Uhlsport United Counties League, Premier Division South
Saturday March 25th 2023
Coventry Sphinx v HISTON
Kick Off 3pm
Two of the United Counties League’s in-form sides meet at Sphinx Drive, as our hosts seek to increase the pressure on long time leaders Rugby Town, whilst The Stutes will be hoping to extend their unbeaten stretch to 10 and mount a serious charge towards those above them.
Whilst Lance Key’s side were free of action last week owing to the elements, our hosts collected 3 points on home turf over struggling Rothwell Corinthians. However, it took until the 85th minute before the deadlock was broken thanks to Callum Stewart, before a second sucker punch was dealt by Matthew Shipman as the game entered injury time.
A further win was witnessed by Sphinx supporters on Tuesday evening, with their side defeating bottom of the league Long Buckby. Things did not start as they away side would have wished after George Wingrove netted for Buckby after just 6 minutes on the clock. However, just 2 minutes later Callum Stewart equalised from the penalty spot to draw his side level. From there in the away side asserted their dominance upon the hosts, with further goals coming from Leo Stone and Matthew Shipman before half time. Shipman collected his second of the evening before Kyle Carey rounded the scoring off with his sides 5th goal of the night.
The Stutes and The Sphinx previously met on a barmy July afternoon at Bridge Road in the opening fixture of the season. The away side claimed the points that afternoon, despite losing goalkeeper Tom Cross due to injury after just 15 minutes. The Stutes had a great opportunity from Rhys Thorpe, however his shot was straight at stand-in keeper James Bryson. Dan Brown opened the scoring on the stroke of half time after a Bryson error, leading to the experienced striker having the relatively simple task of netting from 15 yards to send the home side in happy. The visitors drew level just before the hour mark, thanks to well placed penalty from Callum Stewart, after substitute Danier Fraser had been upended inside the area. In the 67th minute the visitors were awarded a free-kick 22 yards from goal, Callum Woodward stepped up and struck a right footed effort that would not have looked out of place on the international stage. His shot cannoned off the underside of the crossbar into the back off the net, giving Sam Roach no opportunity. Both sides created further chances, stretching both goalkeepers, though Sphinx held on to take all 3 points back to Warwickshire.
Sphinx Drive lays host to the leagues best home form, with Coventry having only tasted defeat on two occasions (Wellingborough 0-2 and Rugby Town 0-1) while a 2-2 draw was played out against Newport Pagnell Town. 44 goals have been scored by Sphinx, with just 9 having been conceded from the 14 league games played thus far. The leading marksmen are Stewart and Shipman, with 31 and 24 goals respectively.
On the road The Stutes possess a decent record, having lost just 3 of their 12 games to date. Those defeats came at the hands of MK Irish, Rugby Town and Easington Sports. 26 goals have been scored, with 10 conceded by Lance Key’s men.
The Stutes are regrettably without the services of Pat Bexfield for the remainder of the season due to injury, whilst Luke Crisp is also expected to be sidelined for a further 2 weeks. Max York is unavailable, which leaves Manager, Lance Key somewhat light on defensive options. Youngsters Ryan Hnery and Finley Scott also miss out due to injury.
If you are seeking an extra incentive to make the trip to the East Midlands, the Premier League trophy is to be on show and available for pictures, as part of the Premier League’s Stadium Fund that our hosts have benefitted from. It is suggested that you arrive early to ensure you get this opportunity.
Sphinx Drive, Coventry, CV3 1WA
Travel time from Bridge Road: 1hr 22mins (77miles)