The key decisions in both legs of their play-off semi-final against Notts County may have gone in their favour but Coventry City’s players and management deserve huge credit for the way they took the second game at Meadow Lane by the scruff of the neck on Friday evening, racing into a two-goal lead and dominating much of the first-half before a late Magpies goal set the hosts up to try and barnstorm their opponents after the break.
A disallowed Notts goal and then the crucial third for the Sky Blues settled the tie and ensured a second Wembley appearance in successive seasons for City with Exeter their opponents on Bank Holiday Monday.
Neutrals and pundits watching the County clash were hugely impressed with the attacking play of the visitors, exemplified by a superb team move that led to the second goal and the energy and enthusiasm on display bodes well for a repeat performance at Wembley.
Much of the focus before the semi-final was on Notts manager Kevin Nolan as a big fish in the League Two pond and someone who the media seem to feel is a ‘character’ worthy of plenty of screen time.
That allowed City to go under the radar slightly and it may be similar against Exeter as speculation swirls that Paul Tisdale may be about to bring his long association with the Grecians to an end, win or lose in North London.
Both sides went to Wembley last season as well, Exeter losing their League Two play-off final against Blackpool while the Sky Blues won the Football League Trophy, a rare high point in a dismal season whereas the current campaign will go down as a positive step forward for the football club no matter what the result is on Monday.
Mark Robins has ensured that that will be the case and the stability that he has brought means that work for 2018/19 will begin straight away regardless of which division City will be in.