October 24th, 2016

Second half hat-trick by Lewis Rankin completes stunning Sphinx comeback

Updated: 6:31 pm, Apr 13, 2016

LEWIS Rankin scored a second half hat-trick as Coventry Sphinx did their Midland Premier League survival hopes the world of good thanks to an emphatic 5-1 victory away at Bardon Hill.

Robert Mulonga fired the home side in front on the stroke of half-time on Saturday afternoon but Rankin scored three and Garfield Robinson bagged a brace as Robbie Banks’ side came from behind to record what could prove to be a vital win come the end of the season.

Sphinx goalkeeper Ash Malhotra was forced into the first save of the match in the tenth minute and five minutes later the visitors threatened at the other end when the Bardon goalkeeper Ben Gough had to be alert to push the ball away for a corner.

Robinson fired over the bar and Rankin did the same as Sphinx wasted first half chances and the home side made them pay by taking the lead shortly before half-time thanks to a Mulonga strike.

With their Premier League status at stake, Sphinx showed plenty of character and fight after the break and were soon right back in the match.

Shortly after the hour mark manager Banks made a substitution that would change the game with Zuhayb Abdirahman coming on for Kieran Nesbitt which allowed Robinson to take up a more central role and on 65 minutes sphinx were level.

The ball found its way to Rankin who took a touch before tucking the ball past Gough and within minutes he scored a second after heading the visitors in front at the far post.

An unbelievably quick turnaround got even better on 70 minutes as Robinson went clean through on goal and finished with great calmness to make it 3-1.

Three goals in six minutes changed the game but Sphinx were not finished and were soon three goals in front when Rankin fired home a free kick on 81 minutes to cap off a wonderful individual performance.

There was still time for Robinson to score a second six minutes from time thanks to a lovely finish that saw him fire past the exposed keeper and cap off a fine second half fightback by Sphinx.