FOOTBALL: A DRAMATIC injury time strike from Matty Burt earned Coventry Sphinx three points at Rocester on Saturday.
Sphinx, who took the lead in the first half, were pegged back when a controversial penalty for handball was awarded – allowing Oliver Roome to score from a rebound after the penalty was palmed away.
But Sphinx maintained their composure and left the winning goal until the 93rd minute when a loose ball found Burt in the penalty area, who steered his strike into the corner.
The team had a familiar look to it as Scott Dutton in goal was protected by an experienced back line while Callum Woodward spearheaded the midfield with Ryan Harkin up front.
Rocester should have scored after just three minutes when the home side’s forward had an unchallenged strike at the back post sent wide.
Sphinx immediately responded as Lower and Harkin combined to send a cross into the penalty area. But the Staffordshire side read the play well to make a crucial interception.
Sphinx were being worked hard at the back though as Dutton came out a long way to punch clear a threatening ball.
But it fell to a Rocester player who smartly lifted it back over him for Rocester to slide it into the empty net. There was relief for Sphinx though when the goal was disallowed for offside.
Moments later, fortune continued to be on Sphinx’s side when Woodward’s cross to the far post was held up by the strong breeze to drop into the top corner of the goal on 40 minutes.
Few chances presented themselves to either side in the opening part of the second half before a powerful shot at Sphinx’s goal on 64 minutes was blocked by Woodward.
However Sphinx were furious when a penalty was awarded for handball – despite mark being visible on Woodward’s chest.
The penalty was saved, only for Oliver Roome to smash home the rebound to level the scores.
Sphinx still hadn’t forgotten their sense of injustice when a similar situation occurred in the Rocester box.
A shot was blocked again and big shouts of handball went up from Sphinx, but this time they were waved away by the under pressure referee.
A period of domination for Sphinx started with 15 minutes to go as chances came and went.
But the crucial moment came just seconds from time when Matty Burt’s strike was guided into the goal to hand Coventry a dramatic late win.
Sphinx are next in action this Saturday, August 26, against Bromsgrove Sporting at home.