The Total Motion Midland Football League – Premier Division – Saturday 10th February 2018, 3:00 p.m. kick-off
Rugby Town 1 (1) Bromsgrove Sporting 2 (0) at Butlin Road
Bromsgrove Sporting travelled to sixth place Rugby Town on Saturday looking to put their FA Vase heartache behind them and gain an invaluable three points in their hunt for the Midland Football League Premier Division title.
However, things started off badly for The Rouslers with Sam Belcher scoring inside five minutes from the penalty spot. In-form Richard Gregory equalised on fifty minutes before Jason Cowley struck home the winner twenty minutes later.
Rugby started the brighter of the two sides, with Sporting struggling to get into the game. A dancing run into the box by Ruben Wiggins-Thomas caused skipper Craig Jones to leave a leg out and referee Mr Kidd had no hesitation to point to the spot.
Sam Belcher managed to sneak the ball past the grasping hand of shot-stopper Reece Francis into the left hand side of the goal.
After the wake-up call, Sporting began to grow back into the game and Jason Cowley was unlucky to see his glancing header bounce wide of the post.
A darting run from ex-Stourbridge man Drew Canavan allowed him to release a left-footed drive which Town ‘keeper Niall Cooper was equal to.
The long-awaited second half introduction of fans favourite Ahmed Ali seemed to turn the game in Sporting’s favour as only minutes later they were level.
A high foot was deemed illegal by Kidd and a spot-kick was awarded. Richard Gregory stepped up to rifle in his fifteenth goal for Bromsgrove in only twelve appearances.
Continued pressure from the Rouslers reaped rewards in the 70th minute. A cross-box header from Gregory found its way to Cowley who struck it on the volley into the bottom right corner to break his goal drought.
Rugby were almost level immediately. Sam Lockley found himself bearing down on goal but his low effort was blocked heroically on the line by Jones.
Moments later Cowley was denied his second as Rugby captain James Dance got to Gregory’s low cross just before the striker.
Rugby began to apply pressure and on 85 minutes non-league veteran David Kolodynski was denied by Francis’ superb acrobatics as his effort was destined for the top right corner.
Bromsgrove held on for a vital three points taking them above Coleshill Town with a game in hand who lost at home to Worcester City.
Rugby: Niall Cooper, Jeff Woodward, Ben Ashby, James Dance, Sean Castleton, Sam Beasley (Aiden Point 48 mins), Stuart Hendrie (David Kolodynski 78 mins), Sam Belcher, Sam Lockley, Ruben Wiggins-Thomas, Isaac Cooper.
Subs not used: Harry Holloway, Conor Wright, Gerard McGahey.
Goal: Sam Belcher (5 mins, penalty)
Yellows: Ben Ashby (48 mins), Sam Beasley (56 mins), Sam Belcher (78 mins)
Sporting: Reece Francis, Aaron Roberts, Josh Quaynor, Dan Preston, Craig Jones (Capt.), Danny Morris, Liam Holt (Ahmed Ali 46 mins), Robbie Bunn, Jason Cowley, Richard Gregory (Sean Brain 80 mins), Drew Canavan (Max Loveridge 73 mins).
Subs not used: John Pykett, Wade Malley.
Goals: Richard Gregory (52 mins, penalty), Jason Cowley (68 mins).
Yellows: Liam Holt (29 mins), Dan Preston (58 mins)
Referee: Mr T Kidd (Coventry)
Assistants: Mr I Mitchell (Rugby), Mr S Tibke (Warwick)
Sporting Man of the Match: Danny Morris
Weather: Cool, drizzle.
Reporter: Ben Fox