Kyle McFadzean’s controversial own goal proved decisive as West Brom secured a 2-1 win at Coventry on Saturday.
McFadzean turned into his own net following an apparent handball by Albion’s Cedric Kipre on 43 minutes, after Karlan Grant had earlier finished Callum Robinson’s pass, to put the Baggies 2-0 up before half-time in the lunchtime kick-off.
The Coventry defender was on the scoresheet at the right end seven minutes from time to halve the deficit but Mark Robins’ men could not salvage a late equaliser for the second match running.
It was Valerien Ismael’s side’s first win in five league games stretching back to November 6 and moved the Black Country outfit momentarily up to third in the Sky Bet Championship.
Coming into the game as sixth against fourth in the table, Coventry started the brighter of the two and Ben Sheaf could have opened the scoring after he was picked out in the box by Callum O’Hare.
Baggies captain Kyle Bartley was on hand to prevent Gustavo Hamer bearing down on goal before West Brom opened the scoring on 20 minutes.
Grant, who had not scored since the Baggies’ last win at Hull almost a month ago, was picked out by Robinson’s defence-splitting ball and the striker calmly fired past Simon Moore to give the Albion their first goal in over 315 minutes of football.
Coventry were agonisingly close to levelling things on 37 minutes when Viktor Gyokeres, now without a goal in 10 league games, picked out Todd Kane. The right wing-back fired across goal but his cross was deflected onto the post by an Albion defender.
Republic of Ireland international Robinson should have doubled the lead before half-time but he could only fire over from close range following Darnell Furlong’s cross.
But just two minutes later it was 2-0, courtesy of McFadzean’s second own goal of the season.
Furlong was again in the action, his deflected cross hitting the hand of Kipre and then rebounding off McFadzean’s midriff and beyond the helpless Kane on the goal line.
It meant the Sky Blues found themselves two goals behind against a promotion-chasing side for the second match running after their late comeback against Bournemouth last time out.
But there was to be no fightback on this occasion. Sheaf’s effort shortly before the hour mark whistled past Sam Johnstone’s left-hand post before the England international comfortably saved from Matty Godden.
McFadzean halved the deficit seven minutes from time when he headed home Kane’s corner, but the Sky Blues succumbed to just their second home defeat this season.