By Steve Carpenter Wednesday 07 November 2012 Updated: 08/11 09:57
Coventry City 3-1 Crawley Town
AS far as victories go this could prove to be the perfect catalyst to kick-start the Sky Blues' season while once again highlighting the importance of striker David McGoldrick.
It was the sort of win the club's supporters had been craving since the start of the season.
Seemingly cruising at half-time thanks to a neat finish by John Fleck and McGoldrick's eighth goal of the season, the Sky Blues looked on course for only their second league win of the season.
Of course it wouldn't be the same without the supporters being put through the emotions when Crawley pulled a goal back shortly after the re-start.
But one man Mark Robins can now rely on during a time of need is McGoldrick and his second of the match, a stunning curling shot which drifted past Paul Jones so wonderfully before rippling around the net, allowed supporters to breathe again and push the Sky Blues out of the relegation zone.
Crawley have been the surprise package so far this season as they look to secure their third consecutive promotion, but they found themselves 1-0 down after ten minutes when Fleck drilled a low shot into the bottom right-hand corner of the net.
Billy Clarke, a summer signing for the visitors in the summer, was a constant threat on the break and he forced Joe Murphy into a full stretch save eight minutes later.
Skipper David Hunt struck a volley just wide shortly after the half-hour mark during a period of sustained pressure for the visitors and Clarke forced Murphy into another smart stop eight minutes before the break after being picked left completely unmarked at the far post.
The Sky Blues knew another goal before half-time would be a killer blow for Crawley and it came in first half stoppage time.
Fleck delivered a telling ball across the face of goal which was instantly controlled by McGoldrick and the in-form striker stabbed the ball home past Jones.
With the Sky Blues seemingly cruising at the break, the game was turned on its head ten minutes into the second period when Clarke made it third time lucky by finally beating Joe Murphy at the third attempt with a low volley.
The atmosphere changed immediately inside the Ricoh Arena as Crawley took control of proceedings and went in search of an equaliser.
But the home supporters were able to breath a huge sigh of relief on 65 minutes when McGoldrick found space on the edge of the area before unleashing a delightful curling effort which sailed past Jones and rippled the back of the net.
His goals have been something of a life-line for Robins whose side managed to survive a late fightback from the visitors.
Clarke came closest to scoring a late consolation after a stroke of luck saw the ball break free inside the area but his first-time shot sailed narrowly wide of Murphy's goal after taking the smallest of deflections.
Team ratings: Murphy 8, Clarke 7, Christie 7, Wood 8, Edjenguele 7, Baker 6, Fleck 7, Bailey 6, Jennings 7, McGoldrick 9, McDondald 7 (Moussa 68)
Subs not used - Dunn, Cameron, McSheffrey, Ball, O'Donovan
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