Bromsgrove Sporting vs Ellistown and Ibstock United
A rampant Bromsgrove Sporting started their FA Vase campaign with a record breaking 13-0 annihilation of Ellistown and Ibstock United in the First Qualifying Round at the Victoria Ground.
The instrumental Tony Clarke netted the first, fifth and last of Bromsgroves seven first half goals, with fellow strike partner Sean Brain also in the goals, dispatching two penalty kicks in quick succession. Midfielder Ahmed Ali continued his fine start in a Sporting shirt, with his second and the teams sixth, an audacious, 25 yard lob, being the pick of his brace.
Brain emulated Clarkes three-goal haul by netting his third from the penalty spot before the talented 21 year-old went one better with a nicely taken volley for his fourth. Defender Aaron Roberts followed up on his own saved penalty to send Sporting into double figures, which was followed by two well-taken efforts for substitute Chrisi Conway.
Roberts bagged Bromsgroves thirteenth and final goal with a long range screamer five minutes from home, in what was the side’s biggest victory since their inception in 2010.
Despite the emphatic scoreline, Sporting could easily have fallen behind inside the opening five minutes. Chris Jays lacklustre clearance landed invitingly at the feet of Ellistown frontman Dave Leigh who, fortunately for the Sporting stopper, ballooned his effort well over the crossbar.
The deadlock was broken eight minutes in after some nice build up play by Brain allowed Clarke a simple effort on goal that he comfortably slotted home.
The lead doubled three minutes later following some neat play from Brain, who ably assisted Ali to calmly find the net.
Sporting continued on the offensive and were soon celebrating another goal. The Ellistown defence could not deal with Clarkes physicality and, as a result, goalkeeper Keaton Sharpe brought him down in the area. A booking for him preceded Brain making it 3-0 from the penalty.
The visitors afternoon went from bad to worse when a carbon copy of the third goal saw Keaton Sharpe given a second yellow card for another foul on Clarke, with Brain adding the fourth past makeshift keeper Lee Hitchcock after a mere 19 minutes.
Clarke added to his opener with a delightfully taken effort after skilfully making acres of space for himself before Alis somewhat speculative attempt from distance caught the keeper off guard to notch up a sensational sixth.
Ali and Clarke continued to dazzle the Sporting faithful, teaming up to grab the seventh, Ali placing a sumptuous through ball towards Clarke, who converted with ease.
Any Ellistown hopes that Sporting would ease off into the second half went unheard as Brain scored his third penalty after Clarke was bundled down once again inside the box, which was followed by his fourth and Bromsgroves ninth with an accurate volley from a pinpoint Roberts cross.
The hour mark saw Sporting hit their tenth pass the crestfallen opposition, as Conway was felled in the area. With the pleas of the joyous home fans, Roberts stepped up to take the spot kick. He lacked the accuracy of teammate Brain from 12 yards but managed to convert the rebound after the initial save.
A bullet Conway header came on the 64th minute and a quarter of an hour later, he doubled his tally with a close range effort from a Roberts pass.
Roberts capped off proceedings with a goal worthy of such a display, as his thumping, 20-yard strike flew straight into the top corner.
A performance that will live long in the memory at the Victoria Ground, with Tipton Town awaiting in the next round. Ellistown's fortunes will need to pick up soon, with their league record this season reading zero points from eight games, whilst Sporting will look to carry this forward as they continue the hunt for MFL Division One glory.