Derby County exited the FA Cup at the Third Round stage following a 1-0 defeat against Coventry City at the Coventry Building Society Arena.
The only goal of the game came late in the first half as Coventry defender Dom Hyam headed past goalkeeper Ryan Allsop to clinch the tie.
Derby did go close, with Tom Lawrence and Festy Ebosele having the best chances, however, both were saved by goalkeeper Ben Wilson.
And, despite fighting until the end, the Rams fell to defeat and it was Coventry who continued into the Fourth Round of the competition.
Manager Wayne Rooney made three changes to the side which drew 2-2 with Reading with Colin Kazim-Richards, Ravel Morrison and Ebosele handed starts in a strong-looking line up for the Rams.
The trio all had an impact from the substitutes bench in Derby’s last three fixtures and they started on the front foot as they took the game to the Sky Blues early on.
They almost took the lead on three minutes from a good sweeping move which saw goalkeeper Wilson forced into a one-handed save.
Max Bird’s long ball broke the lines and found Craig Forsyth on the left-hand side. He played a ball across first time and found Lawrence who raced onto the ball and shot but Wilson made a strong stop to deny the Welshman.
Ebosele’s pace was causing Sky Blues full back Fankaty Dabo issues on the right hand side, but Coventry were presented with a golden opportunity to take the lead on 15 minutes.
A loose back-pass was picked up by skipper Matty Godden and with plenty of time and space 12 yards from goal, he ballooned his effort over the crossbar.
Good tracking back from Forsyth denied Todd Kane an effort on goal a minute later, whilst on the half hour mark, Jamie Allen saw his effort hit the post.
After Coventry applied pressure to the Rams defence, Kane’s low cross was only cleared as far as Allen inside the box but his first time strike rebounded off the post and behind for a goal kick.
It was a let off for the Rams, but they were punished before the half time interval as the Sky Blues took the lead on 41 minutes.
A corner from the right was floated to the back post and Hyam rose highest to head across Ryan Allsop in the Derby goal and into he back of the net to give the home side the advantage at the interval.
Chances were few and far between in the second half, but it was Derby that looked the more likely to get the equaliser as opposed to Coventry extending their lead.
The Rams almost found the leveller just after the hour mark as Ebosele, who had been booked earlier in the half, almost netted his second of the season.
It was good work from Lawrence who fed Knight down the left-hand side. With players rushing to get in the middle, Knight pulled the ball back to Ebosele who was waiting on the penalty area but his shot was tipped wide by Wilson.
With time running out, Rooney threw caution to the wind and made four changes in the final ten minutes as Luke Plange, Kamil Jozwiak, Sam Baldock and Graeme Shinnie came on. The latter was making his return after suffering COVID-19 recently.
Derby battled in the final minutes to try to force extra time. Baldock saw an effort blocked inside the penalty area, whilst Curtis Davies met a Jozwiak cross but his effort was deflected wide.
From the resulting corner, goalkeeper Allsop raced forward and won a header in the box but his effort went over the crossbar as the Rams exited the FA Cup at the Third Round stage.
Coventry City: Wilson, Clarke-Salter, Rose, Allen (O’Hare 90’), Sheaf, Hyam, Kane, Dabo, Godden (Gyokeres 90’), Shipley (Jones 66’), Hamer (Eccles 66’).
Substitutes: Moore, Waghorn, Walker, Reid, Tavares.
Derby County: Allsop, Forsyth (Stretton 85’), Jagielka, Bird, Lawrence (Jozwiak 79’), Morrison (Baldock 79’), Kazim-Richards (Plange 79’), Davies, Ebosele, Knight (Shinnie 79’), Thompson.
Substitutes: Roos, Stearman, Cashin, Williams.