24th November 2009
Sphinx beat favourites in Cup.....
by Kev Monks.
Coventry Sphinx 2 v 1 Barwell (AET)
Coventry Sphinx marched into the Third Round of the Polymac Services League Cup with a 2-1 home extra time victory against favourites Barwell.
Danny McSheffrey lost Declan Doherty before kick off to a hip injury but welcomed back Kevin Thornton. The Irishman along with Callum Woodward, Liam Kay and Craig Goodbody played an influential role in a match that saw an early lead for Marcus Law’s side.
Barwell won two corners in the opening four minutes and the second was not cleared leading to the ball falling for Nicholas Green to sweetly strike into the net from inside the area.
The wet and windy conditions did not affect the standard of football in what was a thrilling encounter between two of the best sides in the Midland Alliance on current form.
Kevin Thornton sent a free kick just wide of the far post in the 20th minute and thirteen minutes later, the former Coventry City went after a ball on the far side of the penalty area. He was tripped by Adam Wykes and referee Mr Bliss awarded a penalty. Up stepped the industrious Callum Woodward who scored to send Sphinx level.
Both sides made changes at the break and Woodward was denied by a cracking diving save from Liam Castle who parried the midfielder’s twenty-yard drive.
Sphinx matched the runaway league leaders in every department and were having the upper hand in a second half best remembered for Mr Bliss discovering his cards and using them to caution three Barwell players before sending Danny McSheffrey to the stand and Michael Hayden off for a second bookable offence.
With no further goals, this League Cup Second Round tie went into extra-time.
Kevin Thornton sent a curler just wide before making a mazy 95th minute run which saw him skip past players before firing into the side netting.
The cautions in what was not a dirty match by any stretch of the imagination continued before substitute Adam Cunnington was presented with a glorious chance inside the area with three minutes of the match remaining. The striker turned but did not get much power into a shot and Carl O’Neill, who had not been tested by the visiting forwards after the opening goal, was able to get down and smother the ball.
Sphinx went up the other end and were awarded a free kick about 25 yards out. O’Neill shouted for Kevin Thornton to take it and the midfielder duly obliged, curling the ball into the very top corner of the net to send Sphinx into Round Three and the home support home very happy.
Sphinx: C. O’Neill, C. Goodbody, J. McAteer, R. Manak, T. Ward (K. Rhodes 46), L. Kay, T. Muldoon (J. Ruff 63), C. Woodward, A. Kinder (K. Phillips 83), J. Halton, K. Thornton. Not used. C.Wilson-King, D. McSheffrey
Barwell: L. Castle, C. Hayden (M. Heir 46), A. Wykes, N. Green, F. Francis, S. Hadland, R. Letts (N. Julien 46), S. Lower, P. Green (A. Cunnington 80), M. Hayden, L. McDonald. Not used: A. Knibbs, K. Charley.
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