BROMSGROVE Sporting head into this Saturday’s trip to Berhamsted (3pm) on the back of two victories over the Easter weekend.
The Rouslers ensured they would remain unbeaten for the entirety of the season at the Victoria Ground, after beating Coleshill Town 2-0 on Easter Monday in the second of the two games, writes Max Banner.
Second-half strikes from Kieren Westwood and Richard Gregory sent the Rouslers on the way to victory in their 19th and final regular season fixture at home this season, before they return with a play-off semi-final next Wednesday.
The first half was a rather abject affair in truth, with both sides failing to get a proper foothold in the game.
Reece Leek and Giovanni Dainty had a couple of chances for the visitors, whilst Charlie Dowd caused the Coleshill defence trouble in the opening stages, firing a shot from an acute angle that drew a simple save from Paul Hathaway.
The best opportunities came inside the final 10 minutes of the half.
Firstly, Nathan Hayward struck a ferocious effort from 25 yards after a fine Bromsgrove move that seemed destined for the top corner until Hathaway intervened with a tremendous save.
Then, on the stroke of half time, Coleshill almost took the lead, when Matthew Gardner appeared to have successfully rounded Jono Brown, but the Sporting stopper’s outstretched palm stopped him in his tracks.
Three minutes after the restart brought another golden chance for the Colemen as they were awarded a penalty, following Kyle Lincoln’s foul on Amarvir Sandhu inside the box.
However, Brown managed to keep out the poor spot kick from Leek to keep the scores level.
The penalty save appeared to have galvanised the Rouslers, who found themselves in front soon after.
Westwood capitalised on some sloppy defending from the visitors to pounce on the ball and slam a shot hard and low into the net with a crisp half volley.
Four minutes later, the lead was doubled.
It arrived in tremendous fashion too, as, from 25 yards out, Gregory darted into a pocket of space and subsequently drove a venomous left-footed drive low into the bottom corner.
Gregory and Cowley both had chances to add to the tally, but failed to convert their respective lobbed efforts.
Substitute Will Shorrock emerged into the fray to mark his return from a shoulder injury sustained in the reverse fixture on New Year’s Day, and impressed with a fine cameo performance.
His highlight was a venture down the wing that resulted in the forward darting inside past a defender and unleashing a shot on goal that was tipped over by Hathaway.
Coleshill had a late chance to reduce the deficit, but Sandhu’s well struck effort from range was met with a strong palm by Brown as the Rouslers kept a third successive clean sheet.
IN THE first of the Easter weekend games, the travelling Rouslers faithful were treated to perfect sunny conditions at Aylesbury United’s Meadow Ground, and were provided with even more cause for optimism after a fine 3-0 victory in Buckinghamshire, writes Phil Baker.
Despite a long journey south, Sporting burst out of the blocks much quicker and opened the game with a second minute lead, had Jason Cowley not sliced his shot wide of the left-hand post – following a superb though ball by Richard Gregory.
However, the small posse of away fans did not have to wait much longer for something to cheer about.
A minute after the opening chance, goalkeeper Jono Brown hoisted a long ball through the middle that found Cowley, and, after side-steeping opposing stopper Archie Davis, placed a neat shot into the bottom-right corner of the hosts net.
That seemed to wake up The Ducks, who enjoyed a decent spell for the next few minutes and were unlucky not to draw themselves level in the 11th minute.
Brown was forced into making a save with his feet to deny Jake Bewley, with the rebound then cleared off the line by Josh Quaynor.
Sporting always looked dangerous in the opposition half and almost struck a second through Cowley five minutes later, but he saw his free-kick bounced off the top of the cross bar and out.
After the interval, a 20-yard strike from Dan O’Sullivan forced Davis into a great save in the 53rd minute, but the Aylesbury shot stopper was not quite as fortunate when finding himself beaten for the second time of the afternoon ten minutes later.
Quaynor’s threaded pass cut through the hosts midfield and set free Cowley, who fired an angled shot which Davis could only parry to substitute Cameron Peters – allowing him to tap home from a few yards out.
Sporting continued to dominate after a lull in the action mid-way through the half, and it was no great surprise when Jack Wilson got number three – and his first of the season – following a fine solo run.
He drove his way through the Duck’s defence to bear down on goal before unleashing an unstoppable drive into the corner past Davis.
A final chance of the game fell to John Pykett, who fired over the bar, before the referee brought an end to proceedings and ensure Sporting went home with the points in their penultimate away fixture of the season.