Coventry Sphinx got back to the form we’ve become used to with a comprehensive win in the Black Country. Sphinx had the better of the match but they had to wait until an hour of play before they broke the deadlock. Once they had done that, the floodgates opened and Lye Town were put to the sword in emphatic style. Jamie Towers opened the scoring and soon after Liam Cairns guided in the second. Harkin then produced a trademark free kick which was then followed by a Charlie Faulkner strike. The hosts nicked one back late on but Sphinx still found time to add a fifth with Harkin getting his second of the game.
Sphinx came into the game with 4 draws and a defeat from their last five away fixtures. They have proven difficult to beat away from home all season and have suffered only three defeats on the road in the league this season. As you would expect, the pitch was cutting up after the recent poor weather but Sphinx were still trying to play their game. We opened with a scrappy contest with neither side doing enough to trouble the keepers. Jack Tregartha was making his debut in the Coventry Sphinx goal and was looking comfortable behind a solid back four. Midway through the half Towers created the first real glimpse of goal for Sphinx when he slipped Harkin in down the right side of the penalty area but his near post shot was saved by the legs of the Lye keeper. Sphinx were gradually getting a firmer grip on the game and Towers went close with a header from a Rhys Deehan cross from the left. The Sphinx performance had been good in this half and they now needed to convert this into goals.
HALF TIME: LYE TOWN 0 COVENTRY SPHINX 0
Sphinx carried on where they left off in the second half and as we approached the hour mark they started to build up the pressure on the home goal. The were soon rewarded with the opening goal their play had warranted in the 59th minute. Although it was a scrappy goal from Jamie TOWERS, it was due reward for their efforts. The goal only lifted Sphinx further and they soon extended their lead in the 67th minute. The second goal came after Ryan Harkin had tormented a defender to weave his way into the box. Harkin then stabbed a shot at the exposed keeper which made it’s way through the shot stopper and Liam CAIRNS made sure of the goal by firing in from close range. Credit to Ryan Harkin who was quick to point out it was Cairns’ goal! Lye Town looked in big trouble now and the energetic Faulkner burst through the middle of the home defence only to be brought down by a desperate challenge from Chilton. No covering defenders in sight so the referee issued a red card for the offence. If Lye thought they had got away with that opportunity then Harkin had other ideas. HARKIN stepped up to the free kick to promptly fire high and wide of the keeper and into the back of net for the third Sphinx goal on 77 minutes. The confidence was flying through Sphinx now and a superb flowing move was finished off by FAULKNER who steered home the fourth on 84 minutes. A moment of poor
concentration cost Sphinx a clean sheet with substitute Knight driving in a consolation goal in the 88th minute. That only served to drive Sphinx forward again and HARKIN finished well after being put through on goal in the 89th minute.
A performance to please the away contingent without a doubt and after the first goal went in the result never looked in serious doubt. The football Sphinx played at times in difficult conditions was outstanding and that three points takes them to the 50 point mark and establishes their 6th place position in the Midland Football League Premier Division.
Coventry Sphinx are in action at Sphinx Drive on Tuesday evening at 7.45pm with Stourport Swifts visiting for a league fixture.
FULL TIME: LYE TOWN 1 COVENTRY SPHINX 5
COVENTRY SPHINX MAN OF THE MATCH: JAMIE TOWERS
A team performance to be proud of with debutant keeper Jack Tregartha having a dream introduction to the Coventry Sphinx team. Stringfellow moved across to right back, performed well again and got forward well at times. His opposite full back Rhys Deehan had a great game with his pace and power too much for Lye Town. Quirke and Guest at the back were solid to any potential threat too. The midfield were dominant with Cairns and Woodward getting through a tremendous amount of work. Faulkner was a bundle of energy on the left and his tenacity was evident all game. Harkin bagged two goals and often tormented the home defence with his direct running. The substitutes all played their part with Reece Stowe getting a good 20 minutes and Dakouri and Downes adding fresh legs to the Sphinx midfield. Towers gets my Man of the Match with his quality on the ball clear despite the tricky surface. Towers also got the crucial opening goal and gave the hosts left back a torrid time.
COVENTRY SPHINX TEAM: TREGARTHA, STRINGFELLOW, DEEHAN, CAIRNS, QUIRKE, GUEST (Stowe 73 mins), TOWERS (Dakouri 81 mins), WOODWARD (C), HARKIN, STERLING (Downes 81 mins), FAULKNER. Unused sub: Donaldson