While it may be Blackburn Rovers who saw a five game losing run come to an end at Ewood Park, it is Coventry City who ought to be happier with the point they picked up on Saturday afternoon.
With the spark that Blackburn will have been desperate to see return after that recent run lacking, and none of the late goals that had kept them in the play-off hunt earlier in the season in sight, Tony Mowbray’s side concluded what they will hope will be a forgettable February with their first point of the month, but looking a far cry from the side that swept Coventry aside 4-0 earlier in the campaign.
For their part, Coventry will take heart from a solid performance here that has seen them move another, potentially valuable point clear of the relegation zone, not least considering they ended the game with ten men following a second yellow for Leo Ostigard late on.
It was the visitors who would start the game brighter, with Sam McCallum looking an early threat down the left for Coventry, his flick on reaching Maxime Biammou who fired straight at Blackburn goalkeeper Thomas Kaminski inside the Rovers area within the opening five minutes.
Blackburn welcomed back captain Darragh Lenihan at centre back after two games out with a rib injury here, but still looked suspect at the back, Jordan Shipley the next to try his luck after getting into the Rovers box, but he could only fire some way off target.
But as the first half approached the midway point, the hosts would start to grow into the game, and they could have been in front 20 minutes when Ostigard reacted well to intercept a Harvey Elliott pull back that looked destined to give Ben Brereton a tap in at the back post, after some good link-up play between Armstrong and Elliott in the build-up.
Minutes later though, Brereton would have his goal, and in spectacular style. A ball from the increasingly influential Joe Rothwell found Ryan Nyambe out on the right-hand side, and though the Namibian’s pull-back was behind Armstrong in the area, Brereton was on hand to curl a stunning first-time effort into the top corner of Ben Wilson’s goal to give the hosts a welcome advantage.
Coventry responded well and did have the ball in the net themselves as Ostigard tapped in at the back post from a free kick, only to be denied by the off-side flag.
It would however, be Rovers who went closer to getting the second goal before the break, as an excellent run from deep from a seemingly revitalised Lewis Travis allowed Nyambe to win a free kick out on the right, which Barry Douglas proceeded to strike against the post from a seemingly impossible angle.
Wilson would then deny Armstrong at his near post after he was slid in behind by Elliott, as Rovers ended the half unable to quite double their advantage going into the interval.
But whereas when Rovers had doubled their lead quickly after half time in the reverse fixture at St Andrew’s earlier in the season, this time, they would concede quickly after the restart.
Breaking down the Coventry left, McCallum sent a deep ball towards the back post, where Tyler Walker headed the ball into the path of Matty James, who had the simple task of lifting the ball over Kaminski and into the back of the net to pull the visitors level.
After that, the game would become increasingly stretched, with chances for both sides starting to come at a premium. Everton loanee Jarrad Branthwaite was lucky not to be punished after being dispossessed by Biammou who played in Walker, with Lenihan and Douglas able to scramble it to safety them.
Up the end, Branthwaite himself would head off target from a Douglas corner as the game entered the final 15 minutes.
With just under ten minutes to go, Rovers were then handed an advantage in the search for a late winner, with Ostigard sent off for a second bookable offence for bringing down Armstrong just inside the Blackburn half as the attacker looked to spring a counter attack.
To Coventry’s credit, they would not sit back after going a man down, although it was Rovers who would come closest to getting a sight of a winner, as Armstrong headed off target from Elliott’s cross while unmarked inside the visitor’s area, as the match somewhat staggered to a close without much to shout out, in a reflection of the below par form these two sides continue to find themselves in.