Character was the word of the day after Sphinx came back from 2-0 down to take a point at the death on the 3G at Boldmere. Sphinx got off to a poor start and found themselves two goals behind at the midway point of the first half but a goal from Luke Downes just before half time gave them some encouragement. Sphinx improved in the second half and were rewarded for their persistence when Ryan Harkin fired in the equaliser in the second minute of stoppage time.
Lee Knibbs had a couple of injury problems with Chris Sterling and Charlie Faulkner both missing the game. He also left Louis Guest and Liam Cairns on the substitutes bench for this match in Sutton Coldfield. As a result, Towers moved up front and in came Luke Downes on the right of midfield. Jackson Downie replaced Louis Guest at centre back, Dakouri came in for Cairns in the centre of midfield and Deehan replaced the injured Faulkner on the left to complete the changes.
Sphinx started brightly with Harkin looking lively but Boldmere soon got themselves going and fired themselves in front in the 12th minute with a calmly executed volley from Shaw that went across and over Allingan in the Sphinx goal. Not a great start for Sphinx and although they were seeing plenty of the ball they fell further behind on 25 minutes with a neat finish from Nesbitt. Sphinx needed to step it up a gear to get back into this now and just before half time they got the goal they needed. A well worked move cut through Boldmere and DOWNES dispatched an accurate finish in off the post to reduce the deficit in the 43rd minute.
HALF TIME: BOLDMERE ST MICHAELS 2 COVENTRY SPHINX 1
Sphinx had been nowhere near their best in the first half but the goal and half time in the dressing room brought a better performance from them in the second half. Liam Cairns was introduced to the action around the hour mark and his energy was to make a contribution to the improved showing. Harkin threatened on occasions but Boldmere seemed to have the measure of the Sphinx attacking efforts. Time was fast running out for the visitors but they kept going until the end and got the equaliser they had been searching for. Sphinx had to wait until the 92nd minute to get it and it was HARKIN who powered in the leveller. Boldmere had one last chance to take the win but the match was brought to a close by referee Ian Croston and both sides had to settle for a point. A draw was a fair result in the end but Sphinx will be happy to come back from two goals down after starting slowly and being punished by the hosts.
Coventry Sphinx are on the road again next weekend when they travel to Leicestershire to face Shepshed Dynamo.
FULL TIME: BOLDMERE ST MICHAELS 2 COVENTRY SPHINX 2
COVENTRY SPHINX MAN OF THE MATCH: MICHAEL QUIRKE
Jackson Downie came in at centre back although Sphinx supporters will be more used to seeing him in midfield. He took time to settle into the game but got better as the game went on. His composure on the ball at the back was excellent and he showed a willingness to step forward in possession. Jamie Towers worked hard up front with little reward while his partner Ryan Harkin was the man to find the back of the net again with a fine finish to earn the point. Luke Downes made his first start for a long time and the goal was a classic Downes finish. He played 80 minutes and scored and that will be sure to do his confidence a world of good. When the chips are down you look around the pitch for your leaders and Callum Woodward and Michael Quirke caught my eye. Woodward is a grafter and leads by example with his work rate. Immense effort from Woody today but my choice is Michael Quirke. At 2-0 down his voice was the dominant one, organising his team and urging them on and it was his tackle that triggered the move for the first Sphinx goal. Quirke showed his leadership skills today and that was critical to help Sphinx take the point.
COVENTRY SPHINX TEAM: ALLINGAN, LOWER (c), STRINGFELLOW, DAKOURI (Cairns 62 mins), QUIRKE, DOWNIE, TOWERS, WOODWARD, HARKIN, DOWNES (Donaldson 82 mins), DEEHAN (Simms 75 mins)
Updated 20:01 - 11 Feb 2018 by Sharon Taylor