Bromsgrove Sporting strengthened their grip at the top of the Midland Football League Division One on Saturday afternoon, with a 1-0 win over title rivals Leicester Road.
A Robbie Bunn strike shortly into the second half was the difference between the two teams, with a resilient defensive performance from the Rouslers proving vital in securing a crucial three points.
The win saw Sporting stretch the gap between themselves and Leicester to six points in third, with Atherstone currently filling second, on a point less and three games more played than Bromsgrove, after beating highflying Hinckley.
The opening stages of the encounter were somewhat cagey, although Sporting were certainly the dominant side, a theme that would continue throughout the whole of the ninety minutes.
The first meaningful chance of the game came from the prolific Jason Cowley, who leapt high from a Liam Spink cross, but unfortunately could only guide his header well over the crossbar.
Cowley’s strike partner Luke Shorthouse had an opportunity of his own two minutes later, however he had his shot charged down and well saved by keeper Will Highland, arguably Leicester’s best player.
Sporting centre backs Craig Jones and Luke Edwards were enjoying a very accomplished first forty-five, making sure they were first to every tackle and header.
Edwards had a half chance to open the deadlock on the 42nd minute, but his chipped cross only managed to land on top of the goal.
Ahmed Ali had a very similar opportunity on the stroke of half time, although he too failed with his attempt, the ball nestling on the wrong side of the goal.
The score was goalless at half time, the home side having created very few proper chances for how much they dictated proceedings.
Whatever manager Paul Smith said at the interval to his team must have worked the oracle, as the Rouslers came out all guns blazing and bagged the opener.
A lovely move resulted in the powerful Aaron Roberts delivering a sumptuous cross towards Bunn in the box, who got a sweet connection with the ball and hooked it into the net.
The Sporting juggernaut really kicked into gear following Bunn’s goal, with chances galore in the minutes that followed.
Firstly, Bunn had another shot that he could only divert wide before Reece Hewitt had a cracking half volley well saved by the legs of Leicester stopper Highland.
The onslaught would continue as the hour mark struck, with Cowley being fouled by Highland after being nicely played through by Shorthouse.
The resulting penalty was fiercely struck by Ali but could only find the legs of Highland, who was the sole reason why Leicester were still in with a squeak of getting a result with half an hour remaining.
Leicester’s best opportunity came courtesy of a speculative, long range shot by defender Nick Hawkins, which was deflected before being well dealt with by Kidderminster loanee Jonathan Brown between the sticks.
As the minutes passed by, the nerves started to grow somewhat, but Sporting still continued to pull the strings.
Ali had a header cleared off the line following a delicious Bunn corner, which was followed by Bunn himself having a golden opportunity, taking it around keeper Highland, only to have his shot on goal blocked.
Cowley had a header fly well over and a free kick comfortably saved but it wouldn’t matter ultimately, with Sporting bagging the all important three points ahead of massive upcoming FA Vase fixture against Bristol Manor Farm.