The unbeaten start to their league campaign was up against it’s toughest test so far with Coleshill Town arriving at Sphinx Drive on Bank Holiday Monday. Sphinx have found Coleshill a tough nut to crack recently but many other teams have suffered at the hands of Coleshill. Coleshill secured a fifth place finish last season and had started this season well too. After the excellent performance at Rocester, Stuart Dutton named an unchanged starting line up for this match.
Sphinx have been starting matches very well this season but it was Coleshill who were first to get a glimpse of goal today. Benjamin brought the ball down at the back post and a drive across the face of goal was too quick for a Coleshill player to get on the end of it. An early escape for Sphinx but it wasn’t long until Sphinx threatened themselves with a Towers header comfortably taken by the young Coleshill keeper. A couple of minutes later Harkin crossed for Towers who laid the ball back for Johnston to hit a fierce drive but a strong parry from the Coleshill keeper kept it out. The pace of the game was frenetic and Coleshill shot wide in the 12th minute as both sides pushed hard for an early lead. It was turning into a great battle between two good sides and the action stepped up a notch just before the half hour mark. it all started with the award of a penalty to Coventry Sphinx in the 27th minute. Blackmore had played a lovely ball into Towers in the penalty box and his control and turn was too good for the defender who brought him down. HARKIN stepped up to take responsibility and despite the keeper going the right way he buried it in the bottom corner to give Sphinx the lead. The response from Coleshill was instant with former Sphinx player Gio Dainty executing a perfect lob to beat the advancing Dutton. Two goals within a minute and we were all square again. Sphinx made a substitution shortly after this exchange of goals with Ryan Smith making way for Danny Harris in midfield. Harris was immediately into the game with an intricate run that was only ended by a foul near the edge of the box. Towers drove the free kick straight at the keeper as we approached half time. Sphinx then broke down the right and Towers cur back a cross from the by-line where Harkin eventually squeezed away a shot that drifted over the bar. Half time arrived with both sides due a rest after a fast paced first half and the scoreline gave a fair reflection of the game.
HALF TIME: COVENTRY SPHINX 1 COLESHILL TOWN 1
The game was finely balanced and it was anyone’s for the taking. Both attacks were looking lively but both defences were performing well too so it was an enthralling contest. The tempo had eased off a touch as suspected and Sphinx were starting to look after the ball a bit more when they had it. Sphinx had a glorious chance to go in front when Towers sprung the offside trap to go through on goal but the Coleshill keeper did very well to smother his effort on goal. Coleshill continued to press for a goal of their own and their cause was helped with a strong substitutes bench to choose from. As the half went on it was becoming more likely that one more goal would settle this and just minutes from the end it looked to be Coleshill’s but a flying save from Scott Dutton kept them out. Cutting also had a sniff of goal but good defending from Dainty ensured Sphinx didn’t grab a winner themselves. A draw was a fair result in the end between two hard working sides who defend well and had a goal threat too. Coleshill will certainly be there or thereabouts come the end of the season and Sphinx’s new look squad is coming on nicely. Sphinx remain unbeaten and are proving difficult to beat and they have a trip to St Andrews in Leicester next.
FULL TIME: COVENTRY SPHINX 1 COLESHILL TOWN 1
COVENTRY SPHINX MAN OF THE MATCH: SCOTT LOWER
The strike force of Jamie Towers and Ryan Harkin are starting to combine well. Towers was the focal point of the Sphinx forward line and Harkin once again put in an incredible shift and showed nerves of steel to put away the penalty. Johnston was all over the midfield in his efforts to break up play. However, the defence must be singled out for restricting the visitors so well. Coleshill scored over 100 league goals last season and have started this season in similar form. All of the defence and Scott Dutton in goal played very well but I’m going to single out captain Scott Lower for my Man of the Match.
COVENTRY SPHINX TEAM:
DUTTON, LOWER, ASTLEY, CAIRNS, KAY, EGGLETON, BLACKMORE (Webb 69 mins), JOHNSTON, TOWERS, SMITH (Harris 35 mins), HARKIN (Cutting 82 mins)