Two big away wins should have brought Coventry Sphinx into the game with bags of confidence but their threat was successfully nullified by a well organised Heanor Town. A goal in the second minute gave the home side an early advantage and they capitalised on a mistake to extend their lead after half an hour which turned out to be enough to take the points. Sphinx were not at their best but credit must go to Heanor who put in a solid performance to take the win they deserved.
Coventry Sphinx were unchanged from their midweek win at Shepshed Dynamo but Louis Guest was getting closer to fitness with a place on the bench for him. Sphinx got off to the worst possible start when they conceded within the first two minutes. An initial shot seemed to strike the body of a Heanor player before dropping kindly for Sleigh and he made no mistake in firing in the loose ball into the net. Sphinx settled into the game after a poor start and on 18 minutes they crafted a chance with Towers driving forward to supply Faulkner who delivered a cross for Towers to volley over the target. Neither keeper had been troubled since the goal which demonstrated how tight the contest had been. Towers and Faulkner combined again with Faulkner shooting just wide after being put in by a Towers flick on. Heanor responded immediately with Jack Tregartha tipping a good effort round the post for a corner. The corner was dealt with but Sphinx were dispossessed wide on the right and Heanor seized on their opportunity to go 2-0 up. Sleigh got himself to the by-line and fired in a low cross for Vickers to tap in a simple finish. Sphinx had been the masters of their own downfall up to this point and they would need to step up their threat on goal to get anything out of this game now. Sphinx burst forward through Woodward as they looked for a way back but Harkin’s shot was easily saved by the Heanor keeper and that would be their last chance of the half. Half time came and Heanor were looking relatively comfortable on their lead. A Sphinx improvement was required to break down the well organised hosts.
HALF TIME: HEANOR TOWN 2 COVENTRY SPHINX 0
Sphinx made a better start to the second half with Charlie Faulkner the chief threat. Faulkner saw a well hit drive saved and followed that up with a shot on the turn that was too high to threaten the goal. Harkin soon departed the field with an injury troubling him and he was replaced by Chris Sterling. The next 20 minutes had plenty of effort but little to trouble the score as the game was threatening to drift away from Sphinx. Heanor were two goals up so the onus was very much on Sphinx to push forward. Heanor were looking comfortable on their lead and Sphinx were offering little in attacking areas due to the good defending of the hosts. Heanor very nearly added a third goal on 84 minutes when Vickers cut inside and thumped a shot against the foot of the post. The closest Sphinx got to scoring was in added time when a deep Deehan cross dipped and bounced off the top of the bar. A very much below par display from Coventry Sphinx but Heanor dealt with them well and were well worth the three points.
Sphinx quickly return to action on Tuesday night with an away match against Sporting Khalsa at AFC Wulfrunians stadium in Wolverhampton.
FULL TIME: HEANOR TOWN 2 COVENTRY SPHINX 0
COVENTRY SPHINX MAN OF THE MATCH: RHYS DEEHAN
Charlie Faulkner was the main threat today and while it wasn’t his day he still got his head down and put in a good shift for his team. Rhys Deehan offered a good outlet on the left and looked in a determined mood but his efforts went without reward today.
COVENTRY SPHINX TEAM:
TREGARTHA, LOWER (c), DEEHAN, CAIRNS, QUIRKE, STRINGFELLOW, TOWERS, WOODWARD, HARKIN (Sterling 62 mins), DOWNES, FAULKNER. Unused subs: Donaldson, Guest, Stowe, Wanless