Burnley 4 Coventry City 0
Micky Adams and Stephen Hughes may have proffered differing accounts on events at Turf Moor but the result ? in all senses ? was just the same.
Coventry?s failure at beat ten-man Millwall on Tuesday night was bemoaned by manager Adams and it seemed like a shameful spurning of an opportunity.
Less than a week and one defeat later it looks all the more wasteful. Coventry could, and indeed should, have travelled to Turf Moor with four points from two games and had they suffered the fate that did eventually befall them on Saturday, it would have been unfortunate but not as damaging.
Instead they arrive at their new Ricoh Arena in need of points and without arguably their most influential player.
Coventry were already two goals down when, just before the break, a linesman ruled that Sky Blues defender Matt Heath had impeded Gifton-Noel Williams inside the area and flagged for a penalty. The decision looked extremely harsh and Hughes strode over to the official and vented his wrath.
Whatever words were used, it was clear dissent and flew directly in the face of the new directive aimed to put a halt to such insubordination. As his manager said, there was simply no excuse.
Midfielder Hughes was red-carded and, in a perverse way, was made to feel worse when Noel-Williams lofted the spotkick over the bar. With Hughes on the field, Coventry had half a chance; with him off, any hopes of a comeback were quashed.
This was a thoroughly dismal day for the Sky Blues. At first the team, which had remained the same for the third successive outing, had pressed encouragingly but again without ever producing the sort of penetration which leads to goals.
Gary McSheffrey tested home keeper Brian Jensen on a couple of occasions, while the Burnley defence looked decidedly shaky when really pressed.
At the other end, Ade Akinbiyi and Noel-Williams were well marshalled for the first 25 minutes or so, but slowly former Leicester and Wolves man Akinbiyi began to roam, running hard and stretching the City back four.
Akinbiyi?s strength was a key ingredient in the first goal two minutes short of the half hour, when he held off a defender to tee up Gareth O?Connor who scored from 20 yards.
The second goal had more to do with defensive weakness than striking ability. The City rearguard failed to pick up defender Wayne Thomas at a corner and he punished the oversight with a powerful header.
Hughes? outburst came just four minutes later and the visitors? dressing room would not have been a happy place.
Coventry worked hard to repair the damage after the interval, changing personnel and formation, but it was a lost cause. Claus Jorgensen was brought on to fill the midfield void created by Hughes? departure and was immaculate in everything he did.
Burnley, thanks to the two- goal cushion, made their man advantage work to the full and eventually wore Coventry down allowing Akinbiyi to score the two goals his outstanding display warranted.
Adams? teams have always been well-organised and disciplined and it was clear the defeat and the nature of it did not sit well with the manager. Training will certainly not be a doddle this week.