Evesham United 0
Bromsgrove Sporting 6
Worcestershire Senior Invitation Cup
Report by Ben Tyler and Max Banner
BRENDAN Kelly has paid tribute to the travelling Bromsgrove Sporting faithful after cruising past Evesham in Monday’s Senior Cup semi-final.
The “unplayable” Charlie Dowd scored a hat-trick, while Mike Taylor, Shaquille McDonald and a penalty from captain Richard Gregory ensured the Rouslers’ place in the final against the winner of Alvechurch v Kidderminster Harriers.
Sporting manager Kelly admitted he was not expecting such a one-sided affair at the The Spiers & Hartwell Jubilee Stadium.
“I think we spoke before the game about being unsure of what sort of challenge they would give us,” said Kelly.
“They’re doing well in their league, and have a relatively new management team in charge, but it turned out to be an extremely comfortable evening.
“We managed to get minutes into players and overall it was a great win.
“We want to dedicate the win to our fans. They turned up in their numbers yet again, our away support at this level is unparalleled.”
After a cagey opening quarter, Sporting grew into the game with half-chances falling for Greg Mills and Harry Higginson, before they eventually took a 25th-minute lead from the penalty spot.
A foul in by United defender Tom Chamberlain on Josh Quaynor handed Gregory the chance to bury the spot-kick from 12 yards on his 99th appearance for the club.
Bromsgrove found a second 11 minutes later, when Kieren Westwood played through Taylor, who lashed into the bottom corner after holding off his marker.
It was three on 38 minutes, after an attempt from Mills inadvertently found the run of Dowd, who guided the ball into the net with his head.
Sporting adding a fourth six minutes after the restart. Again it was Mills and Dowd who linked up once more, with the latter touching down the midfielder’s cross before picking out the bottom corner.
Liam Spink threatened to net a fifth when his half-volley struck the post, while Evesham’s Daniele Bragoli and Paul Sullivan should have done better with efforts that failed to trouble visiting ‘keeper Max Beardmore.
Dowd had his hat-trick 13 minutes from time when his 20-yard effort arrowed into the corner, out of reach of the despairing Lochlan Robertson.
The rout was completed with nine minutes to play after McDonald received from Will Shorrock before hammering the ball home from close range.
Banbury United 0
Bromsgrove Sporting 1
Southern League Premier Central
Report by Max Banner
MIKE Taylor’s goal on the stroke of half-time was the difference as the defensively resolute Rouslers continued their stunning away form with a slender victory at Banbury on Saturday.
The Oxfordshire hosts started the game with intent at the Banbury Plant Hire Community Stadium, but were unable to truly threaten Sporting goalkeeper Dan Platt.
John Mills and Greg Kaziboni both struck early attempts wide for the Puritans, while Craig Fasanmade was unable to take his chance when being denied by Platt in a one-on-one.
It was a costly miss, as top scorer Taylor fired the visitors into the lead moments later in the 39th minute.
After outmuscling his marker, Richard Gregory raced forward to the edge of the penalty area before playing an inch-perfect pass through to his strike partner, who guided the ball past the onrushing Jack Harding.
Taylor almost had a second four minutes later after a couple of attempts – the first of which was cleared off the line by Charlie Hawtin.
Giorgio Rasulo threatened to haul the hosts level with a free-kick that was batted away by Platt after the restart, while a succession of chances for Kaziboni, Ravi Shamsi and Fasanmade midway through the half also proved fruitless.
With the clock ticking down, Will Shorrock and Shaquille McDonald both tested Harding, followed by a Taylor strike as Sporting secured a 10th away league win in 15 matches.