On Saturday at 12 noon, Coventry Sphinx played their second pre season friendly. Today the opposition were near neighbours Folly Lane who are one of the top sides in the Coventry Alliance. You are always in for a tough game against a good Folly Lane team and today was no exception. They are a physical side but that shouldn’t detract from the ability they have. The match was played on pitch 3 (behind the stand) and it was a hard surface to play on due to the Groundsman rightly focusing his efforts on the main pitch.
Manager Luke Hopkins had a small squad for today’s game for various reasons so it was an opportunity for some of the youth players and trialists to make an impression. It was a scrappy start to the game but the first chance for Sphinx came in the 8th minute when the Folly Lane keeper comfortably pushed a Sphinx free kick over the bar. It was a fairly even game and it was difficult to tell which team were a Midland League side and which team were a Coventry Alliance side. Folly Lane went close a couple of times with their chances coming from breaching the Sphinx offside trap. Sphinx were looking vulnerable at the back and Folly Lane began to take control of the game as the half wore on. Sphinx were struggling to get their game going and were resorting to long balls to their centre forward more often than they should and Folly Lane were defending with a real determination all over the pitch. Folly Lane ended the half in the ascendency and Sphinx should have been happy to go into half time with the scores level.
HALF TIME: COVENTRY SPHINX 0 FOLLY LANE 0
The second half continued in much the same manner as the first with the visitors looking the most likely to score. Sphinx were having a bit more possession in this half but they were punished by a swift Folly Lane counter attack that ended with Ashley Piper finishing well under the keeper. A deserved lead for the Coventry Alliance side in all fairness. Both sides continued to make use of their substitutes in an effort to give their squads all important game time. It didn’t really change the flow of the game as Folly Lane continued to look the likeliest scorers with Sphinx well below par. Despite the scoreline, there was a special moment for Coventry Sphinx and Sphinx stalwart Lynton Wilkinson as his son came on to make his first team debut. Josh Wilkinson is still a very young man but the tenacity and determination he showed was a fine example to any player. In the 77th minute Sphinx got themselves an equaliser in quite a fortunate manner. Sphinx had got themselves close to the Folly Lane by-line on the right and a chipped cross floated over the visiting keeper and dropped into the net at the base of the far post. 1-1 and a sigh of relief for the Sphinx but before they had a chance to even think about a winner Folly Lane were back in front just a minute later with a goal from VJ Sidhu. That proved to be the winner and in all honesty Folly Lane were deserved winners. I expect Folly Lane will be right up there challenging for the league title in their division again. The result and performance will certainly give the Sphinx management some food for thought in the coming days and they will be expecting a significant improvement in their match on Tuesday.
Next fixture for Coventry Sphinx:
HOME – CHASETOWN – Tuesday 14th July, 7.30pm kick off.
ADMISSION: £3, Under 16’s FREE
Official Sphinx Merchandise will be available at the match – HAT £8, SCARF £8, Pin Badges £3