BROMSGROVE Sporting’s previous title challenges will prove useful to the club’s current position at the top of Southern League Premier Central, says manager Brendan Kelly.
A 1-0 success, courtesy of Leon Broadhurst’s 58th-minute header, gave the Rouslers a priceless victory over then-leaders Tamworth last weekend.
The win did not come without a good deal of fortune, however, considering the string of memorable saves made by the impenetrable Daniel Platt in a supreme show of goalkeeping.
Sporting have now taken six points from the title favourites this term, with the latest victory putting them at the summit of the league table for the first time.
Having guided Bromsgrove to this level with a play-off success in his first full season at the helm in 2018/19, the ease at which Sporting have adjusted to life at Step Three has left even Kelly at a loss for words.
“We had an idea of what we wanted to do, we knew that we weren’t going to be looking over our shoulders at the start,” he said.
“But to go into a top-of-the-table clash at this stage, and acquitted ourselves well, the stats don’t lie.
“[Tamworth] should and probably could have been out of sight but for Dan Platt making four or five big saves. They didn’t take their chances and we took ours.”
Although Bromsgrove’s one-point lead at the top may well be short-lived, depending on the outcome of Tamworth’s three games in hand, Kelly believes the experience in the squad of previous promotion charges will be invaluable in the coming months – starting with Saturday’s (3pm) trip to Kings Langley.
“Momentum is huge, we’ve been in this position before at lower levels, so that will help us no end,” he said.
“We beat them [Kings Langley] in early December, but I felt it was a false result, it wasn’t a 4-1 game.
“They created more chances against us than anyone else at the VG this season, so it was not a comfortable win. We’ll have to be wary against them this weekend.”
The long-awaited derby clash with Redditch United then follows on home soil on Tuesday night (7.45pm), a match that appears a straightforward task for the Rouslers on paper considering the Reds’ struggles at the bottom of the division.
Kelly is wary not to take their local rivals lightly though, regardless of their 19-match losing streak in the league, adding: “The way the league table is you’d think it’s a banker – but there are bragging rights at stake.
“Both sets of fans won’t be taking the game lightly, and we won’t want to switch off with Coalville in mind the following weekend.”
One player set to be involved in the next couple of games is Shaquille McDonald, who emerged from the bench for the final 19 minutes in Saturday’s win after returning from injury.
Defender Kyle Lincoln is also back in contention, with the pair providing their manager with plenty of food for thought with his upcoming team selections.
“Shaq is going to be like a new signing for us,” Kelly added.
“He’s been battling a niggling injury for a few months now but he’s a massive boost – we can’t just rely on Mikey [Taylor and Rich [Gregory] to get us the goals.
“Kyle is back in full training, but with Leon and Tom [Taylor] doing really well, he’ll have to fight hard to regain his place.”