COVEN­TRY ........3 Robins praises stand-in

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By Jon Boyle

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


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