Coventry Sphinx 0 Boldmere St Michaels 2 – The Mikes too strong for Sphinx

League cup action for Sphinx tonight against a Boldmere side who were sitting in third place in the league and who had inflicted a 4-1 defeat on Sphinx just a fortnight ago. This was clearly going to be a hard match for Sphinx but with two consecutive league wins in the bag, Sphinx had recovered from that defeat well and I was optimistic going into the game. Sphinx had the unusual privilege of being able to name an unchanged side from the match at the weekend. The team had played well in their victory over Coleshill so it was an easy decision to keep the same team.

A lively start saw both sides getting stuck into the contest and Boldmere St Michaels looked eager to test Sphinx’s stomach for the fight. Sphinx stood up to the physical test well and were the first to get a decent effort on goal with Jack Rooney forcing the keeper to tip over his drive from the edge of the box. Minutes later, a weak clearance was driven back in with interest by Boldmere and Sphinx keeper O’Neill did well to save with his legs. I sensed the first goal would be crucial tonight with both sides defending well and chances limited despite the endeavours of the players. Approaching the half hour Sphinx produced some slick build up play that ended with Blenkinsopp setting up Downes to drive wide of the target. Boldmere then started to get the better of things but O’Neill was not seriously tested in the good ten minute spell for the visitors. Dodds then had a solo effort comfortably saved by the Boldmere keeper to remind us that Sphinx were still well capable of posing a threat. Then minutes before half time a goal came from nowhere with a strike of high quality from Boldmere St Michaels’ Clarke. He received the ball just outside the box and thumped a curling and dipping effort that left the keeper with no chance. A great strike that came at a perfect time for the visitors as Sphinx went into the break a goal down.

HALF TIME: COVENTRY SPHINX 0 BOLDMERE ST MICHAELS 1

The first chance of the half fell to Sphinx forward Blenkinsopp but he shot wide from a decent position. The next serious chance fell to Boldmere and they really should have doubled their lead but somehow blazed the ball over the bar from close range. 16 year old Jack Downes soon came off the bench to join the midfield to give an even more youthful look to the team. Another chance for Blenkinsopp went wide as Sphinx searched for the equaliser. Sphinx were struggling to seriously test the keeper, mainly due to good organised defending but they were also guilty of missing the target when the opportunities did come. Another 16 year old joined the play for Sphinx as striker Kyle Jaynes replaced Ash Wilks who had worked hard for the team but hadn’t had a real chance on goal. Almost immediately, Boldmere St Michaels got the second goal and as good as secured the win as a defensive mix up allowed the alert Holmes to take advantage and poke the ball home. A soft goal to concede to give the visitors a two goal lead. Blenkinsopp again found himself in the right place but the keeper was fortunate that his close range strike was straight at him to retain the two goal lead. Sphinx continued to probe for a way back into the game and to their credit they never let their heads drop but Boldmere were very solid at the back and kept Sphinx out to see themselves through to the next round. A disappointing defeat for Sphinx but Boldmere St Michaels are a very solid unit and I’m sure they will go on to have a successful season.

FULL TIME: COVENTRY SPHINX 0 BOLDMERE ST MICHAELS 2

MAM OF THE MATCH: Ricky Fletcher

Not a bad team performance from Coventry Sphinx tonight but that spark in the final third just wasn’t there for them tonight. Blenkinsopp had a few chances due to his good movement and when he gets match fit I’m sure the goals will come for him. Luke Downes worked hard to get his team going from midfield and Jack Rooney pushed forward well from right back. The centre back pair of Matt Taylor and Ricky Fletcher again showed why they are the first choice pairing and they both had good games. Difficult to split them but my Man of the Match is Ricky Fletcher. Ricky leads the defence with a calm authority and it’s easy to forget what a young man he is. I certainly see him as a future Coventry Sphinx captain and his leadership skills are ideally suited to this young and progressive team. I believe he can play at a higher level and I sincerely believe he can do that with Coventry Sphinx.

COVENTRY SPHINX TEAM: O’NEILL, ROONEY, DAINTY, BAXTER, FLETCHER, TAYLOR, DODDS (Jack Downes 59 mins), BLENKINSOPP, WILKS (Jaynes 68 mins), Luke DOWNES, DOWNIE

Next Coventry Sphinx fixture:

Saturday 13th December Away DUNKIRK 3pm kick off

#UTS #UPTHESPHINX #12THMAN

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