Coventry City earned a valuable Championship point at Barnsley.
In a game where clear cut chances were few and far between, the Sky Blues played out a goalless draw at Oakwell.
Leo Ostigard went closest to breaking the deadlock for Mark Robins’s men on a day when City old boys Conor Chaplin and Luke Thomas failed to make an impact against their former club.
Here are some of the talking points from the game:
Gilo retains possession
Ryan Giles retained the shirt at left wing-back following Sam McCallum’s return to the club, and the Wolverhampton Wanderers’ loan man looked determined to keep it with another eye-catching display.
The 20-year-old was City’s best outlet, particularly in the first half when the visitors were on top, causing problems with his pace and link-up play with Callum O’Hare.
He defended pretty well, too, suggesting his latest rival may need to be patient in his quest to get back in a Sky Blues shirt.
That’s great for competition and the pair will hopefully enjoy a healthy battle for the position all season.
As for Brandon Mason, as expected he slipped out of the matchday squad. And barring serious injury to either of the above, it’s difficult to see a way back in at a time when his agent, no doubt, will be doing his level best to get him fixed up elsewhere.
Two points dropped
Mark Robins felt his side let Barnsley “off the hook” during their best spell of the game in the first half at Oakwell.
And one only hopes that City do not live to regret dropping two points against a side that only stayed up by virtue of Wigan’s 12 point deduction last season.
The Tykes, along with Charlton, showed exactly how hard it is for newly promoted League One clubs to compete in the Championship in their first season up.
And, going on this performance on top of two opening defeats, Gerhard Struber’s side are in for another long and hard campaign.
That’s not to say they’re pushovers, far from it, but it did feel like an opportunity missed by the Sky Blues.
That said, a point away from home at any ground in this division is a decent return.
Sheaf shaping up
Ben Sheaf made his first Championship start for the Sky Blues, coming in to replace birthday boy Jordan Shipley in the heart of the midfield battleground.
And the Arsenal loan player acquitted himself pretty well, particularly in the first half at Oakwell where he put himself about, mopping up and doing the dirty work alongside Gus Hamer.
He was neat and tidy in possession, playing some decent diagonals and driving forward and getting the occasional shots off when he could, and certainly showed enough to suggest there’s plenty more to come as he gets his match fitness and sharpness fully up to speed.
Still playing catch-up, the 22-year-old understandably tired as the game went on, eventually making way for Shipley to add a burst of energy for the last frantic 20 minutes.
Dead ball threat
Leo Ostigard continues to keep Mark Robins’s best defender Michael Rose out of the side.
And the Norwegian showed once again what a decent goal threat he is from set pieces when he went close to giving City the lead by heading a superb Gus Hamer corner onto the underside of the crossbar.
Although not the tallest of centre-halves, the 20-year-old has an impressive leap and will surely find the back of the net soon from one of the team’s flag kick routines straight off the training field.
Hamer has provided a clear improvement in the quality of dead ball deliveries from last season, and all three of the centre-backs look capable of scoring as they line up just beyond the penalty spot and peel off, looking to connect with their heads.
Old boys fail to curse
Fans are always wary when their team comes up against former players, particularly those of the forward thinking variety.
So when the Sky Blues headed to Barnsley, now home to Luke Thomas and Conor Chaplin, the old buy curse loomed large as the game got underway and the pair made themselves busy in the final third of the pitch.
In the event, fortunately neither really made the impact feared.
Although a terrific player for the Sky Blues during his excellent season long loan in 2018-19, Thomas suffered from the same affliction that he did at City in terms of end product.
The 21-year-old hasn’t been able to hit the proverbial cow’s backside with a banjo since his first goal for the Tykes on the opening day of last season.
And the likeable Chaplin, fortunately, extended his barren spell for the South Yorkshire club for whom he hasn’t found the back of the net now in 14 games, with both being substituted in the second half.