This was not a vintage performance by Sporting but a lot better than the vinegary after-taste of last week's game and although not a pretty match, at least it was a win.
Manager Paul Smith was quick to strengthen his squad following the defeat to Leicester Road signing 'keeper Chris Jay from Tividale and former Fairfield Villa striker Connor Collins from Halesowen Town and Collins was in action as early as the 2nd minute when his shot was blocked after a good interchange with Luke Dugmore.
Atherstone then had a decent spell with Jake Brown putting a good ball across the face of the goal but there was nobody there to meet it.
On 24 minutes Liam Spink and Collins combined well to supply Josh McKenzie but the big striker fired over.
After having the better of the play, the visitors finally took a deserved lead 11 minutes later when Sam Wills hit a free-kick to the far post that Craig Jones powered home from just a few yards out.
Having gained the lead and boosted their confidence Sporting dominated the remainder of the half but failed to capitalise on their advantage with both Dugmore and Collins coming close but failing to find the back of the net.
After their half-time refreshments, the home side came out more fired up and obviously looking for at least the equaliser with Michael Bloore testing Jay on 47 minutes with a hard drive that the 'keeper did well to save diving low.
At the other end, Collins should have done better four minutes later when he received a cross in the box but appeared to hesitate expecting a whistle for off-side then blasted his effort over the bar.
However Sporting were still edging this match and with The Adders a little exposed at the back, Simon Fitter sent one of his skilful long-range passes up-field to Collins who dummied centre-back Harrison White then rounded keeper Phil Smith before slotting home to open his account with his new club.
As often happens at this level of football several substitutes looked to upset the balance of play and now Atherstone had the upper hand as Sporting re-enforced their back-line but it was not enough to stop The Adders getting one back with four minutes of time left. Gregg Webb having moved from defender to attacking midfield hit a cross from the right to the near post that substitute Ryan Ball nodded home with the Sporting defence stranded.
That though was the last threat from the home side as The Rouslers re-asserted their authority for the remainder of the match. In fact with better finishing they could have had another couple of goals but Collins hit another shot over the bar and youngster Ethan Hanks coming on as a substitute two minutes from the end had his shot cleared off the line.
With two key players in Reece Hewitt and Sean Brain missing along with two new starters, Sporting were never going to be the finished product but they ground out a win against a useful Atherstone side who managed to contain their opponents for much of the match but failed to create enough chances themselves.
Atherstone (red/white striped shirts, red shorts, red socks: Phil Smith, Kurtis Mewies, Ashley Gray, Gregg Webb (Capt), Harrison White, George Wesley (Lee Waters 70 mins), Liam Bailey, Jake Brown, Kyle Turner (Ryan Ball 80 mins), Kyle Bishop (Alex Baird 61 mins), Michael Bloore.
Substitute not used: Ashley Thorpe,
Goal: Ryan Ball (83 mins)
Yellows: Kurtis Mewies (26 mins), Jake Brown (63 mins)
Sporting (green/white shirts, green shorts and socks): Chris Jay, Aaron Roberts, Brendan Kelly (Capt), Simon Fitter, Craig Jones, Luke Dugmore (Ollie Gibson 80 mins), Liam Spink, Sam Wills, Connor Collins, Josh McKenzie (Jamie McKeon 75 mins), Dale Edwards (Ethan Hanks 88 mins).
Substitutes not used: Scott Smith, James Poulter.
Goals: Craig Jones (35 mins), Connor Collins (73 mins).
Yellow: Liam Spink (38 mins), Luke Dugmore (60 mins).
Referee: Mr T Reeves (Coventry)
Assistants: Mr A Lenton (Bedworth), Mr D Hancock (Warwick)
Weather: Warm, sunny.
Sporting MoM: Craig Jones
Report: Phil Baker