Clive Platt struck deep into stoppage time to seal a victory over Barnsley which gives Coventry hope of Championship survival.
A largely uneventful match was capped when Jordan Clarke picked out Platt to score his first goal since November.
On-loan Manchester City striker Alex Nimely looked to have wasted the best chance when he shot wide.
But Platt was on hand to bury his late header which means Coventry are three points away from safety.
Coventry's first-half performance was not one typical of a side battling for survival.
Keith Hill's Barnsley too, far from guaranteed survival, seemed unwilling to demonstrate any attacking ambition throughout a drab 45 minutes.
Nimely spurned a golden opportunity to break the deadlock when he fired his shot harmlessly into the hoardings.
McSheffrey headed wide and Nimely's cross evaded Platt before the big striker found a winner from another McSheffrey delivery.