24th May, 2022

Nine-goal FA Vase thriller ends in heartbreaking defeat for Coventry Sphinx

FOOTBALL: SPHINX were dumped out of the FA Vase on Saturday in a dramatic encounter against Heather St Johns.

It was only until the final kick of the game that Heather St Johns confirmed their spot in the second round as they scored five of the game’s nine goals.

Stuart Dutton made a couple of changes to the starting line up with the experience of Scott Lower and Callum Woodward returning to the side after missing the Rugby Town game with injury.

With the exception of the suspended Quirke and injured Sterling, Sphinx were at full strength.

Supporters had an early indication of what the game ahead was going to offer when Shane Benjamin went close for Heather in the opening minutes.

Sphinx didn’t react to the early goal threat well enough, though, as Heather took the lead on six minutes when Simeon Cobourne slotted his effort past an exposed Dutton.

Incredibly, Sphinx were level within minutes when a goalkeeping blunder levelled the scoreline straight from kick-off with Sphinx having barely touched the ball.

Cobourne added his second goal of the match on 20 minutes to put Heather ahead once more, but a determined Sphinx side equalised once more when Towers scored from close range a minute later.

Heather were unlucky not to end the opening half with a narrow lead when Benjamin’s headed hit the post.

The real drama was yet to come though as Sphinx took the lead five minutes into the second half when Simeon Townsend shrugged off a defender before scoring from a tight angle.

Heather were soon back level when some sharp passing football released Cullen into the box to drive past Dutton.

A spot kick save from Dutton kept Sphinx in the game as Heather searched for a winning goal.

And their fourth goal came minutes after the penalty save when a Heather free kick was cruely deflected into Sphinx’s net.

Harkin rescued the moment for Sphinx two minutes into injury time though when he scored Sphinx’s fourth goal. But the game still wasn’t finished,

With seconds remaining, Harkin bagged what appeared to be a late winner – which was waved off for offside.

But the game didn’t end there when Benjamin scored the winning goal from the re-start with the last kick of the game – Heather St Johns winning 5-4.

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