St Andrews 1 Coventry Sphinx 0 – Unbeaten run ends in Leicester

An unknown quantity ahead of Sphinx with an away match at newly promoted Leicester side St Andrews on Saturday. St Andrews have made a solid start to life in the Midland Football League Premier Division and they were the next team to challenge the unbeaten league start to Sphinx’s season. Manager Stuart Dutton was forced into some changes today with defenders Liam Kay and Anton Astley unavailable. McCalla came into the side in defence with Blackmore switching to the left to allow Danny Harris to return into the side. There was also a welcome return for skipper Mitch Thomson to the starting eleven. Luke Downes and David Barnett also return to the squad by taking a place on the bench after their unavailability last weekend.

Both teams started positively and there looked like there could be goals in this game but it was settled by one goal in the end. Ten minutes in and it was Ryan Harkin who was looking the most threatening for Sphinx. He got a decent shot away from the edge of the box and followed that by forcing a foul. He was getting little protection but he just got on with it which is a credit to him. Midway through the half we were still without a goal but Sphinx wouldn’t have been too troubled by that at this stage. Just after the  half hour mark St Andrews built a spell of pressure centred on a number of corners but Sphinx saw that out. There was plenty of action in the final thirds but the keepers hadn’t been seriously tested. All square at the break and a fair reflection of the game so far.

HALF TIME: ST ANDREWS 0 COVENTRY SPHINX 0

Stuart Dutton made the decision to change things at half time with the introduction of Luke Downes into centre midfield with Reece Blackmore the man to make way. The half started with early pressure from Sphinx pinning the hosts in their own half but Sphinx couldn’t make it count. St Andrews responded by hitting the post after an effort that had come from a free kick delivered into the box. The chances were limited for both sides and one goal was looking likely to settle the contest now as we got midway through the second half. The crucial goal came on 67 minutes with a good finish from Day and St Andrews now had the lead. Sphinx responded immediately with the introduction of Rickie Cutting but St Andrews were looking solid at the back with a one goal lead to protect. St Andrews saw out the game to claim the points and Sphinx couldn’t really have too many complaints after an off day in Leicester.

FULL TIME: ST ANDREWS 1 COVENTRY SPHINX 0

COVENTRY SPHINX MAN OF THE MATCH: LIAM CAIRNS

There were a number of players in the Sphinx side who didn’t deserve to lose today. I felt Scott Lower and Darren Eggleton in defence maintained their consistency again today. Defender McCalla did very well after returning to the side and the work Johnston got through in midfield was impressive. The standout player for me was Liam Cairns in midfield. He thrives on the physical side of the game and without the ball he was excellent at regaining possession and when he had the ball he passed it well and tried to drive his team forward. Tremendous attitude from Liam today and he can be proud of his performance.

CAIRNS wins tackle

COVENTRY SPHINX TEAM:

DUTTON, LOWER, BLACKMORE (Downes 46 mins), CAIRNS, EGGLETON, McCALLA, HARRIS, JOHNSTON, HARKIN (Webb 80 mins), TOWERS, THOMSON (Cutting 67 mins). Unused subs: Barnett and Smith

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