The Pitching-In Southern League Premier Division Central, Saturday 19th August 2023, 3:00 p.m. kick-off
Leiston 2 (1) Bromsgrove Sporting 3 (1) at The Watson & Hillhouse Victory Road Stadium
For the second week in succession, Bromsgrove Sporting went on their travels and came back with an unforeseen and deserved win. A victory at the Victory Road Stadium no less in the Suffolk town of Leiston.
It was a warm and humid day with strong wind blowing down the pitch at the kick-off and in the initial stages was quite a fast-paced game with both teams paying visits to each other's penalty areas but nothing came from them.
On the 8th minute, Sporting left-back Ben O'Hanlon had a clash of heads and had to go off to be patched up, returning with a bandage round his head looking like Terry Butcher from 30 years ago but that did not prevent him from playing a full part in the game that was based on both teams moving the ball round with quick and accurate passing.
Although the home side were enjoying slightly better of the play it was the Rouslers who got their noses in front on the 21st minute with Aaron Roberts heading in Conor Tee's corner at the back post.
The lead though only lasted three minutes as Jamar Loza struck a delightful, curling equaliser from just outside the box going wide of Ollie Taylor's right arm in the Bromsgrove goal.
That scoreline remained at half-time with Leiston having more of the possession but unable to take advantage and penetrate a resilient Sporting back-line.
Eight minutes into the second half and Sporting were back in front again. This time it was Keanu Cooper scoring his first for the club when he hammered in a rebound from the edge of the Leiston penalty area.
From then on play continued as before much of it in midfield as both teams defended well making it a frustrating afternoon for the forwards who saw little of the ball.
On 78 minutes Gustavo Sanches replaced O'Hanlon for Sporting, scoring with his first touch and within a minute of being on the pitch, when Roberts' header was squared from the back post to Sanches who gratefully nodded home from a short distance out.
With legs tiring, the pace slowed and both teams were finding more space and getting the ball forward. Sporting had the best opportunities to increase their lead when Prince Henry smashed against the post with six minutes to go then 60 seconds later the hard-working striker just failed to slot home following a one-to-one with Leiston keeper, Sam Donkin.
Seven minutes were added for stoppage time and the home side managed to get one back with an additional five minutes played, Loza again the scorer from close range. It was a nervous period for the travelling supporters especially when Leiston gained a free-kick on the edge of the box with seconds to go. However there was a collective sigh of relief as the set-piece went out of play and referee Mr Scott blew for full time moments later.
To put this win into context, the defeat for Leiston was their first at home for 20 matches and goes back 355 days, so as the cliché goes, a good day at the office for the Rouslers.
Sporting line-up: Ollie Taylor, Aaron Roberts, Ben O'Hanlon (Gustavo Sanches 78 mins), Luke Rowe (Capt), David Solademi, Mike McGrath, Aksum White (Callum King-Harmes 59 mins), Keanu Cooper (Kane Auld 84 mins), Prince Henry, Conor Tee, Billy Shaw. Unused substitutes: Goodluck Eke, Ade Francis.
Referee: Mr M Scott
Sporting Player of the Match: Conor Tee
Report: Phil Baker