FOOTBALL: COVENTRY Sphinx’s unexpected four-week winter break ended on Saturday as Lee Knibbs’ men returned to action against Long Eaton United.
An early second half strike by Charlie Faulkner was later matched by Fabian Smith as Sphinx were forced to settle for just a point against their midtable league rivals.
Following six wins on the spin, Sphinx’s momentum was somewhat disrupted by the weather.
Knibbs was missing two key players for this clash, meaning starting spots were handed to defender Ricky Hill and forward Pawel Tomczak.
Sphinx had an early sniff at goal when Harkin released Faulkner into the box, but his shot at the near post was well saved.
Both teams created chances but Long Eaton and Sphinx’s keepers’ remained solid in goal as the defences enjoyed more success throughout the opening half.
A firm Tomczak header was pushed over the bar by Eaton keeper Low before the home side responded when Cameron’s run forced a solid save from the largely redundant Allingan in the Sphinx goal.
Sphinx had time to respond with Harkin curling an effort just wide of the far post before half time.
It took Sphinx ten minutes after the restart to find the back of the net when Charlie Faulkner’s storming saw him outpace Long Eaton’s defence before he found the back of the net.
Though Long Eaton had their chances to equalise, Sphinx remained a threat when they got out of their half.
Namely when a counter attack led by Donaldson meant Faulkner forced a great save from the Long Eaton stopper.
Knibbs brought on fresh legs in the Sphinx midfield with teenagers Gabe Barnwell and Danny Bowes replacing the tiring Towers and Donaldson.
The home side were gradually turning up the pressure on the Sphinx defence with some good football, but when they did get through they found Jake Allingan in fine form in the Sphinx goal.
With ten minutes left, Sphinx had a great chance to double their lead when a defensive error allowed Faulkner into a one-on-one with the keeper, but he was denied.
And Faulkner was made to pay for his miss moments later when Fabian Smith forced an equalising goal to end the game.
Sphinx are back in action at Sphinx Drive on Saturday, December 23, when Lye Town visit.