Coventry Sphinx 3-4 Stratford Town Youth
Midland Floodlit Youth League Cup
Report by Bryan Hale
BRADLEY West’s hat-trick was the highlight as Town Youth started their defence of the MFYL League Cup by coming out on top in a seven-goal thriller against Coventry Sphinx on Thursday evening.
The tie had been switched to Sphinx Drive after last week’s postponement when the Knights Lane pitch was waterlogged, but Darren Timms’ side went on the attack straight from the kick off with West and Tommy Harrington both going close early on.
And it was West who gave Town a fourth-minute lead, scoring direct from a corner which totally deceived the Sphinx keeper who could only help it into the net.
Sphinx responded and equalised almost immediately with a stunning long-range strike from Tahje Smith, but Town hit back to regain the lead through a smart Harrington strike on 17 minutes before Sphinx levelled it all up again with a towering header from Danny Bull on the half hour mark.
It remained 2-2 at half time but Town moved up a gear after the break.
West finished off a slick six-pass move to put the visitors ahead, and with Town now bossing the possession both Jack Ballinger and Callum Gallagher had chances to extend the lead.
West then completed his treble in fine style with a clinical low drive into the bottom corner with 20 minutes to go to give Town a two-goal cushion.
Sphinx kept trying and pulled one back though Dan Kelly deep into added time but Town deservedly went through to the next round.