Coventry Sphinx came into the match with a new management team and a totally revamped squad that was highlighted by the fact that captain Mitch Thomson was the only man in the starting eleven who was at the club at the end of last season.
The opening exchanges were mainly confined to midfield in a cagey start to the match. The first good chance for Coventry Sphinx fell to Mitchell Thomson but he headed over the bar when well placed to finish. Highgate were competing well but they were regularly caught offside against an organised Sphinx defence. Just before half time Sphinx had a glorious chance to take the lead but Jarrell Hylton was thwarted by Highgate keeper Bunn.
Less than a minute into the second half and Sphinx spurned another chance with Thomson lifting his effort over the bar from a low right wing cross. The game burst in to life just before the hour when Sphinx’s Thomson saw Red for a poor tackle and Highgate’s Fitter followed him off the field for his reaction to the tackle. Both sides were down to ten men but Highgate responded immediately with a two Jeys goals in five minutes. Sphinx manager Dutton reacted with two substitutions in an attempt to get back in the game. Sphinx began to exert some sporadic pressure but Highgate were comfortable in defence. Sphinx couldn’t find the goal they needed and Highgate confirmed their place in the next round with three late goals to see the result end as Coventry Sphinx 0 Highgate Utd 5.
A convincing score line in the end but Sphinx will look back on their missed chances with the game still 0-0 while Highgate will consider it most definitely job done as they progress in the FA Cup.
Coventry Sphinx Man of the Match: Scott Lower
Jarrell Hylton only joined the club a few days ago but he worked hard up front and with more consistent service and a better understanding that is sure to develop with his team mates he will score goals I’m sure. Chris “Asbo” Johnston was all action in midfield and provided an aerial threat for Sphinx. Another recent recruit was left back Anton Astley and he performed well on his debut but the right back Scott Lower gets my Man of the Match. Lower performed with a tremendous attitude, was strong in the tackle and provided great experience to the defence.
Report by Martin Sutton