Saturday 12th September 2020
F.A. Cup Preliminary Round
Coventry Sphinx 0 v 0 Coleshill Town
Sphinx Won 4-3 on penalties.
Sphinx: Pryce, Woodward, Noon, Downes.
Coleshill: Kai Tonge, Paul Hathaway, Josh Willis.
Sphinx: Cross, Tufan, Fraser, Bryson, Rawlings (McConnachie), Woodward, Noon, Pryce,
Downes, Billy (Smith), Edwards. Unused subs: Draper, Billing, MJ, Tellyn, O’Connor
Colemen: Paul Hathaway, Josh Webb, Taylor Byrne, Matt Jackson, Shay Palmer, Josh Willis, Kai Tonge, Joe Halsall (Lewis Rankin), Daniel Dubidat, George Washbourne, Gio Dainty (Max Brogan). Subs not used Louis Taylor, Sam McLintock, Christian Mullings.
For the third year running Coleshill were dumped out of their first FA Cup game by a team from a league below but how did they manage that after dominating the game from start to finish. Sphinx keeper Cross must have woke up in the morning and swore not to be beaten, as he thwarted Coleshill time and time again and even saved two efforts in the penalty shoot out.
From the off the Colemen took charge as Kai Tonge left his marker in his wake and then sent a dangerous cross along the six yard line that only just eluded Gio Dainty at the far post. Sphinx struggled to get out of their own half such was Town's dominance but their play rarely ended with a clear sight of goal. The home side did create a chance for Billy who brought a save from Coleshill keeper Paul Hathaway and a free kick from Fraser was nonchalantly plucked out of the air by Hathaway. Coleshill stepped up the pressure in the second half but found keeper Cross up to the task. From a George Washbourne cross Daniel Dabidat powered a header goalward but Cross flung himself across his goal to palm the ball away for a corner. Dubidat was back again soon after but blazed over the bar from a great position and then Dubidat went down in the box and with everyone expecting the referee to point to the spot, a free kick was given the other way. Kai Tonge was so close to getting on the end of a long ball but Cross pinched it off his toe. A Gio Dainty overhead kick wasn't too far away then Tonge crossed for Washbourne who struck the ball goalward with venim but Cross saved again. Daniel Dubidat chased a long ball and when Cross got there just before him his clearance hit Dubidat with the ball heading for an open goal but fizzed just past the post. Tonge's pace got him clear on goal but his effort went way over the bar and that was it for 90 minutes. This season the FA Cup is going straight to penalties missing out extra time and replays and so to a shoot out.
Town keeper Paul Hathaway did his usual trick of saving a penalty then getting straight up and scoring one himself but this time he didn't end up the hero as Sphinx stopper Cross managed to out do him with two saves and Coventry Sphinx progressed to the next round with a 4-3 win on penalties.
A VIEW FROM THE OTHER SIDE
A Match Report Taken From the Coventry Sphinx website
https://www.pitchero.com/clubs/coventry ... 67996.html
MATCH REPORT FA CUP PRELIMINARY ROUND
BY SHARON TAYLOR
There’s nothing like being thrown in at the deep end. The postponement of Coventry Sphinx’s opening MFL Premier Division match against Selston meant that the first two matches of the season were the first two rounds of the FA Cup. That’s a high-pressure situation already but there won’t be many teams anywhere in the world this season who face and win penalty shoot-outs twice in their first two games. Sphinx moved on to the First Qualifying Round with another 4-3 win from the spot after a goalless draw, this time at home against Step Four side Coleshill Town. The visitors started brightly in this Preliminary Round tie, forcing wing back Loz Rawlings into evasive action at the back post inside the first minute. But by the time Rawlings had to withdraw with a cut above his eye after ten minutes Sphinx were giving as good as they got. Sphinx took the initiative and gave Coleshill goalkeeper Paul Hathaway some work to do in the first half. He parried drives from distance by Danny Fraser and then Lewis Noon, and
had to be sharp to pluck an excellent Fraser free kick out of the top corner of his goal. Strikers Mo Billy and Ashanti Pryce were lively, looking to get the Coleshill defenders turned but unable to translate their threat into a genuine chance for a shot on goal. The visitors also carried a threat, primarily through long throw-ins into the box, but it was after the break that they created the best opportunities of the match.
Coleshill began the second half with determination and started to control the game. Four minutes after the restart Sphinx goalkeeper Tom Cross made a tremendous point blank save from a header as the away team sought the advantage. But Sphinx are not easily controlled. For long periods of the second half it was an even game. Pryce, in partnership with substitute Colin Smith, kept the Coleshill defence on their toes by continuing the home team’s plan to get them running towards their own goal. Cross faced two more close-range efforts, watching the first blasted over his crossbar before standing strong to superbly repel the second. With 13 minutes remaining it was Hathaway’s turn to keep his team level. Sphinx’s left wing
back, Fraser, had less of the ball in the second half than the first, but always looked capable of making something happen. His clipped cross to the back post was met by Pryce, who stretched to direct an accurate header towards goal. Hathaway was well placed to make the save.
Neither team came closer as the match moved towards a penalty shoot-out that seemed likely even with ten minutes or more remaining of the 90.
The two defences had the better of the game, certainly, and Sphinx’s back three were busy in the second half. On the left, James Bryson put in another very fine performance to keep Coleshill’s right side at bay in tandem with Fraser.
There’s no extra time in these FA Cup rounds this season so the tie went to penalties at the end of normal time, just as Sphinx’s Extra Preliminary Round win at Romulus had eleven days earlier.
The shoot-out started the same way, too: Cross following up a towering performance by saving the first spot kick from Danny Dubidat. But this was no smooth repeat. Sphinx managers John Woodward and Shaun Thomas sent the same takers forward where possible, which meant Fraser was up first. He was unfortunate to find Hathaway equal to his kick.
Coleshill’s Kai Tonge and Sphinx’s Pryce then exchanged composed penalties to make it 1-1, before Cross saved again. Max Brogan’s effort was by no means easily saveable but Cross read it and got across his goal brilliantly to keep it out.
Sphinx skipper Callum Woodward clipped in to make it 2-1, Hathaway scored his own kick, and Noon stepped up in place of Rawlings to roll in his penalty and put all the pressure on the visitors.
Josh Willis was their fifth taker and scored to make it 3-3 with just Sphinx’s fifth to go.
Midfielder Jack Downes had been next in line at Romulus in the last round and finally got his moment. He took a moment to steady himself before calmly side-footing the winning penalty into the corner of the net.
It’s been an extraordinary start to the season and we’ve already seen such character from this Sphinx team. It’s unusual to have such little room for error so early, and to thrive under those circumstances is very encouraging. The First Qualifying Round draw awaits.
First Team Match Reports 2020-2021
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