A SECOND-HALF penalty from Callum Woodward was enough to send into the final qualifying round of the FA Vase, after Coventry Sphinx edged AFC Wulfrunians 2-1 at Sphinx Drive.
Ryan Harkin’s third-minute goal was cancelled out just before the break by Wulf’s Courtney Richards, with the visitors ultimately undone by a sin bin prior to the winning spot kick being awarded.
As the only change to the starting line-up in defence, Harkin was the difference maker in the early stages, after turning on the ball, beating two defenders and then picking out the far corner of the net.
The goal did little to silence the visitors, who struck the woodwork through Chris Knight, before eventually capitalising on their greater share of possession to level.
With Callum Woodward sinbinned, a free kick swung into Richards was drilled home past goalkeeper Tom Cross to restore parity at half time.
Having the upper hand after levelling, Wulfrunians threw away several opportunities before temporarily going down to ten men, a moment which proved decisive as Sphinx grew back into the contest and earned themselves a penalty.
Stepping up to the plate, Woodward proceeded to lash the ball into the corner to restore the lead, though Sphinx were living precariously when giving away a penalty in the dying moments – only to be saved by the linesman’s raised flag.
Coming through the encounter, Coventry now look forward to another home tie with Hanley Town on Saturday September 14, following this Saturday’s (3pm) trip to South Normanton Athletic in the league.
Sphinx’s under-18s are in FA Youth Cup action on Thursday night ( 7.45pm) when hosting Newcastle Town Youth at Sphinx Drive, with admission just £3 for all supporters.