ADAM THE APPLE OF TONY’S EYE
TONY Mowbray paid tribute to Coventry’s on song front four after Adam Armstrong’s hat-trick condemned Crewe to the foot of League One with a thumping five-goal defeat.
Jacob Murphy also scored twice as the Railwaymen made a horror start to the New Year to leave home fans venting their displeasure at the full-time whistle.
Crewe boss Steve Davis questioned his side’s desire after lamenting the team’s costly mistakes and admitted the lacklustre performance was painful for both him and his players to take.
“We have won five-nil away from home so I can’t have any complaints,” Mowbray said.
“We started the game as we intended and we showed the right intensity and ruthlessness.
“When you have more shots and possession and you dominate games then you need to take all three points – we have been taking one too often but we talked about it in the week and it has paid dividends.
“The team functioned very well and showed a great desire. The goalkeeper was on top form when he needed to be and the front four were almost unplayable.”
Ben Garratt turned Armstrong’s ninth-minute shot around the post but he was helpless when Armstrong beat the offside trap to collect Murphy’s pass three minutes later, steering the ball into the far corner with Crewe defenders trailing in his wake.
Ryan Lowe diverted Marcus Haber’s flick on over the bar at the other end before Haber headed straight at Reice Charles-Cook from Lowe’s ball in.
But Murphy doubled City’s lead with a superlative 25-yard curling effort on 26 minutes.
Boos rang out around Gresty Road four minutes later when Armstrong scored his second from the spot after James Jones felled Roman Vincelot inside the box.
Jones should have scored for Crewe when he volleyed over from just eight yards out while CharlesCook denied Lowe from close range. Armstrong sealed his hattrick just before the break, though, when he enjoyed a free run on goal after dispossessing Semi Ajeyi on the touchline.
The Sky Blues striker should have had a fourth when he slid an easy finish wide early in the secondhalf.
Charles-Cook thwarted Jones in a 67th minute one-on-one before making a superb save from Lowe’s header with Bradden Inman then shaving the crossbar.
But Murphy thumped in a fifth for the visitors to ice the Coventry cake five minutes from time while David Fox struck the City post to sum up Crewe’s day late on.
“We lacked desire in the first half and we were second to everything,” Davis admitted.
“There was a good atmosphere and I expected them to do better.
“It’s difficult to dress things up and hard to take those sorts of defeats. It certainly hurts me and I know it hurts them.
“We had chances but Coventry were very clinical and punished us for our mistakes. The mistakes were inexplicable, very basic.
“We have got to look at why we keep making them because they will keep costing us and then it’s very difficult to get back in the game.”
HAT-TRICK AHOY! Adam Armstrong scores his second for Coventry from the spot
JOY: Jacob Murphy celebrates
STAR MAN ADAM ARMSTRONG Coventry