Dominic Hyam’s early strike helped Coventry to a crucial 2-0 victory over Barnsley as they moved nine points clear of the Championship relegation zone.
Substitute Matty Godden sealed the three points in stoppage time as the Sky Blues secured a deserved win over their play-off chasing opponents.
Buoyed by news that third-from-bottom Rotherham had been beaten by Coventry’s landlords Birmingham earlier on Sunday, Mark Robins’ men produced a gutsy performance to edge past their Yorkshire opponents in a game of few chances.
For Barnsley, defeat saw their impressive away form brought to a shuddering halt.
The Tykes had won six on the spin on their travels but they struggled to get going against a well-organised Coventry side, who defended strongly, and – barring one late chance – stifled the danger of in-form Daryl Dike.
The Sky Blues were well worth their first-half lead and although the visitors stepped up their intensity after the break, they rarely looked like making a breakthrough in a disappointing overall performance.
After a quiet opening, the Sky Blues, on the back of a crucial win at Rotherham last time out, took the lead after nine minutes.
A quick throw-in caught Barnsley off guard and Max Biamou chested the ball into the path of Hyam, who lashed it home with a sweet right-footed finish.
The early goal lifted the Sky Blues and Leo Ostigard sent a looping header over as they took control of the proceedings.
The Tykes had to wait until the 24th minute for a half chance, Romal Palmer’s header failing to trouble home goalkeeper Ben Wilson.
That aside, Alex Mowatt’s set-pieces looked the most likely way for the visitors to get back into the game although there were good chances for both sides as half-time approached.
First, Scottish defender Hyam went close to adding his second, heading over a Sam McCallum long throw.
And then, on the stroke of half-time, Tykes top scorer Cauley Woodrow hooked the ball wide after latching onto a through ball inside the box.
The visitors came out with more purpose after the break and Mads Andersen headed wide from a Mowatt free-kick.
But the Sky Blues had a sniff of an opening themselves after 65 minutes as substitute Viktor Gyokeres saw a fierce drive blocked by Michal Helik and McCallum struck an effort wide from the resulting corner.
The Tykes, looking to extend their four-point advantage over seventh-placed Reading, went close after 71 minutes but Wilson did well to block substitute Dominik Frieser’s close-range effort.
Dike also had a late chance to rescue a point for the visitors but fired into the side-netting and Godden made them pay as he smashed home in stoppage time to put the result beyond doubt.
Godden could even have netted a second as the home side countered on the break but was denied by Brad Collins.