COVENTRY Sphinx played out a 1-1 draw with Sporting Khalsa at the Aspray Arena on Saturday, keeping themselves seventh in MFL Premier Division.
Charlie Faulkner’s 39th minute strike was cancelled out by Shawn Boothe’s second-half leveller for Khalsa, but take solace in the much improved performance than in their 1-0 loss to Wulfrunians a week before.
Sphinx started with a very youthful bench, with a number of under-18 squad members impressing in recent weeks, whilst Lewis Hudson remained out for Coventry – serving the final match of a two-game ban.
Early chances arose for Faulkner and Callum Woodward, drawing Khalsa keeper Sam Arnold into making some decent stops, before the former put his side ahead when finishing first-time from Matt Gardner’s precise pass, capping a well-worked move.
Khalsa needed a win to maintain their hopes of a title push and proceeded to whip crosses into the box on a number of occasions after the interval.
Sphinx though looked resilient to whatever was thrown at them by the hosts, but will be disappointed to have conceded from Boothe’s close-range strike, as Khalsa searched for a go-ahead goal.
The visitors then had calls for a penalty dismissed, when a handball in the box appeared to be intentional, although Josh O’Grady was close to making amends when curling his effort narrowly wide.
Alex Pearson and Dan Kelly from the under-18’s side both made their first-team bows for Sphinx, impressing in their time on the pitch and looking comfortable with the step-up to first-team football.
Sphinx came under increasing pressure from the hosts, but they would not find their way past the visitor’s rearguard again as both sides claimed a point.
Manager Lee Knibbs will undoubtedly take real heart from what he saw from his side, especially at a ground where Sphinx have fallen so short in the past.
He will hope Sphinx can back up their well-earned point with all three, when hosting South Normanton Athletic at Sphinx Drive this Saturday (3pm).