24th Aug, 2019

Sphinx and United prepare for the battle of Coventry in the FA Cup

Ben Tyler 9th Aug, 2019

COVENTRY Sphinx were put to the sword in Nottingham in midweek, suffering a 6-2 defeat against Long Eaton United ahead of Saturday’s FA Cup derby with Coventry United.

The result means Lee Knibbs’ men were unable to add to their opening-day win over Tividale in Midlands Football League Premier Division last weekend, continuing a horrendous record at Long Eaton – having never won at Grange Park.

That record always looked like continuing when going 2-0 down inside the opening 14 minutes, first through David Kolodynski’s header, who then teed up Niall Towle to lob the ball over Sphinx keeper Jude O’Connor.

Sphinx managed to get to the break without conceding further, but let in a third five minutes after the break as the rout continued, with Towle again the scorer.

But despite the deficit being reduced two minutes later after Aaron Whitmore’s cross was turned in for an own goal, James Shaw flew home a shot into the corner after dispossessing a Sphinx defender to restore United’s three-goal cushion.

Towle wrapped up his hat trick shortly after the hour mark to make it 5-1, before substitute Mo Billy scored Coventry’s second of the game – the youth team striker heading his first goal for the club.

With the last kick of the game, Long Eaton struck a sixth through Towle – who added his fourth – to end a miserly night for the Sphinx.

Knibbs had the job of picking his side up ahead of tomorrow’s extra preliminary round showdown with Coventry United in the FA Cup, where the side will be looking for a response against their city and division rivals.

Coventry United go into the tie on the back of a winning start away to Haughmond to kick off their MFL Premier Division campaign, with goals from Kyle Carey, Anthony Smith and two for Matt Gardner in a 4-2 win, followed up by a 0-0 away to Newark Flowserve on Tuesday night.

A feature on United with assistant manager John Woodward airs tonight at 6.30pm on BBC Midlands Today in the build-up to the game, with tickets available from £6 for adults, £5 for concessions, £2 for 12-16 year olds and under 12s entering for free.

Big queues are expected for the clash, so both clubs advise supporters to have payment ready before arrival at the main gates.

Gates open at half 12 with a fully-stocked bar and hot food and drinks available on site for the clash.

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