Yaxley 3-6 Bromsgrove Sporting
Bromsgrove gear up for hosting Bedford Town (Saturday, 3pm) on the back of a rout in Cambridgeshire, after Jason Cowley’s second consecutive hat-trick set Sporting on the way for all three points.
The Rouslers had the edge in the initial stages but it was the home outfit who took the lead on 16 minutes against the run of play.
Charley Sanders picked up a pass just outside the penalty area, wheeled round into a shooting position before hitting a delightful shot into the top-left corner.
Three minutes later, the Cuckoos almost doubled their lead from Liam Hook’s free-kick, but for a reflex save by Brown with his feet.
However, Sporting took the game to their opponents and an equaliser duly came on the 28th minute when Richard Gregory fired a low drive from Charlie Dowd’s cross.
Sporting’s second arrived just a couple of minutes later when Kieran Westwood picked up a loose ball in the Yaxley box and lashed home through a crowded defence.
On the stroke of the interval, Gregory dragged a cross into Cowley’s path who duly buried the first of his goals into the bottom corner of James Blake’s net.
Thinking they were going into the half-time break with a comfortable cushion, Yaxley’s Matt Sparrow robbed Danny Morris two minutes into stoppage time; his shot was parried by Brown but Tom Waumsley was on hand to convert.
As expected the home side started the second half looking to even things up and nearly succeeded when Sanders hit the woodwork, after the referee failed to spot his assistant flagging for offside.
Sporting though increased their lead on 63 minutes with a Cowley screamer that went in off the underside of the bar from nearly 30 yards out.
Westwood got his second seven minutes later, rounding two defenders before sliding past Blake, but Sparrow would pull a deserved goal back for his side when driving through a crowded box on 71 minutes.
However, Sporting put the match well beyond their opponents when Cowley wrapped up his hat-trick with a well-placed free-kick from 25 yards.
Yaxley rallied towards the end of the ninety minutes but despite a reasonable effort from Sparrow that hit the side netting, the scoreline remained unchanged.
With several postponements due to the inclement weather, Sporting remain in second place and gain a little ground on their rivals though both Corby and Peterborough Sports have three games in hand.
The visit of eighth placed Bedford is likely to be no easy test, with memories of October’s 5-1 drubbing at The Eyrie still fresh in the minds of the Rouslers.
Brendan Kelly’s men do stand in good stead though playing at home, having won 11 of their 12 games at the Victoria Ground – albeit a 3-3 draw with Berkhamsted last month.