My first visit to Quorn today and while the result was a disappointment the ground at Quorn was excellent and is a great place to watch football. A pleasant summers day with views over the countryside from a large village in Leicestershire is a refreshing change from some of the football grounds I’ve visited in the past that’s for sure!
As for the match ahead of us, Quorn were one of the best sides Sphinx came up against last season and I was expecting today to be no different. The Coventry Sphinx manager Luke Hopkins went with a five man midfield and pacey forward Ashley Cain up front on his own. It appeared from the formation and team selected that the game plan would be to keep it tight and make use of the counter attack and set pieces. Despite an even start to the game the deadlock was broken after just 7 minutes when Quorn went in front. A good save from the Sphinx keeper Carl O’Neill fell to the incoming 18 year old Sam Hollis who tapped the ball home on his home debut. Sphinx 1-0 down early on and a tough game had just got even tougher. Sphinx responded well to the early setback and on 15 minutes a good ball from Dainty found Cain down the left and Tom Muldoon, playing at right midfield, produced a diving header that was well saved by the Quorn keeper. The game continued as an even affair with few clear chances for either side. As we were getting close to half time I felt if Sphinx could go into the break just 1-0 down then they could be reasonably satisfied with that after conceding so early. Quorn had other ideas though and just before half time they got a second. It was an excellent finish from Brennan who received the ball at the corner of the penalty box before unleashing an unstoppable curling effort into the top corner.
HALF TIME QUORN 2 COVENTRY SPHINX 0
Sphinx were clearly going to need the next goal if they were to get anything from this game and I expected the Sphinx gaffer was going to make use of his substitutes to achieve this. The first change came in the 54th minute with centre forward Chris Gumery replacing right back Curtis Shiels. Gumery was deployed in his usual centre forward position and Muldoon dropped back from midfield to slot in at right back. Shortly after, last seasons top scorer Rickie Cutting joined the play replacing midfielder Adam Bilic. Bold moves from the Sphinx management but just minutes later Quorn got the crucial third. Carl O’Neill produced a great save but the rebound fell to Hollis who again dispatched the ball into the net to make it 3-0 Quorn. Just a couple of minutes later it was game over as Quorn made it 4-0. A superb long range strike from Whymark went just inside the post and left O’Neill with no chance. 67 minutes on the clock and clearly no way back for Coventry Sphinx now. The Sphinx manager took the opportunity to give some valuable game time to promising youngster Jack Downes who came on into the centre of midfield alongside his teenage brother Luke Downes. Quorn were heading for a comfortable win but Sphinx were still looking to get a consolation goal. In the 85th minute Luke Downes came up with what is fast becoming his trademark with a belter of a strike to get Sphinx on the score sheet. 4-1 Quorn with minutes to go but still enough time for Ashley Cain to see his effort brilliantly tipped over the bar by the Quorn keeper Pearson. It was too little too late for Sphinx as the full time went soon after.
FULL TIME QUORN 4 COVENTRY SPHINX 1 – ATTENDANCE 124
A deserved victory for Quorn but Sphinx will be very disappointed in the result because they are so much better than what they produced today. Man of the Match was a difficult decision for me today but I have chosen Luke Downes. A superb goal was the highlight of the match for Sphinx and his will to win was evident right up to the final whistle. His strengths are his attacking play but he impressed me with his work rate and commitment and still managed to produce a quality goal despite having few chances to display his talents in forward areas.
COVENTRY SPHINX TEAM:
O’NEILL, SHIELS, JACKSON (c), BILIC, WILKS, ROONEY, MULDOON, DOWNIE, CAIN, L.DOWNES, DAINTY
GUMERY (on for Shiels 54 mins), CUTTING (on for Bilic 60 mins), J.DOWNES (on for Downie 68 mins)
PEARSON ,J. DODD(c), GOOLD, ATTWOOD, WAKELING, PRENDERVILLE, WHYMARK, L.DODD, BRENNAN, HOLLIS, RICHARDS
READ (on for Richards 62 mins), DALE (on for Prenderville 70 mins), HAYES (on for Goold 76 mins)
FORTHCOMING COVENTRY SPHINX FIXTURES:
League SHEPSHED DYNAMO HOME Monday Aug 11th
FA CUP HEATHER ST JOHNS Away Saturday Aug 16th
#UTS #UPTHESPHINX #12THMAN