Plymouth Argyle 1 Coventry City 1

Coventry City already knew the joys of a last-minute equaliser. Just a week ago, Stern John rescued a point against West Midland rivals Wolverhampton Wanderers with virtually the last kick of the game.

But now, though, they also know the pain.

They looked all set to snatch three points down at Home Park after John's cool finish on the stroke of half-time gave them the lead against the run of play.

The win would have almost guaranteed Micky Adams' men would be playing Championship football next season but when the fourth official indicated there would be five minutes of injury time at the end of the match it was always bound to be a twitchy finale.

Coventry had had ample chances in overtime to put the result beyond doubt but they were squandered with a far too imprecise final ball.

And, with what Adams claimed was six-and-a-half minutes played over the 90, the home team grabbed the equaliser as former Birmingham City youngster Tony Capaldi smashed in from eight yards.

The fact that it was so late, so crucial and even took a slight deflection was harsh enough, but the Coventry manager felt salt was rubbed into City wounds by the fact that there was a foul on Shaun Goater just before the ball dropped to the Pilgrims' goalscorer.

It sparked bitter protests when the final whistle was eventually blown as Adams and his staff joined nearly all of the players in surrounding the referee to protest.

So furious was the Coventry manager that he asked his players not to speak to the press after the game. Adams had probably said all there was to say anyway.

"We have two complaints," he fumed. "The referee had played more than enough time and there was a clear foul in the build up to the goal.

"We timed it at six-and-a-half minutes into injury time. But what can I do? Nothing. I will fill in a report and mark him down, but he will still be reffing next week."

Had the boot been on the other foot, City - as they did against Wolves - would have claimed that they deserved the point as Plymouth had dominated from start to finish.

That doesn't hide the cruel manner in which the home team got their goal but the Sky Blues had been far from their recent best.

They started the game poorly and never really seemed to get going as Plymouth, who were virtually safe before the clash, were first to almost every loose ball and were quickest in the challenge.

But Coventry were never found wanting at the back and despite their dominance of possession, the home team rarely troubled goalkeeper Luke Steele.

That was thanks largely to the central defensive duo of Steve Staunton and Robert Page as the latter managed to regularly be in the right place at the right time to head clear for the Sky Blues.

And Adams' side did have their moments going forward as John and Dele Adebola combined well in attack, but were not offered much in the way of support from the flanks.

Gary McSheffrey was off colour and Lloyd Dyer, who is on loan from West Bromwich Albion, disappointed yet again. The young Baggies winger has undoubtedly got blistering pace but there has been no hint of an end product during his brief stint with Coventry.

John's goal, which came right on half-time, took him into double figures as he latched onto Adebola's pass to side-foot past Luke McCormick into the bottom corner. The standing ovation he received when he was later substituted is the clearest indication that he has finally won over Coventry supporters.

Plymouth's search for an equaliser was limited, in the most part, to long-range shots that Steele dealt with comfortably while striker Mickey Evans went close with a couple of headers. That was until substitute Capaldi broke City hearts with his late, late goal.

It means the final match at Highfield Road will be far from a care-free party to commemorate the old place as the Sky Blues still need a win to guarantee safety.

"We're not comfortable," said Adams. "But I have the confidence in my players that we will stay up."

Scorers: John (45) 0-1; Capaldi (90) 1-1.

PLYMOUTH ARGYLE (4-3-3): McCormick; Worrell (Taylor, 81), Coughlan, Aljofree (Doumbe, 69), Gilbert; Norris, Wotton, Buzsaky; Chadwick (Capaldi, 64), Evans, Blackstock. Subs: Lasley, Summerfield.

COVENTRY CITY (4-4-2): Steele; Whing, Page, Staunton, Duffy; McSheffrey, Hughes, Doyle, Dyer (Jorgensen, 66); Adebola (Goater, 54), John (Benjamin, 83). Subs: Pressman, Morrell.

Referee: L Probert (Gloucestershire).

Bookings: Coventry - Doyle, Duffy, Hughes (dissent).

Attendance: 18,443.

Coventry man of the match: Robert Page - a rock at the heart of the defence.