FOOTBALL: FA CUP third round hero Jordan Willis has praised the work of Coventry City’s academy following the Sky Blues’ 2-1 win over Premier League Stoke City.
Willis netted midway through the first half to score Coventry’s first goal after Tom Davies headed the ball back into the six-yard box following a corner.
The goal sparked thousands of Coventry fans into life as Mark Hughes’ men ended the first half a goal down.
It was a case of ‘hero turned villain’ for Willis though as he later fouled Ramadan Sobhi inside the same box he scored in, gifting Stoke City a penalty – which Charlie Adam made no mistake in converting.
But Jack Grimmer’s second half goal proved to be the winner, the right-back scoring from 18 yards after drifting towards Stoke’s box unchallenged before beating Jack Butland at his near post.
Speaking after the game, Willis said: “”Having home grown players in the team does make the win sweeter.
“I’ve grown up with some of the players and others are starting to step up to the first team. The academy must take credit for that.
“Everybody worked their socks off. The defence in particular put their bodies on the line, some of the blocks were brilliant.
“But the whole team can take credit for the defending.
“The goals are coming now and we are solid at the back, hopefully we can carry this into the league.
“On the training field we’ve been told fines are going to be handed out if the back four don’t start to chip in with goals. I’ve avoided a fine today!”
Willis was left in a 50/50 mindset following the penalty decision which added to the drama of Saturday’s game.
“I didn’t touch him, but then I didn’t touch the ball,” said Willis.
“My first thought was ‘I hope Liam can save this’ but that wasn’t to be.
“Fortunately Grimmer went down the other end and scored a great goal.
“The chances we created until that point gave us confidence.”