25th Aug, 2019

Places still up for grabs says Rouslers boss Kelly

Ben Tyler 1st Aug, 2019

BROMSGROVE Sporting manager Brendan Kelly says that there are three or four places still up for grabs in his starting line-up, as the Rouslers come towards the close of their pre-season schedule.

A 3-2 victory over Victoria Ground tenants Worcester City followed a 2-1 win in the first home fixture of the season against AFC Wakefield on Thursday, while Tuesday’s scheduled friendly against League Two Cheltenham Town was rained off.

Kelly says that he will attempt to arrange another friendly despite the difficulties in finding an opponent so close to the start of the season, but failing that will fit in another training session.

The Rouslers boss gave his thoughts on the clash with Worcester, and said it was another good learning curve for his side.

“We learned quite a bit, we tried out a lot of different things, I wasn’t overly pleased with the performance to be honest,” said Kelly.

“But it was just another good run out for us.”

It was Worcester who opened the scoring after a quarter of an hour, when a long ball caught out the Sporting defence and fell to Lockett, who, after creating a pocket of space, fired the ball into the bottom corner past Jono Brown.

Richard Gregory hauled the Rouslers back on level terms when swerving a free kick across the keeper and into the far corner of the net, ensuring the two sides went in level at the break.

The hosts found themselves in front three minutes after the restart when Kieren Westwood capped off a stunning team move to find the net, despite the Worcester goalkeeper taking the sting out of the shot.

It was a just reward for the chances that Bromsgrove had spurned in the first half, but soon after, the game was level once more.

A cross from the right was controlled by Lockett, before being slammed into the roof of the net for his second of the game, much to Sporting’s frustration.

But with 17 minutes remaining, Bromsgrove found the winner.

Josh Quaynor nudged the ball into the path of Shaquille McDonald, who proceeded to turn towards goal, wind his way past a defender and then roll the ball past the onrushing keeper to make it four wins from five in pre-season.

Sporting face AFC Dunstable in their final warm-up game on Saturday (2.30pm) at the Victoria Ground, and Kelly says that he will still be running the rule over his side right up until the first day of the season.

“I’ve got an idea of the starting 11, there are probably three or four places up for grabs still,” said the Bromsgrove manager.

“Seven or eight of the starters are known, me and Andy will see how people perform, it’s almost decided but we’ll be taking everything into consideration – including pre-season attendance.”

Off the pitch, business is still being pursued before the season gets underway, with one new signing set to be announced imminently, and a potential defensive addition also being looked at.

Kelly also gave an update on the two trialists at the club, and said: “One of the lads picked up a bit of an injury, and the other lad wasn’t offered a deal.”

One of the areas for improvement that he will be looking to address is the mentality of the squad, which, although was an area in which Sporting excelled in winning promotion last term, is one that the Rouslers boss feels can still be worked on.

“We improved massively last year, but our mentality is still short at this level,” said Kelly.

“We did it in bucket loads last season, but we need to up it again.

“The quality is there, there’s no question about that, but that’s something that can be improved.”

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