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MATCH REPORT: Crewe Alexandra 0-5 Coventry City - City start the New Year off in style at the Alex

2 January 2016

The Sky Blues claimed the 'old five' at Crewe Alexandra to keep in touch with the top spots in League One...

Coventry City went on the rampage at Gresty Road to start the new year off with a bang.

Adam Armstrong scored a first-half hat-trick and Jacob Murphy notched an impressive brace as the Sky Blues go within three points of the automatic promotion places.

Tony Mowbray will have been delighted with his side's opening 45 minutes from the stands as the Sky Blues went on the rampage at Gresty Road.

City got the goal-scoring started just 10 minutes into the game when loanee Adam Armstrong took advantage of Jacob Murphy's through-ball after he caught Ben Nugent in possession to slot home into the bottom corner.

John Fleck had a long-range effort well saved in the 18th minute before Crewe almost equalised when Ryan Lowe crossed for Marcus Haber to head straight at Reice Charles-Cook two minutes later.

City had their second thanks to an individual moment of brilliance from Murphy. He side-stepped Fox on the right side of the box to curl a left-footed effort into the corner past the helpless Garratt in the 25th minute.

The large travelling support barely had a moment to catch their breath before Romain Vincelot was fouled in the area and Armstrong stepped up to score his second of the game in the 28th minute.

James Jones had a chance to get Crewe back in the game from a right-sided set-piece before blasting over from 10 yards just after the half-hour before Armstrong claimed his hat-trick.

Just before the break, the Newcastle United loanee chased down Jones on the left to win the ball, turn inside and finish into the bottom corner to put City 4-0 up at the break.

It was always going to be difficult for the Sky Blues to match their first-half intensity in the second period but Armstrong should have claimed his fourth early in the second-half.

The lively Murphy broke down the right and crossed for Armstrong, who was in the six-yard area, but he somehow placed the ball wide when it was easier to score in the 47th minute.

Crewe grew into the second-half and had several chances as Fox fired wide and Jones forced an incredible one-handed save out of Charles-Cook in the space of two minutes with 20 minutes remaining.

The City keeper denied Crewe again in the 73rd minute as substitute Bradden Inman headed towards the bottom corner but Charles-Cook's left-hand reacted brilliantly to keep the clean sheet intact.

The Sky Blues finished off the scoring with six minutes remaining as the brilliant Murphy fired home from the edge of the area to send two sides of the Gresty Road ground home happy.


Teams

Coventry City: Charles-Cook (GK), Phillips, Ricketts, Stokes, Haynes, Fleck (Bigirimana 59), Vincelot, Cole (Kent 70), Murphy, Maddison (O'Brien 79), Armstrong.

Subs: Burge (GK),  Lameiras, Tudgay, Fortune.

Crewe Alexandra: Garratt (GK), Turton, Guthrie, Nugent, Lowe, Haber (Inman 58), Fox (C), King (Cooper 73), Jones, Colclough, Ajayi.

Subs: Richards (GK), Atkinson, Bingham, Baillie, Ng.

Att: 5942 (2292 Sky Blue Army)

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