Coventry City 2 Nottingham Forest 0
Nerveless Coventry City massively soothed their relegation worries with a second home win in five days.
Unlike Saturday's tense affair against Brighton, last night's surprisingly simple victory over Gary Megson's faltering Nottingham Forest was a lot easier on the eye and the stomach.
Admittedly, Micky Adams' men once again needed to be sent on their way with a disputed Gary McSheffrey penalty. But it was a superb performance by an attack-minded Sky Blues side who ran Forest ragged almost from start to finish. There was only one winner once Dele Adebola had galloped in from the left flank to score a brilliant solo goal five minutes before the break.
Coventry were better in every department than feeble Forest, who surrendered with a meekness that seemed almost unimaginable from any side managed by Megson.
On this evidence, Forest have no chance of staying up, ensuring that at least one Megson team will have managed to go down this season even if West Bromwich Albion don't. But, if Coventry can maintain this standard of fight and flair during the final five matches, survival ought to be a formality.
Adams said: "I said on Saturday I'd be celebrating with about 14 pints after the game. This time I'll have to have 15 pints.
"My players showed nerves of steel, we allowed them very little time and space, it was an honest performance and I was delighted with the way we dominated. We just went out there and played.
"But we're not going to go shouting from the rooftops. It's just one game of football and we're not out of the woods yet."
Forest had already survived two narrow squeaks, from an off-target Adebola header and a clumsy piece of far- post control by the unmarked Richard Duffy, before Coventry led.
For the second time this week, the Sky Blues' opener came from the penalty spot and again it was in contentious circumstances.
The wily Steve Staunton's clever, long free kick over the top allowed Steven Hughes to nip in round the back, unmarked. He initially appeared unhappy with his attempt to head back across goal. But it was adjudged to have struck Gareth Taylor's arm and when referee Andy D'Urso pointed to the spot he was surrounded by furious Forest players.
While the controversy raged around him, McSheffrey remained the coolest man in the ground, taking an enormous run-up before lashing his 11th goal of the season into the roof of the net.
McSheffrey was Coventry's main attacking threat, firing one effort over from 20 yards, as well as forcing a save from Paul Gerrard which the Forest keeper could only parry.
The rebound fell nicely for Adebola but the former Blues man's attempt to finish proved lethagic, allowing Gerrard to recover his ground and complete the save.
Adebola was to make amends, however, in the most glorious fashion. Receiving the ball in a position of little threat wide on the left, the big striker cut in with the speed of a nippy winger, squeezed through a gap that did not appear to exist between two Forest defenders and coolly slid the ball under Gerrard for a stunning goal.
The only surprise, as Coventry continued to dominate, was that there were not more goals after the break.
Gerrard was twice at full stretch to deny McSheffrey who should have scored when put clean through only for the Forest keeper to thwart him.
A moment of panic came for the home side when Taylor's header smacked against the bar late on from Kris Commons' corner. But nothing was going to stop this being the Sky Blues' night, on Highfield Road's last evening match, although there was the disappointment of having Hughes stretchered off with knee ligament damage.
Scorers: McSheffrey (pen, 23), Adebola (40).
COVENTRY CITY (4-4-2): Steele; Duffy, Page, Staunton, Hall; McSheffrey, Hughes (Osbourne, 86), M Doyle, Dyer; Adebola, Goater (Benjamin, 73). Subs: Pressman (gk), Whing, John.
NOTTINGHAM FOREST (5-3-2): Gerrard; Louis-Jean, Morgan, Melville, Doig, Robertson (Bopp, 51); Commons, Powell (Gardner, 58), Perch; Taylor, Dobie. Subs: C Doyle (gk), Thompson, Harris
Referee: A D'Urso (Billericay, Essex). Bookings: Coventry - McSheffrey (foul); Forest - Commons (foul), Taylor (handball).
Coventry man of the match: Gary McSheffrey - hard to handle at his livewire best.