After starting on the right of midfield, he swapped wings with the ineffective Gary McSheffrey just before the break. And it was Thorn-ton's ball into the box which Adebola rifled home for his 11th goal of the season in the 86th minute to seal Stoke's third successive defeat.

The match will also be remembered for the reemergence of Stuart Giddings. The 20-year-old Academy product had not pulled on a first-team shirt since early-2005 due to a knee injury.

He gave a solid display at left-back and is sure to challenge Marcus Hall next season, providing the former Stoke man is offered - and signs - a new contract.

Giddings wasn't told he was in the starting XI until 2pm so there was no time to amass any nerves.

"The most I have played for the reserves is 60 minutes. I am feeling quite fit but I didn't know how I would manage the 90 minutes," he said. "It just feels brilliant to be back."