Sat Jan 19, 2019 4:00 pm
Sat Jan 19, 2019 6:59 pm
Ruben Lameiras sinks Sky Blues after Conor Chaplin stunner
Ruben Lameiras stuck the boot into his former club with a second half brace to sink Coventry City at second from bottom Plymouth Argyle.
The former Sky Blues forward, who was released by Mark Robins following relegation in 2017, chalked up his sixth goal in four games to put City to the sword at Home Park where the visitors had taken the lead.
Just over 1,000 of the Sky Blue Army made the near 450-mile round trip to Devon – the return journey thoroughly miserable after seeing their side lose after dominating the first half with some bright and determined attacking football, and then take the lead through a stunning Conor Chaplin free-kick.
But Mark Robins’s men couldn’t find a way past goalkeeper Kyle Letheren in the opening 45 and were made to pay when the Pilgrims battled back from a goal down to take the full three points – consigning City to their eighth League One defeat on the road.
Robins made three changes to his back four, two forced as Dujon Sterling missed out through illness or injury, while Jordan Willis picked up an injury in the warm-up and had be replaced by Tom Davies at centre-half.
City made a terrific start to the game with three attempts in the first ten minutes as they tried to take advantage of Argyle’s record of conceding the most goals in the opening 15 minutes of games in the division.
Bright Enobakhare was denied by the keeper at his near post while Jordy Hiwula had one saved from point-blank range before hitting a superb volley that was blocked by a defender.
With 20 minutes on the clock, City had had 76 per cent of possession with five shots, three of which had been on target.
Hiwula, who was deployed wide of a forward three in a 4-2-3-1 formation, proved extremely effective, again cutting into the box on the half hour mark to test the keeper who got down low to make another save as the visitors dominated proceedings away from home.
Argyle got into the game more as the half progressed, their best effort falling to Lameiras who curled over the bar from 20 yards out.
But with no goals at the break, City still had it all to do in the second half to ensure they made their grip on the game count.
And after riding out a determined ten minute spell by the home side who tested Lee Burge for the first time when Antoni Sarcevic broke through, Chaplin finally got the breakthrough their first half endeavour had deserved.
City were awarded a free kick in the 55th minute when Enobakhare was fouled just outside the box and City’s No.10 stepped up to stick a beautifully hit set-piece into the near top corner.
The lead, however, lasted just seven minutes as City failed to clear their lines and the ball fell to the in-form Lameiras who hit a shot that somehow found its way through a crowd of players and in at the far corner to equalise.
And it was the Portuguese forward who popped up again in the 70th minute with another shot from just inside the box that found its way past Burge for a second time to put the home side in front.
Substitute Jonson Clarke-Harris set up Chaplin for a good chance to pull level eight minutes from time but the striker’s first time shot was hit straight at the keeper who blocked it away to safety.
City kept plugging away, pushing for an equaliser well into the five minutes of added time but simply couldn’t find a way through and were left to reflect on the fact that they’d failed to take advantage of their first half dominance.