The Mikes 0-0 Coventry Sphinx
By The Mikes
This was hardly a classic. In a match brought forward from Easter Monday and in front of a larger crowd than normal it was disappointing that the fayre provided was absorbing rather than entertaining. It was 6th versus 7th in the table with Boldmere anxious to at least maintain their three points advantage at the conclusion of the game although Coventry Sphinx do have a game in hand. The visitors had the better of the first period with Boldmere coming stronger in the second but neither goalkeeper was seriously troubled throughout the ninety minutes and the final result suggested that.
Manager Stuart Grosvenor, with the Walsall Senior Cup in mind, had to select his team knowing that the final disciplinary threshold of the season was just a couple of days away. Ryan Shaw was omitted for this reason whilst Harry Craven had to serve a one match from his sending off in the semi-final and Joe Lyng was not risked to start with a knee problem. It meant a new central defence pairing of skipper Craig Milligan and J’Cee Abraham and ironically at the end of proceedings it was the first clean sheet kept by the Mikes since 17 November.
The visitors looked the brighter side in the opening half an hour with Ryan Harkin and Joel Grandison causing concern for a lethargic looking home side without really Threatening Lewis Fenney’s goal. Alister Brauns featuring in the unaccustomed position of right back did make one great saving tackle as Lewis Hudson broke through down the left. The best chance of the match fell to the Sphinx substitute Alex Pearson who was an early replacement for Charlie Faulkner. Grandison fed Harkin in the inside left position but Fenney was out quickly to block. The ball ran free to Faulkner who missed the target when it looked easier to score. Brauns in response led a good raid down the right but having cut inside Hudson and crossed the ball saw it go harmlessly out of play past the far post.
In the second half Ben Usher-Shipway clipped an attempt over the bar and likewise Grandison at the other end. Luke Shearer down the left started to pose problems without carving out any clear-cut chances for himself or his colleagues, but to be fair he was subject to several hefty challenges, the final one before he was substituted saw both himself and the visiting skipper Callum Woodward booked. Jack Skinner had replaced the tiring Jason Holmes just prior to this and might have made himself an instant hero but could only manage a weak header from an Usher-Shipway corner. Steve Simpson replaced Usher-Shipway and threatened several times cutting in from the left flank however in keeping with the evening’s lack of goal threat his final shots lacked any venom. Kyle Byrne for Shearer was the final substitute coming on for Shearer but with little time to make any impact. Owen Parry another yellow card victim earlier in the game clipped over the angle but a goal proved elusive to both sides.
The Mikes: Lewis Fenney; Alister Brauns; Reece Mitchell; Cameron Gayle: Craig Milligan; J’Cee Abraham; Ben Usher-Shipway (Steve Simpson 69); Owen Parry; Rikardo Reid; Jason Holmes (Jack Skinner 67; Luke Shearer (Ryan Byrne 83). Subs not used: Harry Buttery, Joe Lyng.