THE STORY remains the same at the top of the Premier Division after wins for Coventry United and title rivals Newark Flowserve and Heather St John’s at the weekend.
United left it late yet again to claim victory at Walsall Wood, as Lewis Hudson made himself the hero with a 92nd-minute winner at the BBGroup Stadium.
Walsall held a slender one-goal lead at the break, thanks to Ben Lund’s opener in the 11th minute, one which remained until Riley O’Sullivan equalised seven minutes into the second half.
From there, it was Coventry who were in control, consistently putting the home defence under pressure but to no avail.
Or so it seemed, as Hudson fired home at the death to earn another vital three points for Terry Anderson’s promotion chasers.
Second-placed United’s +20 goal difference is one less than Newark’s current total, as both sides sit neck and neck with third-placed Heather on 47 points in the Midland Football League.
Following Tuesday’s (7.45pm) trip to Racing Club Warwick, United turn their attentions to back-to-back games at Butts Park Arena, starting with Saturday’s clash with South Normanton Athletic (3pm).
Highgate United then visit under the lights on Tuesday night (7.45pm).
HONOURS were even at Sphinx Drive on Saturday, as Coventry Sphinx and Selston played out a 1-1 draw.
The management duo of John Woodward and Shaun Thomas saw their side go a goal down inside the opening two minutes when Scott Taylor finished off Selston’s first attack of the match.
Sphinx dominated the rest of the half but were unable to find an equalising goal before the break.
Instead, the hosts left it late to get back on level terms through Colin Smith’s expert turn and finish from close range with 11 minutes remaining.
The point, albeit a useful one, means Sphinx move down a place to 16th after Haughmond’s 1-0 win at Gresley.
Coventry head to South Normanton Athletic on Tuesday night (7.45pm) before visiting Heather St John’s on Saturday (3pm).
SHAMIR Alam’s GNP Sports were undone by a strike of the highest quality in a narrow 1-0 defeat at Stapenhill.
Cameron Steele’s 40th-minute effort – a crisp first-time drive into the top corner – was enough to decide the contest at Maple Grove – handing the Raiders their ninth defeat this term.
It was a reverse of the previous weekend’s result, when GNP were victors over the Swans, as the two sides stay tenth and 11th respectively.
GNP warm up for Saturday’s trip (3pm) to local rivals Coventry Copsewood with a home game against Leicester Road at Sphinx Drive on Wednesday (7.45pm).
TWO LATE goals from Ashby Ivanhoe’s Sam Grouse and Andy Hulley downed Coventry Copsewood in their 3-1 defeat at the NFU Sports Ground.
The points looked set to be shared heading into the closing stages, with the scores still level after Copsewood’s James Ritson’s had cancelled out Ross McGarry’s opener in the 22nd minute.
But quickfire goals from Grouse and Hulley in the 81st and 83rd minute respectively put an end to hopes of a point on the road in Leicestershire.
Joe Conneely and Neil Collett will be keen for their fortunes to change in Tuesday’s clash (7.45pm) with Atherstone Town at Allard Way, heading into the weekend’s derby with GNP.
AN ABANDONMENT in the match between Redditch Borough and Coventry Alvis cruelly denied the latter a win on the road in last weekend’s Division Two meeting.
Danny Cairns had fired an emphatic opener just before the break from a long-range free-kick, only for referee Robert Lovegrove to bring an end to proceedings at half-time with the condition of the pitch worsening.
Alvis, who remain eighth, host Barnt Green Spartak on Wednesday (7.30pm) before welcoming Fairfield Villa to Alvis Sports and Social Club on Saturday (3pm).
HAT-TRICK hero Joe Gardner fired Coventry Plumbing into the quarter-finals of the Les James Challenge Cup after a 4-0 thrashing of Birmingham Tigers.
Gardner was the star attraction in the battle between the two Division Three clubs at the Hadley Stadium, with Kyle Jaynes also on the scoresheet after a goalless opening period.
A trip to Inkberrow now awaits on Saturday, February 22 for a place in the last four.
With no midweek game, Kev Kingham will rally his troops for further progress in another cup competition on Saturday (2pm), when Plumbing head to Coventry Colliery in a Coventry Charity Cup quarter-final.
COVENTRIANS were 3-1 winners over Welland after finally putting an end to their enforced three-week break.
Ebenezer Fasoranti, Nathan McGarrity and Josh Dixon were all on target at Colliery Sports Ground, in a match which was bossed by man-of-the-match Ally Hassan in the heart of the hosts’ defence.
A home game against Castle Vale Town, who are second-bottom in 15th, is next up for the eighth-placed Coventrians on Saturday (2.30pm).