Sphinx have been struggling to show us what they are capable of recently and the visit of Boldmere St Michaels is always a tough game for Sphinx. Unavailability was the key word before the match as manager Luke Hopkins was left with limited options for his team. The starting eleven saw five changes from the previous game with left back Dainty suspended and goalkeeper O’Neill, defender Prichard and strikers Opoku and Evangelinos all unavailable. The five to come in were goalkeeper Pond (on loan from Chasetown), midfielder Ryan Quinn (signed from Nuneaton Town), midfielder Downie (returning from suspension), winger Simeon Williams (signed last week) and striker Kyle Carey (promoted from the Youth team). Once again we had different full backs and goalkeeper Pond is the ninth different player to take the gloves this season. Examples of the difficulties Sphinx have had in keeping a settled side.
We got underway with a strong gusty wind blowing down the pitch which Sphinx were playing into in the first half. This was a factor in Boldmere opening the game by keeping Sphinx pinned in their own half. It was a slow and scrappy start from both teams with the strength of the wind affecting both sides. We were 15 minutes into the game before Sphinx got their first chance. A great turn of pace from Kyle Carey down the right got him past the full back and he looked up to cut the ball back to the incoming Jackson Downie but his first time shot flew over the bar. Sphinx were getting into their stride now as Luke Downes burst through the middle to shoot over. Sphinx suffered a set back shortly afterwards as the visitors were awarded a penalty that was dispatched into the net by Stephen Palmer. 23 minutes in and Boldmere found themselves 1-0 up. After half an hour Sphinx had another chance but again the goalkeeper wasn’t tested as Carey shot over the bar from the edge of the box. Good work from Downie set up the chance for the teenager and Carey was certainly looking at home in the first team. The half fizzled out after this as we had little goal mouth action and now was the chance for Sphinx to re-group.
HALF TIME: COVENTRY SPHINX 0 BOLDMERE ST MICHAELS 1
Boldmere were quickest out of the blocks and should have been 2-0 up when a close range header was put over the bar when hitting the target looked a simple task. A warning for Sphinx but they responded and after an hour they were now playing much better but they couldn’t convert that into testing the keeper. A flaw in Sphinx’s game of late but in all fairness Boldmere were solid defensively and were proving difficult to break down. Boldmere were still proving a threat and a deflected shot forced Pond to react well to keep the deficit down to one goal. Williams was proving a threat on the left for Sphinx and Kyle Carey was growing in confidence as the match went on. The only thing missing for the Sphinx was a genuine centre forward to hold the ball up and provide a threat in the penalty box. Overall, this was a better performance than the previous game but the lack of a goal threat was hurting them again. Sphinx couldn’t find the goal they needed and Boldmere killed the game well to claim the three points.
FULL TIME: COVENTRY SPHINX 0 BOLDMERE ST MICHAELS 1
MAN OF THE MATCH: SIMEON WILLIAMS
The only goal conceded was a penalty so it’s reasonable to say the defence did well. Kurtis Mewies in particular did well filling in at left back when he is usually deployed in central midfield. Kyle Carey made the step up from the Youth team and he can be more than satisfied with his performance. He has good technical ability and pace and in my opinion is well capable of establishing himself in the Sphinx first team. He was very close to getting my Man of the Match but my choice is Simeon Williams. A new signing but he came into the side on the left wing and provided skill, pace and work rate and just as importantly, experience.
COVENTRY SPHINX TEAM: POND, ROONEY, TAYLOR (Price 68 mins), FLETCHER, MEWIES (Dodds 85 mins),QUINN, J.DOWNES, DOWNIE, CAREY, L.DOWNES, WILLIAMS (Hardwick 82 mins)
Next Coventry Sphinx fixture: HOME – ALVECHURCH Easter Monday April 6th 3pm