The Pitching In Southern League Premier Division Central, Saturday 4th November 2023, 3:10 p.m. kick-off
AFC Sudbury 2 (1) Bromsgrove Sporting 0 (0) at The MEL Group Stadium
The pitch at Sudbury was partially under water last Friday afternoon after storm Ciarán hit mid-Suffolk leaving the match in doubt but a phone call was received on Saturday morning confirming that the surface was playable.
However it was a fruitless journey for The Rouslers who went down 2 - 0 to a useful Sudbury side who scored in each half for their first home win of the season.
Because the confirmation was late, Sporting were delayed leaving Bromsgrove so the kick-off was put back 15 minutes but that did not seem to bother either side as there was little between the two teams for the first half-hour of the match. Conor Tee for Sporting and Adam Mills for the home side looked the most likely to find the back of the net but chances were few.
On 37 minutes, Callum King-Harmes put a useful angled shot over the bar but it was Sudbury who took the lead one minute later. Akram White for Sporting got caught in possession as he tried to pass to Aaron Roberts; the ball ran loose to Mills who tapped forward to the unmarked Joe Neal who had no problem firing past Ollie Taylor between the sticks for the away team.
Sporting pressed forward for the remainder of the half and Roberts had a shot cleared off the line but apart from that there were few opportunities to score from either side.
The second half continued much as the first with Sudbury having the better of the play and looking dangerous on breaks with Reuben Marshall coming close on the 59th minute. King-Harmes had the best chance of the match so far for Sporting and thought he had scored but his angled shot had gone into the side-netting.
Manager Mike McGrath tried to improve his options with three attacking substitutes but it was the home side who doubled their lead with nine minutes to go when Mills picked up a poor clearance on the left, sent it back into the box where it was met by Neal who despite not hitting cleanly, managed to squeeze the ball between Taylor and the right-hand post.
Just to add to Sporting's woes, Ben O'Hanlon went off with a thigh injury in added time just before substitute Kieron Berry's decent effort was blocked.
So a disappointing afternoon for the Rouslers after a couple of useful matches against Mickleover and Hitchin Town but on the day Sudbury deserved their win and proved to be a better team than their lowly league position suggested.
Sporting line-up: Ollie Taylor, Aksum White, Ben O'Hanlon, Jack Newell (Kieron Berry 57 mins), Aaron Roberts, Kane Auld, Callum King-Harmes (Miro Pais 67 mins), Luke Rowe (Capt), Tris Dunkley (Elliott Ball 77 mins), Conor Tee, Keanu Cooper. Unused substitutes: Ayo Lekuti, Kartell Dawkins.
Sporting Player of the Match: Luke Rowe
Referee: Mr C Poole
Report: Phil Baker