Sky Blues punish Pompey
Coventry took a step closer to safety npower Championship with a 3-0 win over 10-man Portsmouth.
Marlon King took his season's tally to 10 with two penalties and Gary McSheffrey also netted in the second half to give the Sky Blues just their third win in 21 games.
Greg Halford's searching free-kick provided an early test for the visiting defence, with Dave Kitson's header forcing Keiren Westwood into a smart save.
And moments later Danny Webber sprung the offside trap before firing over from the edge of the box.
But it was the visitors who opened the scoring in the 19th minute when Ricardo Rocha fouled McSheffrey in the box and King stepped up to fire home the penalty.
City were almost punished when Aron Gunnarsson conceded possession on the halfway line, allowing Webber to make progress down the right before laying the ball off for Joel Ward, whose powerful effort was well blocked by Chris Hussey.
And only a timely intervention from Halford denied McSheffrey the chance to connect with Sammy Clingan's dangerous cross at the other end.
A shining example of route one football handed Coventry a chance to double their advantage, with King latching onto Westwood's goal kick before drilling in a cross which just eluded McSheffrey and Lukas Jutkiewicz.
The near miss triggered an immediate response from the hosts as Kitson found Webber inside box and he turned sharply before firing in a shot on the angle which Westwood saved.
David Nugent then had his goal celebrations cut short after he turned in a Hayden Mullins cross which had bounced off the legs of Webber, who was adjudged offside.
The hosts were handed a great opportunity to level the scores by former player Martin Cranie's lapse in concentration just before the break.
The defender was caught in possession by Ritchie De Laet, who had Kitson to aim for in the box but his cross was wayward and the former Reading striker could not bring it under control and the chance was wasted.
Jutkiewicz found his range early in the second half when he shrugged off two defenders and sent a dipping shot towards the top corner which Jamie Ashdown palmed over the bar.
The resulting corner was delivered with some menace by Clingan and Gunnarsson directed a powerful header against the bar before Portsmouth smuggled the ball clear.
Pompey failed to heed the warning and in the 58th minute McSheffrey made it 2-0 when he headed home from Richard Keogh's cross.
They were almost handed a lifeline when Cranie lost his bearings and smacked a clearance against his own bar.
But the result was was put beyond doubt when Mullins was dismissed for handling Jutkiewicz's goal-bound shot and King slammed in the penalty to move Coventry 12 points clear of the bottom three.
Portsmouth's frustration was compounded when Kitson's late header was cleared off the line by team-mate Halford.
Portsmouth 0-3 Coventry: Match Report - view commentary, squad, and statictics of the game as it happened.