TO GET BACK IN FAVOUR
COVENTRY ........3 Robins praises stand-in
COVENTRY BOSS Mark Robins hailed twogoal hero Stephen Elliott after he climbed out of the shadows to take centre stage in their sixth straight away win.
Goals from Daniel Powell and Ryan Lowe – either side of Franck Moussa’s equaliser – had put MK Dons in charge at half-time before Elliott’s double condemned the hosts to a third defeat in four games.
And Robins was full of praise for unsung hero Elliott, who starred on a rare start for the club this season in place of suspended top scorer David McGoldrick.
He said:“We were outstanding in every department.
“We have a couple of players out who have contributed so much over the past few months.
“It was important that we got to see the good side of the players that have been on the sidelines, which we did.
“Stevie Elliott has come in, got his two goals and he’s absolutely thoroughly deserved it because he’s kept his head down and worked very, very hard.
“You talk to them and you say it’s a squad game and when people get their chances they’ve got to be ready.
“He epitomises the spirit that’s here at the moment.
“The two goals he scored were outstanding and Franck’s goal was really out of the top drawer as well.”
Milton Keynes had the better of an exciting first half and Powell put them ahead on the quarter hour mark when he cut in from the right and drilled a fine left-foot shot inside the far post past the stranded Joe Murphy.
Moussa produced a superb solo goal to equalise for Coventry in the 27th minute, beating two Dons defenders before lashing the ball in off the underside of the crossbar.
Lowe restored the Dons’ lead seven minutes before the break when he turned Sky Blues centre-back William Edjenguele inside-out before drilling a fine low finish across Murphy for his fifth goal in as many games.
But City striker Elliott scored twice in three minutes shortly after half-time to turn the match on its head.
First when he nodded in the impressive Gary McSheffrey’s cross from close range and then when he skinned Antony Kay to fire low past David Martin.
Milton Keynes substitute Angelo Balanta should have rescued a point for his side late on but he slotted wide from seven yards as the Dons slipped to a second successive home defeat.
MK Dons boss Karl Robinson, who revealed afterwards he is close to signing Brighton central midfielder Ryan Harley on loan next month, felt his side were unlucky to lose.
He said:“We didn’t deserve to lose that but it was just five minutes of madness from our perspective.
“Their first goal was an own goal – he’s headed it onto Shaun (Williams) and it’s gone in the goal so it’s just unlucky.
“It was just because we didn’t switch on for that five minutes, we don’t generally concede many goals in that period because we normally come out with all guns blazing.
“It was difficult that second half for me because I’m looking behind me, I’m looking on the pitch and I’m thinking what can I do?
“Coventry say they’ve got no money but when you look and Fleck is coming in and Elliott coming in, who has played in the Premier League, they’ve got tremen
dous strength in depth.” LEYTON Orient boss Russell Slade was left pinching himself after a late Moses Odubajo winner against Walsall sent his side into the New Year on the back of nine wins in ten games.
Walsall had dominated the opening half only to go behind through David Mooney’s effort on the stroke of half-time but Sam Manton equalised only for Odubajo to slot home in the 87th minute.
And with Orient just five points away from the playoffs with games in hand on some of those above them, Slade was champing at the bit to get stuck into 2013.
“The important thing is we have won nine out of ten games going into the New Year. Can you believe that? Nine out of ten games,” he said.
“We’ve got a lot more games, a lot to look forward to.We don’t want the season to finish.
“We would want to push up the table and take as many points as we can. It could be fun it could be a bit of a rollercoaster.
“I always think it’s difficult when you have not played for a fortnight to get back to where you were.
“But we have got to be careful because we got beat by Scunthorpe two weeks ago and the first 20 minutes had a bit of a Scunthorpe look about it.
“We have to look forward and we want to win.”
AT THE DOUBLE: Stephen Elliott of Coventry City lashes home his second of the match FRANC
MIDFIELD MAESTRO: Orient’s Dean Cox