The day started with the sun shining in the sky with a slight breeze and that’s perfect for a Saturday watching football. At 2 pm I met another former Coventry City season ticket holder at Gosford Green and we took a stroll down Binley Road to the Coventry Sphinx home ground on Sphinx Drive.
We arrived at the ground and it was good to see the pitch looking better and after the winter rain we have suffered I cannot speak highly enough of the Groundsman and any helpers he has had to get the pitch in the condition he has. Superb work by all involved with the pitch and credit where it’s due.
Sphinx hadn’t won in their last three games so it was an important game today in their quest for a top 6 finish in the Midland Alliance. Sphinx started brightly and had some great chances to take the lead but they were left to rue the missed chances as Continental Star scored against the run of play in the 21st minute. It was a superb goal as Aaron Garvey completed a fine run with a clinical finish. The goal gave Continental Star a clear lift and if ever there was an example of a goal changing games then that was it. The game was much more even up to half time and despite Sphinx going into the break a goal down, it was a thoroughly entertaining match.
Sphinx came out for the second half knowing they needed to get back into the match quickly. They did just that in the 49th minute when the incredible work rate of Rickie Cutting was rewarded with a goal. By my reckoning that is now an impressive 11 goals in 9 games for Rickie Cutting. In fact you have to go back to November 16th to find a game that Cutting started and failed to score in. That is an incredible run of goal scoring by anyone’s standards!
Once again the Sphinx manager Luke Hopkins made good early use of his substitutes by firstly bringing on Luke Downes for the striker Aden Moore in the 55th minute. Downes was deployed just behind the striker and made an immediate impact on the game. Downes is a recent signing from Leicester City and you can see with his touches of quality that he has come from a club like Leicester City. That substitution was quickly followed by the introduction of Ashley Jackson for Luke Williams and finally Ricky Hill joined the action in place of Kiam Galdins. A brave decision from the Sphinx manager to use all his subs before the 70th minute but one that paid off in style.
Sphinx showed the desire and team spirit I’ve come to expect from them and were rewarded with a goal in the 81st minute that put them in the lead for the first time in the match. Ashley Jackson heading home from a corner putting Sphinx 2-1 up. Continental Star were still looking dangerous so a third goal was needed to secure the points and in the 85th minute Luke Downes wrapped up the points with a classy lob of the keeper. Sphinx were not finished yet and with virtually the last kick of the match they added a forth with a goal by Ash Wilkes.
The full time score of Coventry Sphinx 4 Continental Star 1 was perhaps a little harsh on the visitors who certainly played better than their league position suggests. It does show how competitive the Midland Alliance is and every point has to be worked for. A deserved and important win for Sphinx who now sit in 8th place in the league table and are just four points off sixth place.
TODAY’S SPHINX TEAM: O’Neill, Sullivan, Dainty, Fletcher, Wilks, Baxter, Galdins, Cutting, Williams, Downie, Moore. Subs: Downes (on for Moore 55 mins), Jackson (on for Williams 60 mins), Hill (on for Galdins 70 mins)
The upcoming fixtures see Sphinx take to the road for the next three matches. They are as follows.
Away to Walsall Wood on Tuesday February 25th
Away to Dunkirk on Saturday March 1st
Away to AFC Wulfrunians on Tuesday March 4th
Sphinx then return to action at Sphinx Drive with a double header as follows.
HOME to Rocester on Saturday March 8th
HOME to Boldmere St Michaels on Monday March 10th (7.45 pm kick off)
UP THE SPHINX!