COVENTRY Sphinx are looking forward to a semi-final place in the League Cup after edging Chelmsley Town 2-1 on Tuesday night.
Joel Grandison and Liam Kay goals earned Sphinx a place in the last four at Sphinx Drive – albeit for a late consolation for Chelmsley.
A strong side fielded by Lee Knibbs signalled his intent to go all out for a win in the quarter-final clash, whilst having the luxury of naming a number of first-teamers on the substitute’s bench.
Scott Lower made a rare start after his injury-hit season to-date, whilst Ryan Harkin found a place on the bench as his recovery continues.
Corner kicks were the most likely source of an opener for Coventry, but they were unable to make them count with Chelmsley holding firm.
Matt Gardner had a golden opportunity snatched from his grasp after a last-ditch tackle dispossessed him of the ball, but they would find a goal before the break to open the scoring.
Rich Blyhte’s run ended with a cross inside the penalty area, met by the boot of Grandison who hammered the ball into the roof of the net.
A second-goal just after the hour mark provided a much needed cushion and allowed Sphinx a sigh of relief, when Josh O’Grady’s free-kick was thumped home by the head of Kay.
Harkin then arrived from the bench and provided a welcome sight for Sphinx fans, although Chelmsley began to step up the pressure on the hosts.
Their determination eventually paid off in the third minute of stoppage time, when Jordan Wade’s thunderous free-kick rippled the back of the net, but it was all too little, too late for Town.
The referee’s whistle signalled Sphinx’s place in the semi-finals alongside Romulus, Ilkeston Town and NKF Burbage, with the club awaiting their fate with the draw yet to be made.
It provides a welcome boost of momentum for sixth placed Sphinx, as they prepare to host fifth placed Sporting Khalsa tomorrow (3pm), a win for the hosts would see them rise to fourth in the MFL Premier Division.