Bromsgrove Sporting ventured south of Watford Gap for the first time and came back quite happy having comfortably beaten Sun Sports and propelled themselves into the last 16 of the FA Vase.
It was a mild but damp day just north of Watford and The Rouslers quickly pressed forward taking advantage of the wide pitch to move the ball round.
The home side did not see much possession and on 5 minutes trying to gain it, up-ended Sporting returnee Ahmed Ali instead of the ball about 8 yards outside the box. Keenen Meakin-Richards took the resulting free-kick, floating it beyond the Sun back four where it was picked up by Reece Hewitt who volleyed home from just three yards out to give Sporting a welcome early lead.
Unfortunately on the tenth minute captain and central defender Craig Jones had to be substituted after sustaining an ankle injury.
Sporting though remained firmly in control getting a number of balls in the home penalty but determined defending meant that chances were few and when any shots were on target ‘keeper Matt Evans had them well-covered.
Sun Sports did not get forward that often but when they did, the main danger came from left-winger Dom David who fired just wide of the right-hand on the 27th minute then moments later tested Rouslers’ stopper Neil Leech for the first time but his shot was easily gathered.
Six minutes after the interval, Jason Cowley calmed a few nerves when he hit Sporting’s second with a hard-driven, daisy-cutter from twenty yards out after the Sun defence make a poor clearance
Roll on another five minutes and Sporting went three up as Ali played a neat one-two with Cowley giving the lanky Somalian more than enough time to chip his shot into the net over the two full-backs with their keeper stranded just outside his own goal area.
Pockets of mist began to form on the edges of the pitch but visibility remained fine and if the Sporting fans now felt that they could relax a little they certainly could on the 65th minute as Hewitt scored as good a goal as you could see anywhere in football with his second of the game and Sporting’s 100th of the season. The nifty midfielder picked up the ball just outside his own penalty area and moved purposefully forward averting a couple of tackles in mid-field then another just outside the Sun box. He then rounded a couple of defenders, side-stepped the last two before stroking past ‘keeper Matt Evans Into an empty net to give his side a four-goal lead.
That goal somewhat belatedly seemed to spur the home side into action as they then had their best spell of the match moving the ball round well and testing the Rouslers’ defence but that was well-marshalled by Danny Morris who let nothing past and in fairness allowed Leech a quiet afternoon.
With two minutes added time played Andy Brennan made a final attempt to get his team on the scoresheet but blasted over bar. And with a lot of tired legs on the pitch, little more happened and shortly afterwards referee Mr Simpson blew for full-time and hardly surprising an enormous cheer from the 300 away supporters.
But a final word for Sun Sports who were excellent hosts and credit to their ‘keeper who shook hands with all the away fans behind his goal at the end of proceedings.
Sun Sports: Matthew Evans, Damien Cruickshank, Tom Gibson, Ryan McMahon (Chris Blundon 58 mins), Joe Horwood (Capt.), Garry Wallace, Jamie Speer (Jack Johnson 81 mins), Andy Brennan, Kyle Johnson, Tommy Walsh (George Hobson 68 mins), Dom David.
Substitutes not used: Adam Drakulic, Scott Bonner.
Yellows: Tom Gibson (38 mins), Andrew Brennan (42 mins), Damien Cruickshank (69 mins).
Sporting: Neil Leech, Aaron Roberts, Danny Morris, Sam Wills, Craig Jones (Luke Edwards 10 mins), Ahmed Ali, Keenen Meakin-Richards (Jack Wilson 68 mins), Robbie Bunn, Jason Cowley, Andy Nicol (Luke Shorthouse 58 mins), Reece Hewitt.
Substitutes not used: Chris Lloyd, Tom Craine.
Goals: Reece Hewitt (6, 64 mins), Jason Cowley (51 mins), Ahmed Ali (56 mins).
Yellows: Reece Hewitt (64 mins), Jack Wilson (74 mins), Luke Shorthouse (84 mins).
Referee: Mr D Simpson (West Drayton)
Assistants: Mr A Rafique (Hayes), Mr C Potter (Uxbridge), 4th Official: Mr J Bloxham (Harpenden)
Weather: Mild, misty.
Sport Man of the Match: Danny Morris.