The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO - By John Brind­ley

DE­LIGHTED Coven­try City boss Mark Robins threw a chal­lenge to teenage sen­sa­tion Jodi Jones af­ter his ice-cool hat-trick lifted the clouds over the Ri­coh Arena.

A trop­i­cal storm de­layed kick off for 10 min­utes be­fore the 19year-old sunk dour Notts with a bril­liant dis­play of fin­ish­ing.

Robins, a former Manch­ester United hit­man, said: “What’s re­ally bril­liant is the con­fi­dence this will give to Jodi. Now he will start to be­lief in him­self.

“He’s got the abil­ity to go a long way in this game, hope­fully with us.”

Robins also praised a player he doesn’t know so well in Wolves loa­nee Duck­ens Na­zon.

“I only met him [on Fri­day] and he has cre­ated the third goal,” the Sky Blues boss said.

“I couldn’t have asked for a bet­ter start against a Notts side who were as phys­i­cally strong, as we ex­pected.

“But we won’t get car­ried away – there are tough games to come.”

Coven­try’s first game in the fourth tier since 1959 nearly started in omi­nous fash­ion on and off the pitch.

Terry Hawkridge slid a low left footer against the base of Liam O’Brien’s post in the 13th minute – but that proved the clear­est chance Notts cre­ated.

Jones showed the way by tak­ing his time to com­pose him­self in­side the box be­fore thread­ing his shot low across Adam Collin in the 29th minute.

Notts huffed and puffed in the sec­ond half but O’Brien and his de­fend­ers coped well.

McNulty had a cou­ple of chances to ease Coven­try’s grow­ing anx­i­ety be­fore Jones lit up the match with an eye­catch­ing sec­ond.

He pointed the way for sub­sti­tute Maxime Bi­amou to set him on a lung bust­ing run be­fore hav­ing the class to drag him­self clear of the Notts de­fence and clip his shot over Collin.

The coup de grace came in the fi­nal sec­onds as Na­zon’s ex­cel­lent hold-up play gave Jones time and space to drill home his hat-trick.

Coven­try de­served the points as they cre­ated the clearer open­ings whilst County’s po­ten­tially strong front line of Jonathan Stead and Shola Ameobi was well-blunted.

But the main dif­fer­ence was the former Da­gen­ham and Red­bridge flyer, who put away his chances like an ex­pe­ri­enced veteran.

Dis­ap­pointed Notts boss Kevin Nolan sur­mised: “It wasn’t a 3-0 game and I’m dis­ap­pointed we have con­ceded two re­ally sloppy goals near the end.

“We were like rab­bits in the head­lights early on be­fore pro­duc­ing bet­ter stuff in the sec­ond half. I gave five play­ers their de­buts – per­haps it was too much.

“Coven­try have a lot of ex­pe­ri­enced play­ers and did the ba­sics well

“We weren’t good but we’ll learn lots of les­sons from this.

“I knew from the start this was never go­ing to be an easy job.”

COVEN­TRY CITY: (4-4-2): O’Brien 7, Grim­mer 6, Hyam 7, McDon­ald 7, Stokes 6, Jones 9, Kelly 6, Doyle 7, Vin­centi 6, Beavon 5 (Bi­amou 73 7), McNulty 7 (Na­zon 85 N/A). Subs not used: Charles-Cook, Pear­son, Kelly-Evans (Dion), Kelly-Evans (Devon), Steven­son

NOTTS COUNTY: (4-4-2): Colin 7, Too­tle 6, Duffy 7, Bris­ley 6, Jones 5, Hawkridge 6, He­witt 6, Walker 6 (Mil­son 58 6), Alessan­dra 6, Stead 6 (Grant 64 6), Ameobi 5. Subs not used: Fitzsim­mons, Hollis, Smith, Hunt, Saunders

PIC­TURES: Dave Lin­ney

HAT-TRICK HERO: Jodi Jones scored all three for Coven­try as they beat Notts County STAR MAN JODI JONES Coven­try

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