Rushall Olympic Youth 2-3 Coventry Sphinx Youth
Coventry Sphinx Youth travelled to the outskirts of Walsall on Tuesday evening and a determined performance was rewarded with three points to take back to Coventry. An early setback was overcome in some style with a first half equaliser followed up by magnificent combination play between Billy and Kelly ending with Kelly equalising just before half time. Rushall responded well in a tense game and got their equaliser in the 82nd minute but Sphinx retook the lead in the 87th minute thanks to Mo Billy and that was enough to claim victory.
Sphinx have stepped up to the Premier Division this season and they opened their campaign with defeat at Newcastle Town. Their response to that loss has been superb with a comprehensive victory over Stafford Rangers taking them into this away fixture at Rushall Olympic. Sphinx were close to full strength but they were caught napping from the kick off with Rushall Olympic opening the scoring after just 26 seconds. That early goal led to Rushall having most of the play in the early stages of the game but Sphinx stayed in the game and 14 minutes in they got an equaliser. Archie Ascroft drove a low cross into the penalty area and MO BILLY fully committed himself to the cross and got the goal his bravery deserved. Rushall continued to find their way into the Sphinx box but they found keeper Jude O’Connor in fine form when they breached the defence. Sphinx were looking lively in attack with Mo Billy and Dan Kelly working the home defence hard. Rushall had defended well but shortly before half time the Sphinx front two produced a piece of play that many defences would have struggled to deal with. They initially combined on the left and their rapid movement, thinking and passing gave KELLY an opening in the box which he seized upon in style with an instant finish inside the far post. It was a goal of magnificent quality and even the Sphinx management looked gobsmacked at what they had just witnessed.
Sphinx had done remarkably well to turn the game around but Rushall had proven they are a good side and more than capable of scoring the goals required to win the match themselves. David Obeng had been introduced from the Sphinx bench and he had added another dimension to the Sphinx midfield. His powerful running with the ball and his willingness to defend were prominent. Obeng was proving to be a very useful combination with Sphinx strikers Billy and Kelly but Sphinx were being forced to work hard defensively too as Rushall pushed hard for the equaliser. Fresh legs continued to be introduced but neither side could add to their tally in an exciting game. Rushall got the crucial next goal with less than ten minutes left on the clock. The Sphinx players were expecting a foul to be given on the left of their defence but the decision never came and Rushall quickly delivered the ball into the danger area for the equaliser. There was still time for a winner for either side but it was Sphinx who got it with Obeng the chief instigator of this goal. Obeng powered forward and the ball broke to Mo BILLY in the penalty area who demonstrated great composure to finish the opportunity off and retake the lead for Sphinx in the 87th minute. Sphinx protected their lead for the final few minutes to emerge victorious in a game that had it all. Both sides were a credit and the quality was excellent but it was Sphinx who were more clinical with their chances. The three points moved Sphinx into second place in the table and they’ve now laid down a marker for the type of performance they are capable of.
The Sphinx Youth team are next in action on Thursday 5th September when they welcome Newcastle Town to Coventry for an FA Youth Cup tie. It’s a big game for the lads so make sure you’re there to support them.
COVENTRY SPHINX TEAM: O’CONNOR, CONVERY, WELCH, BURKE, WHITEHOUSE, TURRELL, ASCROFT, BILLING, KELLY, BILLY, TELLYN.
Subs: ARCHER, DRAPER, MORRIS, OBENG
MAN OF THE MATCH: MO BILLY