Polymac Packaging League Cup – First Round
Max Banner reports from the Victoria Ground
A LATE Sean Brain goal saw Bromsgrove Sporting overcome a stubborn Studley side and secure a place in the next round of the Polymac Packaging League Cup.
With very few clear cut chances and misplaced passes aplenty, the Rouslers appeared to be heading for extra time on Tuesday night.
But with three minutes remaining Brain finished from ten yards out to set up a second round encounter away to last season’s Midland Football League Division One champions Highgate United.
The visitors offered little going forward, but they had a gilt-edged chance to opening the scoring. With a quarter of an hour gone, Andy Milan found himself in acres of space, but his effort from inside the area was put wide of the post.
The rest of the goal-scoring opportunities in the first half fell to Brain, who could only hit the side netting with an 18th minute strike after bursting into the box.
The Sporting frontman then had a chance to get on the score-sheet seven minutes later as a well-weighted ball from the doughty Luke Dugmore fell at his feet. But Brain’s attempt went directly into the arms of the grateful Studley stopper James Cutts.
Dugmore had two chances of his own shortly after the break, the second of which drew a fine, low save from Cutts.
The 56th minute saw Bromsgrove have arguably their best opportunity of the match to that point.
However, it was not a Sporting player who provided it as a curling free kick from the Rouslers’ captain Brendan Kelly put the away side’s defence into disarray.
The ball came to Studley substitute Mike Healy, whose sliced attempt of a clearance hit the crossbar and, luckily for him, flew over.
Despite Sporting’s relative dominance, Studley were not without their chances. Brendan Hicks had a free kick cleared by defender Craig Jones on the 67th minute and the next attack saw Healy blaze his long range effort just wide of the top corner.
Bromsgrove remained on top, though, and with time running out they got the breakthrough. Dugmore’s pass inside the box fell to Brain, whose shot was dispatched with ease.