Worcester City 5-1 Coventry Sphinx
Midland Football League Premier Division
Rob George reports from the Victoria Ground
HOT-SHOT Dave Reynolds made it 12 goals for the season as free-scoring Worcester City moved up to second in the Midland Football League Premier Division with a 5-1 win over Coventry Sphinx.
The Blue and Whites made it 32 goals in 10 league games and hit five for the second time this campaign in another display which is bound to make their promotion rivals take notice.
Joint bosses Lee Hughes and John Snape made four changes from the side who beat Shepshed Dynamo on Saturday with goalkeeper Tom Palmer replacing Matt Gwynne between the posts.
Matt Fishwick replaced George Forsyth while Alex Tomkinson and Mark Danks replaced Josh Sarmento and Lee Hughes.
City were unbeaten in five going into the game and started well with an early free kick causing disruption in the Sphinx box before Matt Birley fired wide.
The breakthrough came in the ninth minute when Tomkinson crossed from the left to find Reynolds 12 yards out who steered a header past Scott Dutton in the Sphinx goal to give City the lead.
Crosses into the Sphinx box were causing a problem and it was no surprise City added to their lead within three minutes.
Danks sent in a free kick from 30 yards out for skipper Brad Birch to head home past the despairing Dutton to put the Blue and Whites in control.
City were rampant and only a one-handed stop from Dutton from Danks kept the score at 2-0 before the home side were dealt a blow when skipper Birch was forced off with an ankle problem.
Coventry offered little in the first half with striker Jamie Towers heading over before having a shot blocked by Tom Fishwick.
City could have made it three before the break after a flowing four man move saw the ball worked to sub Josh Sarmento whose shot was well-saved by Dutton as the home side went into the break 2-0 in front.
The second half began quietly with City on the front foot and Reynolds had a handball shout waved away by referee Daniel Stokes as the ball was cleared for a corner.
From the set piece Sarmento rose highest to head home a third on 57 minutes which provoked a strong difference of opinion between the Coventry keeper and his defenders.
Further chances went begging for City and Dutton was at his best to deny Nathan Hayward after Tomkinson cut the ball back to him at the edge of the area.
The final 10 minutes packed in enough entertainment to warm the 281 in attendance and began with Sphinx’s Louis Guest being shown a second yellow card for a late challenge on Aaron Griffiths.
Despite the man disadvantage it was the visitors who scored next as an excellent run and shot from Ryan Martin made it 3-1 on 87 minutes.
It was nothing more than a consolation as Griffiths crossed from the left for Reynolds to head home his second of the night before sub James Baldwin burst through in injury time to fire low past the Dutton to round off the rout.
Injuries to Birch and the impressive Jamie Smith will have taken the shine off the victory but City looked solid and confident as they continued their quest for promotion.
It looks like managing the squad will be as much of a challenge for Snape and Hughes as the league this season but the quality is there.
Bottom placed Shawbury United await on Saturday, you wouldn’t bet against City making it a magnificent seven unbeaten.