MOWBRAY LOVES HIS FORTRESS
IN-FORM hot-shot Adam Armstrong’s double meant Coventry maintained their unbeaten record at Fortress Ricoh with a crushing win.
Tony Mowbray’s men struggled in the 32,000-seater stadium last season but have won four and drawn once here this term – and it’s a record that’s catapulted the Sky Blues into the top six of League One.
City could have had six – with a host of penalty shouts falling on deaf ears and a series of one-onones denied by Shrews keeper Mark Halstead – but settled for three thanks to two sweet strikes from Armstrong and a penalty from Marc Antoine-Fortune.
Mowbray said: “We should enjoy this performance – I’ve told the players that – not just the attacking play but the concentration levels too.
“We had a couple of one-onones that the keeper saved, a very clear penalty save in the first minute and a couple more after that. There could have been a lot more goals – credit to them they kept plugging away but we warranted the victory.
“On the big pitch here, it was a bit of a negative last season but this year it’s a real positive for us and we can give teams problems but we have to be a bit more clinical to make games a bit easier.
“We’re developing the team as we go along – it’s a work in progress.”
Coventry were appealing for a penalty as early as the second minute when Ryan Kent went down under a challenge from Mat Sadler.
It set the scene for the rest of the half as Kent – along with Armstrong, Fortune and Jacob Murphy – caused the Shrewsbury back-line no end of trouble.
The home fans were just beginning to get frustrated with the officials when Armstrong broke the deadlock in the 26th minute as he cracked home from 20 yards after good link-up play with Fortune.
It was Armstrong’s seventh of the season but he showed plenty of intricate touches in and around the box to prove he’s more than just a goal-getter.
Fortune doubled Coventry’s advantage when City were awarded a penalty after the big striker was fouled by Nathaniel Knight-Percival and then fired home from the spot right on half-time.
The Shrews tried to force their way back into the game and Sulley Kaikai had a couple of efforts but never really troubled rookie keeper Reice CharlesCook.
But once Coventry got back into their stride, they settled the result with a second from Armstrong after more excellent play from Fortune.
Shrewsbury manager Micky Mellon said: “It’s a really disappointing scoreline. We’ve come up against a really good side and we made it difficult for ourselves at times.
“Sometimes you just have to admit that they look like one of the best sides that we have played this season.
“When you play against teams like this you know if you have a little lapse in concentration then they will punish you. The quality they had up front made sure they did that to us.This team will keep on fighting – there is no complaint with their effort – we were just missing that wee bit of quality to get us get back into it.”
COVENTRY (4-2-3-1): Charles-Cook 7, Ricketts 6, Martin 6, Johnson 8, Stokes 6, Vincelot 7, Fleck 7 (Morris 77, 5), Kent 8, Armstrong 8, Murphy 7 (Lameiras 82, 5), Fortune 9 (Tudgay 81, 5) Subs not used: Burge, Thomas, O’Brien, Haynes SHREWSBURY (4-2-3-1): Halstead 8, Tootle 5, Grandison 5, Knight-Percival 5, Sadler 4, Lawrence 5, Ogogo 6, Kaikai 6, Cole 7, Akpa-Akpro 6, Collins 4 (Barnett 70, 5) Subs not used: Leutwiler, Black, Brown, Ellis, McAlinden, Clark
CROWDED: Coventry’s Jacob Murphy fires through a busy Shrewsbury goalmouth
SPOT-KICK: Fortune gets the Blues’ third
STAR MAN MARC- ANTOIN