STRATFORD TOWN 2-1 COVENTRY SPHINX by Kev Monks
O'Neill, Hayden (A.Williams 83), Fraser, Bilic (Saunders 60), Ward, McAteer, Newman (sent off 33), Kay, L.Williams, Edwards, Jackson (Barnett 69). Subs Muldoon, Saunders, Daffern, Donaldson
Morris, Faulds, Baker, Reynolds (Holford 53), Brown, Haynes, Herlihy, Murphy, Blake (Pollard 83), Fellows (Edgington 30), O'Grady. Subs Cross, Fellows, Coleman.
HT STFC 0-0 CSFC FT STFC 2-1 CSFC
REF Gareth Hubbard
GOALS Josh Blake 71 & 78, Luke Williams 89 pen
Coventry Sphinx were bundled out of the FA Cup with a 2-1 defeat at Stratford Town.
Sphinx were without striker Pavel Tomczak who has joined Solihull Moors whilst Stratford fielded Mitch Fellows who was the top goal-scorer in the Midland Alliance last season for this FA Cup Preliminary Round tie at the DCS Stadium.
Danny McSheffrey’s side backed by a good support, won an early corner in a tight opening fifteen minutes and had a Jack Edwards shot at Richard Morris in between Chris Murphy firing at O'Neill.
Morris made a sixteenth minute save from an Edwards shot on the edge of the area.
There had not been a bad tackle in the match but by the 35th minute we had one dismissal and four bookings thanks to referee Gareth Hubbard deciding that Alan Newman had elbowed his marker.
Three more bookings followed before Terry Ward cleared an injury time free kick off the line.
Edgington fired over at the start of the second half and O'Neil made a good save at his near post from a Murphy close range shot, as Moreton Titterton’s team started to have the better of the few chances on offer against a Sphinx side who, despite being a man down, were holding the home side and reducing them to long range efforts.
The game came to life on National Non-League Day in the 71st minute thanks to Stratford winning a corner and Josh Blake being left unmarked to score with a low drive from six yards.
Seven minutes later, Stratford looked to be booking themselves a trip to Newcastle Town who beat Studley 6-2 in the next round when Josh Blake dived to head home a cross from the left.
However, Sphinx kept going until the end and were awarded a penalty for a deliberate handball by Holford. Luke Willliams duly dispatched the 89th minute spot kick high into the net to set up a grandstand finish.
The Sphinx support appealed for a penalty when a 92nd minute ball hit the bar coming off the hand of a Stratford defender but referee Mr Hubbard waved away the appeals and the Sphinx support were left to feel that the better side on the day were not the victors.
Picture copyright of Covsupport News Service. Credit CNS/KM