22nd October 2012
White Hot Again.....
by Kev Monks.
Coventry Sphinx 5 v 4 Highgate United
Coventry Sphinx are through to the Birmingham Senior Cup after a 5-4 extra time win over Highgate United. On a very misty night at Sphinx Drive, the action started immediately with Harry White breaking through straight from the kick off and Rikki Cutting getting the final touch to send the ball past the keeper after only twenty two seconds.
Highgate, who had lost 4-0 to Sphinx on Saturday were level seventy seconds later when Elroy Bennett drove in and in the eighth minute, the visitors were ahead when Bennett scored from outside the area.The mist started to lift and both teams played some excellent football in an excellent spirit.
Highgate had two good chances and went even closer to getting a third goal in the 24th minute when Martin made a good one handed save from Bennett. They did get a third with four minutes of the half remaining when Dion Barrett headed into his own net. However, on the stroke of half-time, the arrears were reduced when Harry White scored with aplomb.
Five minutes into the second half, Highgate attacked down the right and Dani Pitt rounded James Martin to make it 4-2 to the visitors. Sphinx, under Luke Hopkins, have regained the old Sphinx never say die spirit and they started to raise their game. In the 58th minute, the home supporters were rewarded when Adam Bilic headed in and in the 76th minute, Harry White was on hand to level the tie.
Both sides continued to have chances and in In the dying seconds, it took a cracking save from Edwards to send this humdinger of a game into extra-time. Cutting had a 92nd minute shot cleared off the line before Johal curled over. Sphinx were stronger than the tiring Highgate and in the 99th minute, they took the lead with a low Paul Saunders shot from inside the area.
Paul Saunders hit the post and White had a shot superbly pushed over the bar as Sphinx attacked in the second period of extra time and got their name in Thursday's draw with a 5-4 extra time win.
Sphinx: Martin, Muldoon, Jackson, Bilic, Dyke, Guest, Barrett (Johal 74), Rhodes (Saunder 46), White, Halton (Fraser 52), Cutting. Subs Stevenson, Holmes.
Highgate: Edwards, Fraher, Povey, Reynolds, Dineen, Sealey, Florey, Ellis, Bennett, Elritt, Brown. Subs Faulkener, Checketts, Jackson-Breary, Mullholland
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