The sun has been shining at Sphinx Drive this pre-season and it was certainly shining on the fans at this match as they watched Sphinx demolish a Barwell side who play two divisions above them in the Non League Pyramid. A quite astonishing performance that showed us just what Sphinx are capable of.
Initially we started the match with Sphinx fielding a relatively strong side and I was expecting a stern test of the players this evening. The game was fairly even in the opening stages with Sphinx looking comfortable against the higher division opposition but there was nothing to suggest what was to unfold later on. On 23 minutes the deadlock was broken. Jackson Downie, playing in the centre of midfield, did really well to win the ball back high up the pitch and found his way to the edge of the box to unleash a low drive into the bottom corner. Excellent play from the young man and it was good to see him get on the score sheet. Downie had a good season last year but he needed to start adding goals to his game and that was a great start for him. Just 12 minutes later he was celebrating his second after he slid the ball under the keeper. After 35 minutes Sphinx were 2-0 up and the Barwell players were showing their frustration by berating each other. Some were demanding their team mates upped their work rate and got “back to basics” but it was to no avail. Downie was played through on goal on 38 minutes and calmly lobbed the keeper. 3-0 to Coventry Sphinx and an impressive hat-trick for Jackson Downie in the space of 15 minutes! A deserved lead for Sphinx going into half time and it was hard to believe that Barwell play at a higher level. Take nothing away from Sphinx though, this had been an excellent performance and they had got their rewards. Jackson Downie could be immensely proud of his performance too. He not only got a hat-trick with some composed finishing, he also did the dirty work well closing down the opposition with great energy.
The second half began with my expectations little more than Sphinx holding out for an important win. Sphinx had other ideas and within five minutes of the half starting they were 4-0 up. They were awarded a free kick out wide and a superb delivery combined with a failed offside trap left skipper Ash Jackson unmarked in the penalty box where he produced a fine header to beat the keeper.
Both teams were making changes and the recently introduced striker Rickie Cutting was showing typical determination and strength to drive into the box where he was eventually brought down for a clear penalty. New signing Nathaniel McKenzie stepped up and tucked away the penalty to make it 5-0 after just 66 minutes. McKenzie is a young striker who is strong and athletic and should be an excellent addition to the Sphinx squad this season. Sphinx weren’t quite finished and after a cross was delivered into the box the keeper caught the ball near his goal but under little pressure amazingly dropped the ball straight into his own net. 6-0 to Coventry Sphinx, 75 minutes on the clock and the fans were in dreamland! A late rally from Barwell saw them get a couple of chances but even when the Sphinx defence were breached they found keeper O’Neill in fine form to secure his clean sheet.
Barwell were poor but make absolutely no mistake, Coventry Sphinx were excellent and thoroughly deserved the result. Sphinx have strengthened their squad, have proven they have the ability and if they produce what I know they are capable of on a consistent basis they could be in line for a memorable season. I have my season ticket and I already feel it’s the best £100 I’ve spent. It provides me with free entry for Coventry Sphinx Youth games too and they have impressed me so far as well.
Clearly the future is very bright for Sphinx so why not come and be part of it? Attend some matches, advertise in the programme or sponsor the club and contribute to what I feel is a developing success story for football in Coventry!
LAST PRE-SEASON GAME WILL BE AT SPHINX DRIVE ON TUESDAY 29TH OF JULY AND SEES LOCAL RIVALS BEDWORTH UTD COME TO COVENTRY SO COME ALONG AND SEE WHAT THE FUSS IS ABOUT