The Pitching-In Southern League Premier Division Central, Tuesday 12th September 2023, 7:45 p.m. kick-off
Long Eaton United 0 (0) Bromsgrove Sporting 1 (1) at The Grange
After basking in tropical weather the previous Saturday, Sporting travelled up to Long Eaton in Derbyshire on Tuesday evening for a mid-week game played in much more Autumnal conditions with spectators swapping shorts and T-shirts for winter coats.
After losing their fourth successive home match, The Rouslers were looking to maintain their unbeaten away record. Compared to the last match against Kettering Town, player/manager Mike McGrath made just two changes to his starting line-up with Callum- King-Harmes replacing the unavailable Keanu Cooper and Kieron Berry replacing Prince Henry up front.
The match started as it continued at quite a fast pace with both teams trying to be the ball up field quickly but forwards failed to capitalise on reasonable service as both defences prevented any attempts on goal. Sporting had the majority of the play but it was the 12th minute before they had their first shot when King-Harmes fired wide of the Long Eaton right-hand post.
Billy Shaw and Miro Pais both put good efforts over the bar but the best chance went the home team on the 29th minute when Morgan Gregg evaded two tackles only to put his eventual shot wide.
With halftime looming The Rouslers finally broke the deadlock with their best move of the half when Shaw sent a quick pass through the middle and into the box for Conor Tee who struck a well-placed shot through the narrow gap between keeper Ben Whiting and the right-hand post to give his team a deserved lead on the 42nd minute.
For the second half, the home side attempted to push forward to get the equaliser but they appeared to lack firepower up front and the Sporting back-line coped with all of the threats offered.
At the other end there were penalty appeals when Tee looked to be pushed over but referee Mr Lavender was uninterested.
Despite shading their opponents, Sporting never looked comfortable sitting on just a one-goal lead. Prince Henry replaced Pais playing up front that improved their attacking options but it was Tee who came closest to extending their lead when his free-kick taken a couple of yards outside the box hit the underside of the bar with Whiting beaten but bounced back into play. Henry picked up the rebound but his shot went into the side netting.
Later in the half, Shaw playing wing-back had a couple of decent efforts as did Berry but neither troubled much the Long Eaton defence.
Mr Lavender played three minutes of added time before blowing for full time. Sporting are now undefeated away this season and their challenge is to repeat this form at home. However next Saturday it is back to FA Cup action with an away tie at Barwell.
Sporting line-up: Ollie Taylor, Aksum White, Billy Shaw, Jack Newell, Aaron Roberts, Mike McGrath, Miro Pais (Prince Henry 60 mins), Callum King-Harmes, Kieron Berry, Conor Tee Luke Rowe (Capt). Unused substitutes: Goodluck Eke, David Solademi, Gus Sanches.
Referee: Mr H Lavender
Sporting Player of the Match: Conor Tee
Report by Phil Baker