The Pitching In Southern League Premier Division Central, Saturday 14th October 2023, 3:00 p.m. kick-off
St Ives Town 0 (0) Bromsgrove Sporting 1 (0) at Westwood Road
Player/manager Mike McGrath was limited as to his options with several players injured or unavailable but it was a strong line-up that started the match on a warm and sunny autumn afternoon in Cambridgeshire. Before the kick-off there was an impeccably observed one-minute silence in memory of those killed in Israel and Palestine.
The home side started stronger with the lively Dan Barton supplying some useful passes to his teammates who spent a fair bit of time in the Sporting half. Full-back Aaron Smith was also proving to be a handful with his long throw-ins into the opposition box.
Sporting though eased themselves into the game without any damage having been done and had first good chance of the game on the 12th minute when Aaron Roberts headed just wide from Conor Tee's corner.
To add to Bromsgrove's injury woes, Aksum White hobbled off after a tackle but Kane Auld proved to be a satisfactory replacement and the half continued with St Ives having the better of possession and chances but failing to capitalise when they were in good positions and so the first 45 minutes concluded all square.
Sporting looked more determined at the beginning of the second period with Callum King-Harmes and Tee both causing problems for the home back four. But the game changed course with 61 minutes gone when centre-back McGrath received a straight red card for a heavy challenge on Charlie Johnson. Tris Dunkley, who was carrying a knock, went off and David Solademi came on into the back four.
Play was then held up for five minutes whilst a new flag was found for the assistant referee having had his broken by a loose ball. When play did resume, St Ives attempted to take advantage of the extra man and for long spells most of the play was in the Bromsgrove half.
At full-time, referee Mr Harvey signalled 12 extra minutes and with two of them gone, Sporting substitute Gus Sanches made a strong run down the left beating two defenders before sending over a sublime cross into the middle of the St Ives penalty area that was met by an unmarked Conor Tee who easily blasted home into an empty net to give Sporting an unexpected lead.
The Ives attempted to equalise matters with the time left but the Rouslers defence held firm though with a minute left substitute Tiago Nassuncolo headed against the post.
So a useful victory for Sporting who climb to 10th in the table. Next up is a home match against the undefeated Mickleover. They will have to lose some time so next Tuesday would be a good time.
Sporting line-up: Ollie Taylor, Aksum White (Kane Auld 29 mins), Ayo Lekuti, Jack Newell, Aaron Roberts, Mike McGrath, Callum King-Harmes (Gus Sanches 83 mins), Keanu Cooper, Tris Dunkley (David Solademi 62 mins), Conor Tee, Luke Rowe (Capt). Unused substitute: Goodluck Eke.
Referee: Mr T Harvey.
Report: Phil Baker