3rd September 2011
10 Man Sphinx Exit F.A. Cup....
by Kev Monks At Knights Lane.
Stratford Town 2 v 1 Coventry Sphinx
Coventry Sphinx were bundled out of the FA Cup with a
2-1 defeat at Stratford Town.
Sphinx were without striker Pavel Tomszak who has joined Solihull Moors whilst Stratford fielded Mitch Fellows who was the top goal-scorer in the Midland Alliance last season for this FA Cup Preliminary Round tie at the DCS Stadium.
Danny McSheffrey’s side backed by a good support, won an early corner in a tight opening fifteen minutes and had a Jack Edwards shot at Richard Morris in between Chris Murphy firing at O'Neill.
Morris pulled off a spectacular save from a Jack Edwards header in the made a sixteenth minute tipping his looping header over the bar.
There had not been a bad tackle in the match but by the 35th minute we had one dismissal and three bookings thanks to the referee deciding that Alan Newman had elbowed his marker and showed him a straight red in the melee Ward & O'Neill followed into the book along with Morris from Stratford.
The game was slowly turning into the Referee show as he showed the yellow card a further three times as well as being in the way of three passes so bad was his positional sense.
The second half whistle went with both camps bemused by the performance of the Referee, but happy to be going in level at half time.
Edgington fired over at the start of the second half and O'Neil made a good save at his near post from a Murphy close range shot, as Moreton Titterton’s team started to have the better of the few chances on offer against a Sphinx side who, despite being a man down, were holding the home side and reducing them to long range efforts
The game came to life on National Non-League Day in
the 71st minute thanks to Stratford winning a corner, the ball was
headed back across goal by Brown and richoted off Josh Blake
at the far post
Seven minutes later, Stratford looked to be booking themselves a trip to Newcastle Town who beat Studley 6-2 , when Josh Blake dived to head home a cross from the left
However, Sphinx kept going until the end and were awarded a penalty for there effort and endeavour through a deliberate handball by Holford. Luke Willliams duly dispatched the 89th minute spot kick high into the net to set up a grandstand finish.
Mcsheffrey then made a gamble and put centre half Jamie McAteer up front in an effort to get an equaliser and it was the latters cross that nearly pu the game all square. McAteer chased a clearance and got to the by line and his deep cross to the far post found Williams who done well to get a head on the ball but his header which looked destined to the far corner was a gain spectaculary turned over by Morris.The Sphinx support appealed for a penalty when a 92nd minute ball hit the bar coming off the hand of a Stratford defender but referee Mr Hubbard waved away the appeals and the Sphinx support were left to feel that the better side on the day were not the victors.
Sphinx: O'Neill, Hayden (A.Williams 83), Fraser, Bilic (Saunders 60), Ward, McAteer, Newman (sent off 33), Kay, L.Williams, Edwards, Jackson (Barnett 69). Subs Muldoon, Saunders, Daffern.
Stafford: Morris, Faulds, Baker, Reynolds (Holford 53), Brown, Haynes, Herlihy, Murphy, Blake (Pollard 83), Fellows (Edgington 30), O'Grady. Subs Cross, Fellows, Coleman.
Stratford Town 1 v 1 Coventry Sphinx
Coventry Sphinx will count themselves unlucky not to taken a lot
more from a game at Stratford Town that finished in a 1-1 draw.
Danny McSheffrey had Terry Ward back for this Midland Alliance game at Stratford Town.
Sphinx were straight on the attack from the first whistle with Jamie McAteer heading over from a third minute corner.
Two minutes later and Richard Morris had to pull off a terrific save from a Tomczak header following a free kick.
Beckley fired wide at the other end and in the 17th minute and against the run of play, Stratford took the lead when a throw in found Josh Blake on the edge of the area and he beat O'Neill with a low drive.
Sphinx gave their supporters in a crowd of 178, plenty of hope as they launched into wave after wave of attack. Muldoon, Donaldson and Edwards had chances and three corners were won but it was Stratford who were still ahead at the break.
The immense Jamie McAteer, industrious Terry Ward and Carl O'Neill dealt with the attacks by Chris Murphy.
Danny Fraser sent a free kick which was deflected for a corner and Terry Ward's header in the 64th minute was cleared off the line by Baker.
Despite some strange decisions by the referee who denied the home side a penalty, Sphinx stuck to their task and their endeavour paid off when they were awarded an 83rd minute penalty of their own following climbing by a Stratford defender.
Youngster Adam Bilic, who was another to have a good game, stepped up and stroked home the spot kick to give Sphinx a share of the points.
The sides meet again in the FA Cup Preliminary Round at the DCS Stadium in Knight's Lane, Stratford on Saturday.
Sphinx: O'Neill, Hayden. Fraser, Bilic, Ward, McAteer, Edwards, Newman (A.Williams 67), Tomczak, Donaldson, Muldoon (Jackson 78) Subs, Daffern, Rawlings, Barrett.
Stratford: Harris, Halford, Baker, Alsop, Cooper, Haynes, Herlihy, Faulds, Blake (Pollard 67), Beckly, Murphy. SNU Cross, Coleman, Fellows, Ruff