The Greenbacks edge past Coventry Sphinx in a fiery New Years Day encounter. Leo Stone scored the winning goal against former club while Sphinx also went down to 9 men.
Bedworth United had a setback before the game even kicked off with Joseph Magunda picking up an injury in the warm up, which gave Kyle Burke his first home start of the season.
It was a nervy start from both sides with Coventry Sphinx having early corners that looked dangerous but were well dealt with by Bedworth.
Desean Martin and Nuno Gomes had efforts that slightly threatened Fallows in the Sphinx goal but no real danger occurred.
On the 25th minute, The Greenbacks took a well deserved lead. A poor defensive mix up between ex Greenback Will Edjenguele and Louis Guest gave former Sphinx player Leo Stone time and space to slow past keeper Keelan Fallows to make it 1-0.
Unfortunately for The Greenbacks, striker Nuno Gomes had to be stretchered off on the 38th minute. Gomes had been causing the Sphinx defence problems all game with his pace and directness but the forward looked as though a serious injury to his knee had occurred. With Nuno Gomes only recently coming back from injury, it was gutting to see him carried off.
The closest Coventry Sphinx came in the first half was from a header by Matthew Shipman. A good set piece delivery was met by the striker but the linesman eventually raised his flag before Crane made a smart stop.
Half Time- Bedworth United 1-0 Coventry Sphinx
Coventry Sphinx started the second half the livelier of the two sides but hadn’t created anything of significance.
Leo Stone had a moment of brilliance down the left hand side. He managed to twist and turn away from one defender whilst putting the ball through the legs of another and got a show away but it was blocked and out for a corner.
Bedworth came so close to a second gaol on 65 minutes. A brilliant backheel by Will Grocott put through Kyle Burke in on goal and his shot from a tight angle was lashed just wide.
The Greenbacks really should have doubled their lead midway through the second half. A mazy run into the box from Ryan Moore caused the Sphinx defence confusion and he laid off a great pass to Parrott but his shot from 12 yards drifted just past the post.
The visitors came close to levelling minutes later. A half volley from Jack Downes from the edge of the box whistled just wide.
Substitute Star Mayemba was denied by Fallows, Mayemba tried to get the ball out of his feet and couldn’t get a clean strike on the ball by Fallows still had to get down well to make the save.
Coventry Sphinx were reduced to ten men on 81 minutes. A second bookable offence for Finlay Shorrock saw him dismissed with ten minutes left to play.
In the 90th minute Star Mayemba could’ve sealed the three points. Coventry Sphinx were pushing forward and with ten men there was plenty of space to exploit and Luke Rowe played a brilliant through ball and Mayemba ran through with only the keeper and defender to beat but the striker never looked settled and his shot was closed down and keeper made a save.
In added time, Coventry Sphinx were reduced to 9 men. Jack Downes was given a second yellow card for dissent and the full time whistle blew shortly after.
A good win for The Greenbacks who were in control for most of the game and deserved the three points to start 2024 hoping to have a better home record this year. Leo Stone also scored in the reverse fixture, also a 1-0 win to haunt his former side twice this season.
Bedworth are next at home to Walsall Wood on Tuesday 9th January.
Full time- Bedworth United 1-0 Coventry Sphinx
STARTING LINE UP:
Bedworth: Crane, Moore, L Rowe, Parrott, Ky Burke (Sammons), Morley, Martin, Blackmore, Nuno Gomes Monteiro (Star), Grocott, Stone (Ko Burke)