The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By Paul Green

TONY Mow­bray in­sists New­cas­tle loa­nee Adam Armstrong’s brain is what im­pressed him most af­ter his stun­ning 40-yard opener set Coven­try on their way to a com­pre­hen­sive vic­tory at Mill­wall.

The Lions had just missed a Lee Gre­gory penalty when Armstrong took full ad­van­tage of David Forde’s poor po­si­tion­ing to start the rout which sent the Sky Blues to the League One sum­mit.

Forde was at fault again as Ruben Lameiras dou­bled the ad­van­tage be­fore Armstrong added his sec­ond to vir­tu­ally end the game af­ter just 25 min­utes.

Jim O’Brien com­pleted the scor­ing ten min­utes from time, but it was Armstrong’s con­tri­bu­tion which had Mow­bray purring.

The Ri­coh chief said: “I think Armstrong de­serves a lot of credit for the first goal be­cause a few min­utes ear­lier the keeper had come steam­ing out of his 18-yard box play­ing like a sweeper keeper.

“I’m as­sum­ing they’d thought be­cause Armstrong was so fast he had to help cen­tral de­fend­ers and play off the edge of his box and sweep things up when we tried to slip him in.

“That hap­pened be­fore Armstrong re­ceived it 40 yards out and he didn’t even look, he knew the keeper was prob­a­bly go­ing to be on the edge of his box and scored.

“That just shows his qual­ity and, I think, play­ing a football match with your brain. We’ve got him un­til Jan­uary 16 so let’s see.”

Hav­ing missed a penalty in front of their own fans in Tues­day’s shock mid­week cup de­feat at the hands of Bar­net, it was a case of deja-vu as the Lions failed to con­vert a golden op­por­tu­nity.

Gre­gory won the spot-kick but failed to beat Sky Blues keeper Lee Burge who pushed the fourth­minute ef­fort be­hind.

Within two min­utes it was Coven­try who were in front, Armstrong spot­ting Forde off his line and from long range lob­bing the Lions stop­per.

The ad­van­tage was dou­bled on 19 min­utes, Lameiras’ an­gled left-footed shot beat­ing the hap­less Forde at his near post.

And the away fans were in dream­land five min­utes later when Lameiras turned provider by send­ing Armstrong through to coolly lift his shot over the ad­vanc­ing Forde and make it 30.

Forde was alert to pre­vent Armstrong com­plet­ing his hat-trick in the sec­ond half, but could do noth­ing to stop O’Brien com­plet­ing the rout ten min­utes from time with a clin­i­cal fin­ish af­ter be­ing teed up by sub­sti­tute Mar­cus Tudgay.

Den boss Neil Harris ad­mit­ted he now has a big de­ci­sion whether to stick with his un­der-fire keeper when the Lions host Barns­ley on Tues­day.

He said: “I will have to speak to my goal­keep­ing coach Kevin Press­man re­gard­ing his start­ing po­si­tion.

“I thought it was a bit of magic by the boy Armstrong though. “Miss­ing the penalty didn’t help but I think the first goal was the chang­ing point. We didn’t re­act af­ter the first goal.”

PIC­TURES: Ac­tion Im­ages

FLY AWAY: Adam Armstrong cel­e­brates scores his sec­ond with James Mad­di­son BAT­TLE: Mill­wall's Fred Onyed­inma tus­sles with Coven­try’s Jim O'Brien STAR MAN ADAM ARMST

RONG Covent


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