Saturday 4th September 2021
UHLSPORT UNITED COUNTIES LEAGUE-PREMIER DIVISION SOUTH
COGENHOE UNITED v COVENTRY SPHINX
As far as I am aware this will be the first ever meeting of our two clubs as Coventry Sphinx head to Compton Park on Saturday. They moved to the top of the table in midweek after their 3-0 win over Easington Sports in Banbury on the Bank Holiday afternoon after thrashing whipping boys Biggleswade United 10-0 away just two days earlier. Those ten goals in a game have helped to grab top spot on goal difference ahead of our Tuesday night opponents Harborough, although the Bees have two games in hand and still boast a 100% record in the league.
So far Sphinx have won five and lost twice, their defeats both being by two goals to three with the first coming on the opening day at Leicester Road and the other being at home to Long Buckby. The only top half team they have beaten so far was Bugbrooke whom they edged past 1-0 at Sphinx Drive, whilst the only top eight club they have faced was Leicester Road and that ended in defeat, so these early tables don’t always reflect the way things will be in say a couple of months, but it’s always nice to see your club’s name in the number one spot at any time of the season. Can work the other way too as it’s always nice to mention ‘they were top when they came here, but we did ‘em over’ to anyone who might seem slightly impressed in the club on Saturday night.
Sphinx were moved sideways in the summer in the F.A shake-up having been playing in the Midland League Premier Division for quite a while now, but I first came across them in their Coventry Alliance days. That league was very strong back then but was hit hard when several of the their leading lights, mainly ‘works’ teams with their own ground and social facilities, all jumped ship to the Midland Combination at around the same time. I have seen games at the likes of Sphinx and Massey Ferguson played in front of over 300 spectators in end of season early evening kick-offs and watched some excellent games of football too. Both the aforementioned and to a lesser extent GPT Coventry (to become Marconi and now Copsewood) all had real success at the ‘higher’ level for several years with floodlights being added to their already decent grounds, but sadly the closing of the Massey factory saw the football team go the way of many other works teams in recent years. Copsewood still play at Division One level so Sphinx have carried the torch for the old Alliance boys and continue to thrive as a football club with gradual improvements being made to their ground when funds permit.
Whilst tomorrow’s opponents have been finding the back of the net pretty regularly so far, we have struggled somewhat in that aspect recently which hasn’t been helped by the very early season departures of both Jack Daldy and Archie Elmore, hampered further by the suspension of Dylan Wilson, although the latter received just a one-match ban for his double yellow card offence so is available again tomorrow. We didn’t create too much at Wellingborough last weekend but we had a few chances to have got something out of the game, whilst on Tuesday (I missed the game myself) I’m told we had plenty of chances but just didn’t take any of them, so there are plus points to take from our back-to-back 0-1 away defeats. Defensively we have been good so far with only Potton managing to score more than once against us in the league (and we won that game) so it is mainly a case of being a little more creative and taking those chances when they come. That is so often the difference in games as we look to settle into the top half of the table as the confidence of our young squad grows.
UHLSPORT UNITED COUNTIES LEAGUE-RESERVE DIVISION
DESBOROUGH TOWN Reserves v COGENHOE UNITED Reserves
The reserves face a tough trip to Desborough as they look to build on their 3-0 win at home to Huntingdon last weekend. Jessi Obeng, Nathan Jones and Shad Reza were all on target for the Cooks in that game, but the vastly experienced Desborough will be a different kettle of fish altogether. Last Saturday they beat Whitworth 4-1 with Brain Farrell netting his second hat-trick of the season to take his tally to seven in just three games for the striker who spent many years playing first team football in the UCL. Stuart MacMichael, a player of similar experience, scored their other goal in their defeat of the Flourmen. They kicked their off the season with a 6-2 thumping of another fancied side in Milton Keynes Irish, but then surprisingly slumped to a 4-1 defeat in the local derby at Rothwell Corinthians, which shows they are definitely beatable.