September 27th, 2016

Sporting battle hard to beat lowly Stafford

Sporting battle hard to beat lowly Stafford Sporting battle hard to beat lowly Stafford
Updated: 4:53 pm, Mar 19, 2016

BROMSGROVE Sporting cemented their position at the top of the table with a 3-0 victory over lowly Stafford Town at the Victoria Ground.

Despite a goal-less first half, three strikes in the space of nine minutes from Sam Wills, Connor Collins and Will Tibbetts secured the nervy win for the Rouslers who remain four points clear at the top of the Midland League Division One table.

After last weekend’s 4-2 victory over their title rivals Coventry United, you would have expected the Rouslers to put on a show against their much lower league opposition but that was not the case in the first half.

Sporting dominated the possession in the opening exchanges and the crossbar came to the rescue of Stafford in the seventh minute when from Sean Brain’s cross, Reece Hewitt saw his effort smash against the woodwork with the rebound by Luke Dugmore cleared for a corner.

Three minutes later Connor Collins should have put the Rouslers 1-0 up but after finding himself in acres of space in the penalty area and a whole goal to aim at, he could only drag his effort wide of the mark.

Some poor play at the back by Sporting nearly let Stafford in as Don Jones nicked the ball and played in Craig Hulme but the trailing leg of Sporting keeper Chris Jay somehow managed to keep his strike out.

Collins again had chances to put Sporting 1-0 up on the half hour mark but after taking too long in the penalty area, a stubborn Stafford defence kept their calm and cleared well – much to the annoyance of the 410-strong Sporting faithful.

Hewitt wasted another good opportunity to give Sporting the advantage but from Sam Wills’ corner, he managed to send his header wide of the post with Stafford keeper Richard Stone rooted to his spot.

Following the interval, Brain got Sporting’s first chance of the second half.

After Reece Hewitt sliced his way through the Stafford defence, he found Brain on the edge of the area but he fired just wide of the mark.

Simon Fitter must have thought he put Sporting 1-0 up in the 53rd minute but his free-kick deflects just wide of the post with Stone going the other way.

More poor play at the back from Sporting once again allowed Oliver Mannoocherhri to capitalise before playing in Jones but his shot drifted just wide.

Another chance went a begging for the Rouslers just after the hour mark but substitute Will Tibbetts could only divert Dugmore’s cross just wide of the far post.

Eventually, Sporting’s pressure paid off as they took the lead in the 70th minute when Wills lashed home a wonderful drive from the edge of the area that went in off the post.

Sporting’s advantage doubled five minutes later when Walker sprinted his way past a couple of Stafford defenders before squaring for Collins who slotted home.

It was 3-0 three minutes later as Tibbetts got on the scoresheet after tapping home on the goal line when Collins’ cross evaded a static Stafford defence.

The final 12 minutes of the game saw the Rouslers pass the ball around with confidence but failed to add to their tally.

Paul Smith takes his Sporting side to title hopefuls Nuneaton Griff on Wednesday (March 23) night hoping to avenge the 1-0 defeat to Griff from earlier in the season.

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