A SECOND brace in the space of just four days from Adam Armstrong and a stunning Joe Cole free kick on his home debut earned the Sky Blues a dramatic 4-3 victory at home to Barnsley.
Ryan Kent opened the scoring on Tuesday night and Armstrong scored his first on 18 minutes to give the Sky Blues a comfortable 2-0 lead at the break.
But Barnsley fought back with Alfie Mawson pulling a goal back shortly after the re-start before Armstrong scored his 12th goal of the season.
The visitors again pegged the home side back with Josh Scowen beating Reice Charles-Cook with a neat finish but Cole marked his Ricoh Arena debut with a stunning free kick to make it 4-2.
Scowen scored a second from the spot in injury-time but there was not enough time for them to find a winner and Mowbray’s side held out for their sixth home win of the season.
“It was important to get the three points,” said Mowbray. “It was always going to be a difficult game and Barnsley gave us a real test in the second-half.
“I do feel as though the efforts of the weekend have caught up with us at the weekend. I think that was very evident in the second-half when we were pressed back.
“I’m disappointed with the performance ultimately, as the performances will dictate the results going forward and that’s the most important thing.
“Here’s me moaning, we scored four goals. And there were off extremely good quality as well so we should be happy with the way we’re taking chances.”
The Sky Blues started the game like a team high in confidence and they got their noses in front after just three minutes.
Winger Ryan Kent collected the ball on the left and cut inside before unleashing a beautiful curling shot that nestled into the bottom right-hand corner of the net.
A dominant opening period saw the hosts double their advantage on 18 minutes when full back Aaron Phillips had the vision to pick out Armtrong with an excellent pull back and the Newcastle loanee did the rest by beating Davies with an unstoppable first-time finish.
The visitors began the second half brightly and pulled one goal back three minutes into the second half with skipper Alfie Mawson heading home a Josh Scowen corner.
At 2-1 Barnsley were right back in it but it was not long before the Sky Blues scored a third thanks to Armstrong again, who was put clean through on goal thanks to a clever flick by O’Brien and the in-form striker beat Davies again with a low finish.
The home support were still celebrating when Barnsley cut the deficit again thanks to a neat low finish by Scowen, but again the two-goal lead was restored when Cole executed a wonderful free kick from 25 yards out which curled over the wall and into the top right-hand corner of the net.
Barnsley had chances to score a third with Mawson seeing a header well saved by Charles-Cook and Aaron Martin cleared a Lewin Nyatanga shot off the line.
Lee Johnson’s side did find the net again when Phillips handballed in the area and Scowen scored the resultant penalty, but seconds later the referee blew time on a pulsating second half.