An entertaining match and useful practice for both sides as Stratford came out on top by a single goal writes Phil Baker.
For the second successive match Sporting had a number of players absent whilst Marshall Willock made his debut in the centre of defence after playing against the Rouslers for Leamington last Saturday.
Sam Wills had the first effort of the match for the away side on the 3rd minute that Louis Connor in the Stratford goal saved low. From then on the home side started to dominate proceedings with Edwin Ahenkorah forcing Reece Francis to make a good save first from his free-kick then from a follow-up shot on the 11th minute.
A couple of minutes later and Stratford were in the lead when burley striker Mike Taylor held the ball well whilst waiting for reinforcements then neatly tapping to Ben Stephens who curled his shot in the top corner of FrancisŽ net from 15 yards out.
John Pykett should have done better than to scuff his shot for Bromsgrove on the 24th minute but the home side always looked more likely to extend their lead.
On 31 minutes, Ahenkorah fired a beautiful angled shot that beat Francis but hit the underside of the bar before bouncing tamely back into play. Then just before the interval, the same player looked to have been tripped just inside the box but referee Mr Cheosiaua waved play on.
After the break, Sporting looked a lot eager and more organised and they were rewarded with just another couple of minutes on the clock when the excellent Josh Quaynor made a run down the left to the by-line, hooked his cross into the goal area where a waiting Wade Malley easily drove home.
However that just acted as a wake-up call for Stratford who piled on the pressure for the next 13 minutes and got their lead back when Ahenkorah curled a neat shot over the Sporting defence into the top right hand corner giving Francis no chance.
Both sides continued to exchange blows but despite a handful of shots on target there was nothing to cause either defence many problems.
So despite losing by the odd goal Sporting can be pleased with their performance. For Stratford they looked to be a useful outfit but they have one more friendly this Saturday before their season starts for real.
Stratford: Louis Connor, Charlie Evans, Lee Thomas, Andy Gallinagh (Capt), Loyiso Recci, Guy Clark, Dan Summerfield (Liam Francis 63 mins), Ben Stephens, Mike Taylor (Jazz Luckie 57 mins), Will Grocutt, Edwin Ahenkorah (Justin Marsden 57 mins).
Substitutes not used: George Washbourne, James Hancocks, Christiano Florin.
Goals: Ben Stephens (11 mins), Edwin Ahenkorah (54 mins)
Sporting: Reece Francis, Jordan Jones, Josh Quaynor, Max Loveridge (Josh Fulford 75 mins), Marshall Willock, Danny Morris (Brendan Kelly 75 mins), John Pykett, Aaron Roberts, Wade Malley, Sam Wills (Matt Savage 70 mins), Jack Wilson (Ben Birch 46 mins).
Substitute not used: Jason Cowley
Goal; Wade Malley (47 mins)
Referee: Mr R Cheosiaua (Redditch)
Assistants: Mr M Homer Rednal), Mr P Sparrow (Evesham)
Crowd: ~ 170
Weather: Warm, dry.