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