The Evo-Stik League South Division One Central – Saturday 30th March 2019 3:00 p.m. kick-off
Didcot Town 1 (0) Bromsgrove Sporting 2 (1) at The Loop Meadow Stadium
A warm, sunny day greeted the Bromsgrove team on their arrival in mid-Oxfordshire but a bone-dry, uneven pitch did not bode well for a skilful match.
However both teams got to work early on with the home side forcing a corner in the first minute but it was the Sporting who got their noses in front on the sixth minute when Charlie Dowd floated over an inch-perfect corner to the far post that was met by an unmarked Jason Cowley whose bullet header into the top right-hand corner of Leigh Bedwell’s net gave the ‘keeper no chance.
The goal seemed to give Sporting some confidence that they could go further and that nearly happened couple of minutes later when Kieren Westwood’s shot was parried by Bedwell.
However as the half went on so Didcot themselves gained confidence and for periods kept their opponents pinned back in their own half but by half-time they had not managed to get one back. The closest they came was a bicycle kick from Felipe Barcelos that went just over the bar and an angled shot from Callum McNish that Jono Brown, between the sticks for the Rouslers, did well to keep out with his feet.
Hardly surprising after the interval, the home side attempted to take the game to Sporting and they succeeded on the 53rd minute with a skilful effort from John Dennis who managed to weave his way through the Sporting defence before hitting a low shot past Brown into the bottom left-hand of the net.
Smelling blood, Didcot went after the lead, forcing Brown to make another good stop with his feet from Barcelos then moments later McNish posted a good effort from just outside the box that went marginally wide of the left-hand post.
Sporting though were interested in re-gaining the lead and that came on the 64th minute when a quick move up field saw Josh Quaynor slide a pass wide to Dowd who had plenty of time and space to record his seventh goal of the season with a tap-in from 10 yards out.
With the away policy now to defend the narrow lead further attempts were few from either side though Nathan Hayward’s pile-driver from just over 20 yards went narrowly over the bar whilst Jack Wilson’s attempt to get on the score sheet resulted in a weak shot after taking the ball from well inside his own half.
So the score line remained after five minutes added by Mr Martin. After the match manager Brendan Kelly praised his side saying “it was a hard-fought but deserved win and we had to soak up a lot of pressure on a poor surface”.
Didcot: Leigh Bedwell, Sam Barder, Cameron McNeil, Ollie Thomas (Andrew Ballard 81 mins), Luke Carnell, Adam Learoyd (Capt.), John Dennis , Callum McNish, Felipe Barcelos, Lance Williams (Seth Humphries 79 mins), Morgan Williams (Greg Hackett 79 mins).
Substitute not used: Lewis Hayden.
Goal: John Dennis (53 mins)
Yellows: Lance Williams (5 mins), Cameron McNeil (90+5 mins)
Sporting: Jono Brown, Liam Spink, Jack Wilson, Nathan Hayward (Jake Heath 85 mins), Tom Taylor, Kyle Lincoln, Charlie Dowd, Josh Quaynor, Jason Cowley, Richard Gregory (Capt, Cameron Peters 65 mins), Kieren Westwood (John Pykett 65 mins).
Substitutes not used: Dan O’Sullivan, Tom Rankin.
Goals: Jason Cowley (6 mins), Charlie Dowd (64 mins).
Yellows: Josh Quaynor (16 mins), Jack Wilson (58 mins), Charlie Dowd (62 mins).
Referee: Mr R Martin (Bristol)
Assistants: Mr I Christodoulou (Oxford), Mr K Bungay (Bicester).
Sporting MoM: Tom Taylor
Weather: Warm, white cloud.
Report: Phil Baker