A LATE Jim O’Brien goal ensured the Sky Blues maintained their 100 per cent winning start to the League One season thanks to a thrilling 3-2 victory over Crewe.
THE Sky Blues had not beaten Crewe at home in the league since October 2003 but goals from John Fleck, Adam Armstrong and O’Brien secured a third consecutive league win for the Sky Blues who are currently enjoying their best start to a league campaign since 1992, when they were top of the Premier League.
Confidence was evidently high in the Sky Blues camp with the hosts dominating the opening 45 minutes in front of another big home crowd at the Ricoh Arena on Tuesday night.
James Maddison lifted a free kick over the bar before in-form striker Adam Armstrong dragged a low shot narrowly wide of goal after a mazy run into the area.
The breakthrough came on 14 minutes when Maddison’s corner from the left was partially cleared but John Fleck was on-hand to rifle a powerful effort through a sea a bodies and into the back of the net for his fifth goal for the club.
A minute’s applause by both sets of supporters followed on 15 minutes to remember young Sky Blues fan Jayden Parsons who sadly passed away last week.
The hosts continued to dominate proceedings but a moment of brilliance by Brad Inman pulled Crewe level when he curled a long range shot past a helpless Lee Burge.
Mowbray’s side continued to look dangerous and had a glorious chance to regain the lead minutes before the break.
Ruben Lameiras dribbled into the penalty area and the ball found kindly for the summer signing but he shot wide of the near post from a similar position to his goal at Millwall on Saturday.
The Sky Blues picked up where they left off after the break with Reda Johnson coming inches away from connecting with a Maddison corner from the right before O’Brien fired wide from the edge of the area.
But it was man-of-the-moment Armstrong who bagged his fifth goal in just three games to put the hosts back in front.
The 18-year-old had the composure to cut inside on his weaker foot inside the penalty area before unleashing a curling shot which rippled the net and sent the home support into a frenzy.
The home fans were still celebrating when Crewe managed to silence the Ricoh again. Marcus Haber was given time and space to chest the ball down before beating Lee Burge with a low finish from five yards out.
Substitute Jacob Murphy almost got an assist on his home debut but somehow a Crewe defender blocked Armstrong’s goal-bound shot and the impressive Chris Stokes saw his close range effort superbly blocked by Crewe goalkeeper Ben Garratt.
But just when it looked as though Crewe might spoil the party yet again at the Ricoh, the hosts finally scored a third through O’Brien, who chested the ball down before firing a superb 30-yard volley past Garratt which sailed into the bottom corner of the net.
O’Brien, Armstrong and Murphy all had chances to put the result beyond doubt but there was to be no more goals as they Sky Blues picked up another three points which puts them two points clear on nine points at the top of the league
Player ratings: Burge 7, Willis 6, Ricketts 6, Johnson 7, Stokes 8, O’Brien 9 (Morris 90), Vincelot 7, Fleck 8, Lameiras 6 (Murphy 59), Maddison 7 (Tudgay 83), Armstrong 8.
Subs: Charles-Cook, Phillips, Martin, G.Thomas.
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