Well what can I say after that win! With a home record that now stands at WON 10 DRAWN 3 and LOST 2 it’s difficult not to head to Sphinx Drive expecting a home win. Of course it’s not as easy as that because there are no easy games in this division and you have to work hard and be on your game for every point you get. That’s exactly what the Sphinx lads did today to come away with a deserved victory.
The game kicked off with Sphinx manager Luke Hopkins naming an unchanged team from the excellent away win at AFC Wulfrunians in midweek. Sphinx were quick out of the blocks and hit the post in the early minutes of the match. The playing conditions were much improved with the pitch now drying out and the wind calm which is now allowing Sphinx to get back to a more passing style of football. Sphinx have players with real ability all over the pitch and they always look a better side when they can get the ball down and play. Sphinx were looking good for a goal after dominating the early part of the match and sure enough up popped Luke Williams to put them into a well deserved lead on 21 minutes. Luke Downes and Jackson Downie were looking in particularly good form in midfield and the one goal lead could arguably have been more. Despite the Sphinx dominance, it wasn’t one way traffic and Sphinx keeper Carl O’Neill was called into action to produce a good save before half time. Shortly before half time a couple of Rocester tackles were punished with yellow cards which on another day could have been reds. The players went off for half time with Rocester perhaps considering themselves fortunate to only be a goal down and to still have 11 players on the pitch.
The second half continued with Sphinx having the upper hand but Rocester were not out of this game and it was important Sphinx scored again to put the game out of reach. The home support had to wait until the 88th minute for the second goal however but what a good goal it was. In form striker Rickie Cutting was played through on goal and finished superbly with a drive into the far corner much to the delight of the fans. That was surely game over, but just to make sure, Luke Downes arrived in the box to head home a third in added time.
A thoroughly deserved 3 points were in the bag to make it three wins out of three in March for Coventry Sphinx. A good team performance and a clean sheet that the defence should be rightly pleased with. Luke Williams had a fine game up front and Luke Downes has really settled into the team now but my “Man of the Match” was Jackson Downie. Downie put in another excellent performance, driving the team forward with his surging runs and working hard to regain possession for the team too. His strength on the ball and his ability to emerge from tight situations with the ball is impressive. Unfortunately, Lynton Wilkinson (physiotherapist) did not win my “Man of the Match” despite his best attempts to milk the applause of the fans at the end of the match. Unlucky Lynton, maybe next time!
Today’s victory moves them into 7th place in the Midland Alliance and a top 6 finish remains a realistic target. Sphinx are next in action in two days time against forth placed Boldmere St Michaels on Monday Night (10th March). I’m expecting a tough game but when Sphinx perform at their best they are a match for anyone in this division so it’s a match I await eagerly.
COVENTRY SPHINX TEAM: 1. O’NEILL 2. SULLIVAN 3. FOWLER 4. WILKS 5. FLETCHER 6. JACKSON 7. CAIN 8. CUTTING 9. WILLIAMS 10. DOWNIE 11. DOWNES
SUBS: 12. HILL 14. DAINTY (on for Cain) 15. BAXTER (on for Jackson) 16. DODDS (on for Cutting) 17. BILIC
Upcoming Coventry Sphinx fixtures:
BOLDMERE ST MICHAELS – HOME Monday March 10th (7.45pm kick off)
LOUGHBOROUGH UNIVERSITY – away Saturday March 15th (3.00pm kick off)
QUORN – away Tuesday March 18th (7.45pm kick off)
STOURPORT SWIFTS – HOME Saturday March 22nd (3.00pm kick off)
UP THE SPHINX!