Bromsgrove Sporting 3 Studley 1
Midland League Division One
SPORTING returnee Will Tibbetts scored with his first touch after coming on as a substitute to help the Rouslers to a fine Boxing Day win over local rivals Studley in front of a club record crowd of 562, writes Adam Warner.
The game started fairly evenly with Sporting struggling to break through a well-drilled and compact Studley defence, whilst the visitors also looked dangerous on the counter-attack.
Most of Sporting’s play came down the right flank from Liam Spink and, when he won a free kick on the edge of the area, Sam Wills stepped up and came within a whisker of opening the scoring as he clattered the ball against the bar.
It was shortly after this that Sporting opened the scoring when Sean Brain skipped around two Studley defenders before striking past ex-Sporting keeper Brendon Bunn into the left-hand corner.
However, Studley were still a threat on the counter-attack and, after a handball on the edge of the area, the resulting free kick was expertly curled around the wall and into the top corner by Dan Dineen with a strike that would not have looked out of place in the Premier League.
After the break Sporting came out with intent and several chances fell to Brain and his strike partner Connor Collins without any success.
It took the introduction of the returning Tibbetts to provide the impetus for Sporting.
Shortly after coming on, Collins played a lovely through ball for substitute Kyle Turner. Bunn got to the ball first but could only send the ball high into the air and on to the head of Tibbetts, who has probably never had a more productive first touch as he converted.
After this the game opened up and became easier for Sporting and they should have scored a third before they did when Reece Hewitt danced through the Studley midfield before passing to the third Sporting substitute, Luke Dugmore, who fired home.
The final whistle was greeted with a euphoric cheer from the Sporting faithful.
Their side sit only four points behind league leaders Coventry United, although the table-toppers have a game in hand over the Rouslers.
The Sporting squad looks as strong as it has ever been, with new signings Nathan Walker and Jake Willcox slotting in excellently.
Sporting return to action on New Year’s Day (3pm) at home to sixth placed Pilkington XXX.