League One
CoventryCoventry City4GillinghamGillingham1

Coventry City 4-1 Gillingham

Ben Turner celebrates Coventry's second goal on his first start since returning to the Ricoh Arena on loan
Ben Turner celebrates Coventry's second goal on his first start since returning to the Ricoh Arena on loan

Coventry City hit four goals inside 10 first-half minutes, including a hat-trick from Jacob Murphy, as they overwhelmed morning leaders Gillingham to leapfrog to the top of League One.

It took until the 34th minute before Murphy fired home left-footed from six yards before on-loan Ben Turner quickly doubled City's lead with a header.

On-loan Murphy then struck twice more inside three minutes before the break.

Bradley Dack pulled one back with a left-foot shot on 63 minutes.

But it could not stop Gillingham surrendering their lead to City, who climbed to their highest ranking in the Football League since being relegated to the third tier in 2012.

Despite controlling the first half hour, City could have fallen behind when Sky Blues old boy Cody McDonald's header was cleared off the line by Jim O'Brien. Instead, the Sky Blues broke down the other end and Murphy took advantage of a mistake by Adedeji Oshilaja to round goalkeeper Stuart Nelson before finishing.

Three minutes later, Murphy won the corner that saw Ryan Kent cross for Turner to power home his 37th minute header, marking his first start since his midweek return to the club on loan from Cardiff City..

O'Brien then played in Murphy to round Nelson again before the young on-loan Norwich striker completed his first career treble when he stroked Chris Stokes' cross into the top corner to complete a personal haul of six goals in three games after last weekend's brace at Colchester.

Coventry top scorer Adam Armstrong then hit the post before Dack fired home his consolation goal for the visitors.

Second beats first again

This was the third time this season that 'second' has played 'first' in League One - and, on each occasion, the game has been won by the chasing side, to ensure new leaders of the division.

On both previous occasions, in October, Walsall were the winners, beating first Burton Albion and then Gillingham.

Sky Blues boss Tony Mowbray told BBC Coventry & Warwickshire:

"I'm delighted with a top performance. My job is to inspire the team and get them in the right frame of mind.

"When they left the dressing room I thought they were ready for a proper game of football, and it proved to be the case.

"We have to use that as our benchmark and try to attain that performance level as often as we can."

Line-ups

Coventry

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 23Charles-Cook
  • 18Ricketts
  • 21Martin
  • 15TurnerSubstituted forPhillipsat 56'minutes
  • 3Stokes
  • 4Vincelot
  • 7Fleck
  • 40Kent
  • 11O'BrienSubstituted forHaynesat 81'minutes
  • 25MurphySubstituted forBigirimanaat 63'minutes
  • 9Armstrong

Substitutes

  • 1Burge
  • 8Lameiras
  • 17Phillips
  • 19Bigirimana
  • 20Tudgay
  • 26Haynes
  • 32Fortuné

Gillingham

Formation 4-4-2

  • 1Nelson
  • 2Jackson
  • 4Egan
  • 50Oshilaja
  • 3Garmston
  • 44WrightSubstituted forMorrisat 71'minutes
  • 8HessenthalerBooked at 31mins
  • 16OsadebeSubstituted forLoftat 45'minutes
  • 23DackBooked at 64mins
  • 10McDonaldSubstituted forDickensonat 68'minutes
  • 14Samuel

Substitutes

  • 5Ehmer
  • 7Loft
  • 11McGlashan
  • 12Morris
  • 15Morris
  • 17Donnelly
  • 24Dickenson
Referee:
Mark Brown
Attendance:
15,604

Match Stats

Home TeamCoventryAway TeamGillingham
Possession
Home55%
Away45%
Shots
Home16
Away8
Shots on Target
Home7
Away2
Corners
Home2
Away4
Fouls
Home7
Away14

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Coventry City 4, Gillingham 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Coventry City 4, Gillingham 1.

  3. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Brennan Dickenson (Gillingham) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

  4. Post update

    Foul by Gael Bigirimana (Coventry City).

  5. Post update

    John Egan (Gillingham) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  6. Post update

    Adam Armstrong (Coventry City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  7. Post update

    Foul by John Egan (Gillingham).

  8. Post update

    Attempt missed. Adam Armstrong (Coventry City) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the left is close, but misses to the left from a direct free kick.

  9. Post update

    Chris Stokes (Coventry City) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  10. Post update

    Foul by Jake Hessenthaler (Gillingham).

  11. Post update

    Attempt saved. Gael Bigirimana (Coventry City) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

  12. Substitution

    Substitution, Coventry City. Ryan Haynes replaces Jim O'Brien.

  13. Post update

    Corner, Gillingham. Conceded by Aaron Phillips.

  14. Post update

    Attempt saved. Dominic Samuel (Gillingham) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

  15. Post update

    Gael Bigirimana (Coventry City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  16. Post update

    Foul by Bradley Garmston (Gillingham).

  17. Substitution

    Substitution, Gillingham. Aaron Morris replaces Josh Wright.

  18. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Bradley Garmston (Gillingham) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

  19. Post update

    Foul by John Fleck (Coventry City).

  20. Post update

    Ryan Jackson (Gillingham) wins a free kick on the left wing.