|August 3, 2019||3:00 pm||MFL Premier||2019-20|
Midland Football League
Saturday 3rd August 2019
Coventry Sphinx 2-0 Tividale
Tough start but lessons learnt
Tividale started their Midland Football League campaign with a game that had just about everything but unfortunately the away side came away with nothing in the goal column or the points column.
Manager Dave King gave a Tividale debut to Luke Carter and brought in late signing former player Lewis Probert at left back. He also had to give a league debut to Reiss Jeavons in goal as Louis Connor picked up a shoulder injury prior to the game.
Sphinx started the better as Tividale tried to get to terms with the obvious step up in standard and they should have been ahead after just 4 minutes when a Lawrence Rawlings effort beat Jeavons but Tom Hurdman blocked the ball off the line and in the resulting scramble Tividale somehow cleared their lines.
On 10 minutes Tividale had their first chance on goal. A Brad Welding cross from the left was met on the volley by Jake Webb at the back post but it flashed wide. As the away side stepped up the tempo they were given a great chance to go ahead when Dan Smith was bundled over from behind going up for a header in the penalty area but Webb missed the target from the spot kick.
The game was now a well balanced contest and both defences made sure goal chances were at a minimum but Sphinx nearly went into the half time break with a bizarre goal. Tividale skipper Dan Bryson’s attempt to hook the ball clear hit Rawlings and the ball almost went over Jeavons but he just about scrambled back to catch it.
Half Time: Coventry Sphinx 0-0 Tividale
The second half was only 9 minutes old when Tividale were reduced to 10 men and their were no complaints from the visitors with referee Adrian Hall’s decision to give midfielder Curtis Cocking a straight red for a late challenge on Sphinx’s Max Howard. But the melee that followed the incident left Carter on the ground with blood coming from a couple of scratches on the back of his neck. The officials either missed what happened or felt that there was nothing of concern as they did nothing apart from Mr Hall giving out a couple of lectures. Sphinx then went down to 10 men for 10 minutes when after the referee gave a yellow card to a Sphinx player he then sent another one to the sin bin for what presumably was for contesting the decision.
Even down to 10 men Tividale continued to press and Smith had a couple of good chances to take the lead. The best when Welding found him with a neat pass but his shot was beat away by Sphinx keeper Tom Cross. With the game going into the last 15 minutes and the game looking like ending in stalemate. Sphinx skipper Callum Woodward found substitute Ryan Palmer with a ball that caught out Tividale’s defence and the striker lobbed the onrushing Jeavons and into the back of the net.
The goal was a tough one as up to then the Tividale back line had coped well with the Sphinx attack. But with nothing to lose Tividale went two up front and they had a couple of half chances to equalise but substitute Emil Beckford was unable to work a clean strike on goal for either of them. Tividale conceded a second in the last minute of normal time when after a tired defensive challenge Mr Hall awarded a free kick outside the box but his assistant informed him that he felt it was inside the box and so a penalty was given and despite Jeavons getting his hand to the ball he could not keep Woodward’s spot kick out.
Full Time: Coventry Sphinx 2-0 Tividale
Coventry Sphinx’s video highlights of this game can be viewed below.