Tipton Town 1 Coventry Sphinx 3 AET – Sphinx win cup tie in thrilling encounter

Sphinx hit the road again and this time it was for a League Cup tie against a much improved Tipton Town. Earlier in the season Coventry Sphinx had put ten goals past Tipton when they were in turmoil but Tipton had improved dramatically in recent weeks to set up an interesting tie. Sphinx manager Luke Hopkins had two new faces in the squad by the names of Jacob Dodds and Kyle Jaynes. These two had been promoted from the Youth team after the Youth teams superb display at Nuneaton earlier in the week. A well deserved opportunity for the pair of them and I’m sure they would have been delighted to be part of the squad. The news got even better for them as they were both named in the starting eleven. Jacob Dodds played wide on the right and Kyle Jaynes was given the responsibility of playing up front on his own in a 4-5-1 formation. Striker Rickie Cutting was due to start the match but his late arrival meant he could only take a place on the subs bench and Jaynes would start in his place. The only other change was the inclusion of the experienced Ash Wilks at centre back which saw Jack Rooney move across to right back.

This was a match that Sphinx wanted to win and they started off the match well. With seven teenagers in the starting eleven, Sphinx had a very youthful and energetic look to them and they were looking to play a fast moving passing game when they could. A style of play that is very pleasing on the eye and certainly suits the players at Luke Hopkins disposal. Sphinx were producing some excellent passages of play but chances for them were limited. Tipton were competing well and their striker Pangne was looking a handful with his pace. Jack Rooney, who had moved from his regular position of centre back to right back, was taking the positional change in his stride. This young man gets more impressive the more you see him and is firmly established in the first team even though he still turns out for the Youth team on occasions. Alongside him he had another teenager in Rickie Fletcher who was marshalling the back four with the authority of a player ten years older. At the other end Youth team striker Kyle Jaynes was working his socks off for his team and wasn’t allowing the Tipton defence a minutes rest. Jaynes had yet to get an opportunity but all that changed in the 31st minute when he beat the Tipton offside trap to get on the end of a through ball. JAYNES still had a lot to do but the defenders couldn’t catch him as he approached the penalty box and as the keeper came out to confront him he calmly slotted the ball past the keeper. What a moment for the young man and I was thrilled for the lad. Remember the name Kyle Jaynes, you may be hearing more about him in the future. Minutes later Tipton Town were back in the game. Sphinx goalkeeper Scott Dutton put a long range effort out for a corner and the resulting corner was headed home at close range by Tipton captain Steve Weaver. Sphinx then produced a move of real class to send midfielder Kyle Baxter through but his low shot was pushed around the post by Sam Pearson in the Tipton goal. The half finished with the scores level where Sphinx will have felt they had done enough to deserve the lead. Sphinx had been playing some decent “pass and move” football and deserved to take the lead but once Tipton equalised the game evened out for the last ten minutes of the half


Sphinx were slow out of the blocks for the second half and Tipton were having more of the play in the first ten minutes. Scott Dutton pulled off a good save to keep the scores level and Sphinx responded by sending on the more experienced striker Rickie Cutting. Kyle Jaynes was the player to leave the field of play and the 16 year old could be proud of his performance that he had also capped off with a goal. Dutton again dealt with two one on one situations as Tipton striker Pangne kept breaking through the  Sphinx defensive line. Dutton was on fine form this evening and even though he wasn’t overworked he demonstrated excellent concentration to deal with situations when he was required. He is certainly gaining good match experience while on his loan from Championship club Wolverhampton Wanderers. We were an hour into the game and Sphinx were starting to get back into their stride. Sphinx were getting chances now with a Luke Downes effort deflected narrowly wide and an Ash Wilkes free kick hitting the post. Wilks again had a chance when ideally placed but he scuffed his shot as Sphinx started to exert pressure on the home sides goal. Minutes later, Jacob Dodds went on a strong run down the right and did really well to get his cross in. Dodds had looked lively all night and certainly didn’t look out of place in the first team. Cutting was looking a threat up front for Sphinx and Tipton’s Pangne was the threat at the other end. We were heading for extra time when a well taken Dodds free kick was headed out to the edge of the box but Luke Downes hit his drive wide. There was just time for Tipton to get one more chance as Scott Dutton again won his dual with Pangne to save brilliantly which took us into extra time.


Straight from the kick off Luke Downes went on a mazy run that got Sphinx a free kick on the edge of the box. Jackson hit a low free kick into the wall as Sphinx started extra time in a positive manner. Seven minutes into extra time and Sphinx took a deserved lead. It was a goal entirely of Dodds making as he capped a good display with a superb goal. DODDS collected the ball on the left, turned and powered forward to attack the defender. The defender was beaten as Dodds cut inside to drive into the penalty area where he smashed home an absolute cracker of a goal! Sphinx were going for more goals and a powerful drive from Jackson Downie was well saved by the Tipton keeper.

In the second period of extra time Tipton threatened with two chances for Pangne. The first flew over the bar but the second effort was dealt with by Dutton. Then Dutton pushed a looping header over the bar to keep Tipton out as they looked for an equaliser. Sphinx then caught Tipton on the break with a couple of minutes to go to seal the victory. Cutting outpaced the Tipton defence down the left and fired in a deep cross that Downes hit towards goal first time. That shot was parried wide of the goal but Downes was alive to the loose ball and showed great footwork to create the angle to shoot home and win the match. Sphinx deserved the win to see them through to the next round of the League Cup where they will face Boldmere St Michaels at Sphinx Drive. A narrow defeat for Tipton in the end and there are plenty of positives for them to take from this match as they made Sphinx work hard for the victory


MAN OF THE MATCH: Scott Dutton

Once again the teenagers Rickie Fletcher and Jack Rooney were excellent in defence. Fletcher’s leadership is outstanding and  Rooney slotted in at right back effortlessly. Jackson Downie and Luke Downes were in good form again in midfield. The highlight of the night was seeing the performances of the two lads promoted from the Youth team. Kyle Jaynes and Jacob Dodds were a credit to the club and I look forward to seeing them continue their development. All of the players mentioned are still teenagers and another teenager, goalkeeper Scott Dutton, is my Man of the Match. Scott dealt with everything thrown at him tonight and gave Sphinx the platform to go on and win the game. His handling of one on one situations was first class and Wolves clearly have a talented young keeper on their hands.


Next Coventry Sphinx match:

Away Heath Hayes Saturday 1st November League



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