Continental Star were the visitors to Sphinx Drive today as Sphinx looked to pick up a much needed 3 points. An early boost for Sphinx saw the return of Ashley Cain from injury as he took his place on the right wing (his best position in my opinion). The two strikers were the experienced Ash Wilks and David Blenkinsopp who was making his home debut. A slightly more experienced look to the side but there were still 4 teenagers in the starting line up.
Sphinx started brightly and within minutes they were a goal up. A long clearance up field by Sphinx keeper Carl O’Neill was well flicked on by Ash Wilks to Blenkinsopp and his first time shot was put behind for a corner. The resulting corner was delivered into the box where it was powerfully headed home by a soaring Ash WILKS. A perfect start for the home side who found themselves 1-0 up after just 5 minutes. Sphinx dominated for a short spell after the goal but in the 12th minute Continental Star got in their first good effort on goal that was pushed past the post for a corner. The away side were getting into the game and a poor clearance from a corner saw them hit the bar with the follow up shot. The game settled into a good even contest and the next serious opportunity saw Continental Star hit the bar again! The away side were determined to play the ball out from the back and certainly had confidence in their own ability to do so. Just before half time, Ashley Cain was played through the middle and the keeper came rushing out to attempt to beat him to the ball. The two collided which left both players requiring treatment. Cain was able to continue but the Continental Star keeper was unable to play on so he was replaced in goal by an outfield player. It was an enjoyable game to watch with both sides playing positively and with good spirit. We went into half time with Coventry Sphinx holding a one goal advantage but Continental Star will feel they deserved to be level having hit the bar twice.
HALF TIME COVENTRY SPHINX 1 CONTINENTAL STAR 0
The visitors came flying out of the traps and just two minutes into the half they were hitting the woodwork again. Sphinx keeper Carl O’Neill produced a superb double save that required the assistance of the cross bar to keep out the visitors. Star kept up the pressure and that was the trigger for the first substitution as young winger Jacob Dodds joined the action. Sphinx got themselves going and a good pass from Jack Rooney lead to some excellent interplay between Wilks and Blenkinsopp that resulted in Blenkinsopp shooting just wide. Cain then succumbed to his earlier collision with the keeper and was replaced by Lewis Bishop. In the 58th minute we suddenly had one of the best strikes I’m likely to see this season. The ball fell to the Continental Star left back who was a good 25 yards from goal and with an instant strike Nuha Jabbi unleashed a powerful dipping volley that left the Sphinx keeper with absolutely no chance. A quite brilliant strike that had to be seen to be believed. 1-1 and on the balance of play a deserved equaliser for the away team. The goal actually drove Sphinx on and they stepped things up a gear as they looked to re-establish their lead. The game was becoming end to end as both sides were going for the win. In the 71st minute Sphinx got the all important next goal to regain the advantage. A quality through ball from Jackson Downie in the centre of the Sphinx midfield left BLENKINSOPP to poke the ball past the visitors keeper to make it 2-1. A cool finish but it was the pass from Downie that made the goal. Continental Star were far from out of this and in the 78th minute they hit the woodwork for the fourth time. A free kick on the edge of the Sphinx box was blocked but the rebound was sent goal-wards with an acrobatic overhead kick that came off the foot of the post. This was rapidly followed by a Star corner being headed off the line. Sphinx may need a third goal to secure this game and they were still pushing hard for it when they were in possession. Dodds produced one of his quality runs down the left to gain his side a corner which came to nothing in the end but just seconds into added time Sphinx got the goal that secured the result. Substitute Kyle Baxter played a lovely ball through to attacking midfielder Luke DOWNES and his ball control and determination forced the defender into a mistake that allowed him to poke home from close range. That was Downes 11th goal of the season and what makes that even more impressive is that he is a midfielder. We had reached the 91st minute before the result was confirmed and it had once again been an entertaining afternoon at Sphinx Drive. The scoreline was a little harsh on Continental Star as they played well and their left winger Robinson was their stand out player for me. An important win for Coventry Sphinx though as they secured a welcome three points.
FULL TIME COVENTRY SPHINX 3 CONTINENTAL STAR 1
MAN OF THE MATCH: Jackson Downie
Luke Downes was good once again in his centre midfield role and his goal scoring record is impressive to say the least. Blenkinsopp worked his socks off up front and got better as the game went on and was rewarded with his first goal for the Sphinx. My Man of the Match was Jackson Downie. He displayed all the characteristics of a good all round midfielder. He displayed work rate, determination, skill and an eye for a pass. If he maintains the good attitude he is showing then he is sure to keep improving.
Next Coventry Sphinx match:
Saturday 6th December HOME COLESHILL TOWN 3pm kick off
#UTS #UPTHESPHINX #12THMAN