Wembley winners Coventry have shown they are still alive - Mark Robins

02 April 2017 06:09

Mark Robins felt Coventry proved they are still 'alive and kicking' after their Wembley triumph over Oxford.

Goals from Gael Bigirimana and George Thomas helped troubled City secure a 2-1 victory and lift the Checkatrade Trophy in front of a 74,434 crowd.

Bigirimana's goal capped a memorable weekend for the 23-year-old after his wife Natalia gave birth to their first daughter, Eden, in the early hours of Saturday morning.

And Coventry's victory provided a bright spot to an otherwise dark season for the Sky Blues, who look certain to be relegated to Sky Bet League Two.

Robins, City's fourth manager this term, said: "That surpassed everything, the experience was phenomenal.

"I've experienced winning at Wembley as a player and that was one of the best football experiences I've had.

"It means everything to the supporters, it's 30 years since they came to Wembley and won and it was really important to show the world that we are still alive and kicking.

"It gives everyone that reminder that we have that really good fan base. We have to move forward and make sure it is the best we can be."

Coventry, led out by 1987 FA Cup final-winning goalkeeper Steve Ogrizovic, went ahead when Jordan Willis floated in a cross which was met on the volley by Stuart Beavon.

Oxford defender Chey Dunkley blocked the shot but t hankfully for Coventry baby Eden had arrived in time for her dad to be on hand to fire home the loose ball .

"He was missing yesterday, and it was up in the air," added Robins.

"He didn't travel down with us and joined up with us at about 4pm. It was touch and go whether he would be here."

Rob Hall stabbed Oxford's best chance of the first half wide, and 10 minutes after the break Thomas doubled City's lead.

The 20-year-old winger controlled Kyel Reid's cross with a superb first touch before volleying home with his second.

With 15 minutes left substitute Liam Sercombe fired through a sea of bodies and into the corner to raise hopes of an Oxford comeback.

And in a frantic finish City keeper Lee Burge saved from Josh Ruffels, with Bigirimana clearing Phil Edwards' follow-up off the line, to clinch the victory.

Oxford boss Michael Appleton conceded the underdogs - 27 points behind them in League One - were deserved winners.

"You can imagine the feeling is a sense of real frustration after working as hard as we did to get here and the teams we beat along the way," he said.

"It was decided in both boxes, and Coventry had more desire to keep the ball out of the net than we did.

"When you want to win finals that's the sort of desire you need. They were putting their bodies on the line and were not going to concede a goal easily."

Source: PA


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