After an exhilarating and triumphant campaign, Bromsgrove Sporting’s season rather fizzled out as they failed to find the net during 90 minutes of play then succumbed to a defeat on a penalty shoot-out writes Phil Baker.
Sporting fielded a strong team against their lower division opponents and an unseasonably cold wind blew down the pitch at the New Mill Ground but clearly the aim was to get an early goal. Shane Maydew in goal for the home side made a good stop with his feet from a Robbie Bunn shot on the 7th minute then a couple of minutes later nearly contributed to an own-goal as his clearance bounced of his own centre-back, Richard Hopkins before narrowly missing the right-hand post.
Jack Wilson had to go off early with an injury on the 11th minute leaving The Rouslers with two non-specialist full-backs in Liam Spink and Sam Wills as substitute Ahmed Ali moved in mid-field. Sporting pretty much remained camped in their rivals half but with Coton defending well and playing nine men behind the ball chances were few.
Indeed it was Coton who had a couple of decent chances themselves from breaks. The first on 18 minute saw Wills block a shot from Josh Sherrington then 10 minutes later Neil Leech between the sticks for Sporting tipped over a powerful drive from the same player.
On the 36th minute, Sporting could have taken lead as again Maydew’s clearance ricocheted, this time of Sporting striker Chrisi Conway only the for ball to bounce of the top of the bar.
After the interval play contained much as before with Sporting getting balls in to the penalty box but rarely as precisely as they wanted, allowing Coton to soak up any danger. When the away side but get shots on target they found a row of opponents on the goal line who cleared everything thrown at them.
As the minutes ticked away Chris Lloyd and John Pykett came on and provided some width for the Rouslers but despite stretching their opponents’ defence failed to open them up enough to get the goal needed.
Referee Mr Rodway played and extra 6 minutes before blowing for full-time much to the jubilation of the home side, who celebrated a hard-working and well-earned draw having stuck to a game-plan to thwart their higher division opponents and it worked.
For the penalty shoot-out, Josh Sherrington’s effort was saved by Neil Leech but Jason Cowley amazingly fired wide the left-hand post. Maydew then saved low from Liam Spink allowing Alex Potts for Coton to make the winning strike.
So a disappointing end of the season for Sporting. They did not play badly but lacked the spark needed to light up the match and overcome their resilient opponents’ dogged defending.
Coton Green: Shane Maydew, Matt Green, Michael Hicks (Alex Potts 46 mins), Bobbie Grayson (Jake Walker 77 mins), Richard Hopkins, Sam Jones, Adam Goodby (Capt), Alex Gough (Tom Archer 80 mins), Andy Millan, Josh Sherrington, Dave Yonwin.
Substitutes not used: Frazer Mullis, Steve Tonks.
Yellows: Matt Green (59 mins), Bobbie Grayson (68 mins), Adam Goodby (68 mins)
Sporting: Neil Leech, Liam Spink, Jack Wilson (Ahmed Ali 11 mins), Keenen Meakin-Richards (Chris Lloyd 75 mins), Craig Jones (Capt), Luke Edwards, Sam Wills, Robbie Bunn, Jason Cowley, Chrisi Conway (John Pykett 75 mins), Reece Hewitt.
Substitutes not used: Max Tranter, Alfie Bloomer.
0 - 1 Sam Wills
0 - 1 Neil Leech saved from Josh Sherrington
0 - 1 Jason Cowley wide of the left-hand post
1 - 1 Adam Goodby
2 - 1 Chris Lloyd
2 - 2 Sam Jones
2 - 2 Shane Maydew saved from Liam Spink
2 - 3 Dave Yonwin
3 - 3 Ahmed Ali
3 - 4 Alex Potts
Referee: Mr P Rodway (Rubery)
Assistants: Mr M Powell (Rednal), Miss S Albrighton (Rubery)
Weather: Cold, breezy
Sporting Man of the Match: Luke Edwards