OXFORD United’s mini-unbeaten run came to an end as they lost at home to Coventry City.

Jon Obika’s first goal of the season set up a grandstand finish, but City had done enough to take the three points.

While the clash had been delayed 21 hours so it could be shown on television, for much of the afternoon it was not worth the wait.

Neither side looked particularly threatening and it took a deflection to break the deadlock, when Jordan Shipley’s shot was diverted by John Mousinho.

Shipley then won a penalty when he was brought down by Jonathan Mitchell, converted by Conor Chaplin nine minutes from time.

United stirred themselves in the closing stages, but their late push for an equaliser was fruitless as they lost for the first time in five games to stay in Sky Bet League One’s bottom four.

Unsurprisingly, U’s boss Karl Robinson named the same starting XI which began the previous league game at Sunderland.

They were the first to threaten, with what proved to be the home side’s only effort of the first half.

Marcus Browne nipped in to win a free-kick from Michael Doyle, which was taken quickly to free Cameron Norman down the right. The cut-back found James Henry, whose first-time curled effort clipped the top of the crossbar.

Browne was United’s main outlet early on and he came in for the same physical treatment which had come his way at Sunderland a week earlier. Lunges on the West Ham loanee saw Shipley and Junior Brown went into the book within 60 seconds of each other, but the winger’s influence then waned.

The game was being played out in a strong breeze, which contributed to a scrappy affair which would have had many neutrals at home reaching for their remote controls.

While United had more of the ball, City created the two best chances before half-time.

The first was gifted to them midway through the half by Mousinho, who came wide but saw his ball forward intercepted. It left a gap in the U’s defence for Conor Chaplin to exploit, but the striker’s shot was superbly blocked by Curtis Nelson.

They threatened again ten minutes before the break.

Jack Grimmer’s ball forward was perfect for Shipley, who held off Mousinho but his shot at the near post was kept out well by goalkeeper Mitchell.

The game showed signs of coming to life after the break.

Nelson would have scored if he had made contact with a dangerous 55th-minute corner from Browne, but the ball flashed past and rebounded wide off Mousinho.

At the other end Mitchell was called into action to deny Chaplin from close range, after the striker had expertly brought down Doyle’s quick free-kick.

But City were ahead on 64 minutes, with a slice of good fortune. Mitchell appeared to have Shipley’s shot from 15 yards covered, but it took a deflection off Mousinho which left the U’s goalkeeper stranded as the ball flew into the net.

Henry had a good chance to level within four minutes when he eased Brown off the ball, but from 12 yards his low shot was too close to Burge, whose parry was just out of Holmes’s reach.

It was a rare opportunity for a United side whose attacking players misfired all afternoon.

City did a good job of disrupting the play and winning cheap free-kicks, before snatching a second goal nine minutes from time.

Again Shipley was involved, getting to a bouncing ball in the box just before Mitchell. The City midfielder was running away from goal, but the goalkeeper caught him and referee Dean Whitestone awarded a penalty.

Chaplin calmly despatched from 12 yards to double their lead.

It was a cushion City needed, as within five minutes two substitutes combined to get United back into the game.

Luke Garbutt’s corner found Obika unmarked six yards out and the striker powered in a header for his first goal of the season.

It set up a lively finish as United pushed hard for an equaliser, but it was too little, too late.

Oxford Utd (4-2-3-1): Mitchell, Norman, Nelson, Mousinho, Ruffels, Brannagan, Baptiste (Garbutt 82), Browne (Obika 71), Henry, Holmes, Mackie (Smith 82).

Unused subs: Shearer, Dickie, Long, Lopes.

Booked: Holmes.

Coventry C (4-4-2): Burge, Grimmer (Sterling HT), Willis, Hyam, Brown, Thomas, Doyle, Bayliss, Shipley (Andreu 83), Chaplin (Ogogo 83), Clarke-Harris.

Unused subs: O’Brien, Davies, Hiwula, Bakayoko.

Booked: Shipley, Brown.

Referee: Dean Whitestone.

Attendance: 7,519 (774 visitors).