The Emirates FA Cup – Extra Prelimanary Round
THE FA CUP has a reputation for bringing the best out of the underdog and that was certainly the case for Bromsgrove Sporting as they stunned in-form Gornal Athletic.
The Rouslers headed into the encounter against the West Midlands Regional League high flyers off the back of an unconvincing draw at Pelsall Villa.
But Sporting seemed to be inspired by the competition as Sean Brain and Joe Adams put their side 2-0 up at the Garden Walk Stadium.
The hosts battled back in the second half with a goal from Shaun Edwards, but Bromsgrove held on to secure their place in the next round.
After experimenting with various tactics and formations for the first two matches, the Bromsgrove outfit opted for extra width provided by Reece Hewitt and John Pykett, which paid dividends.
With the home side pretty much pinned back into their own half, Sporting created a number of good chances.
Jamie McKeon saw his neat flick pushed round the post by Richard Kennedy before the keeper was forced into action again when he stopped Josh McKenzie’s powerful header.
Kennedy also denied Sean Brain on 14 minutes, but he could do nothing to stop the striker moments later as he headed home Simon Fitter’s excellent free-kick from the half-way line.
Going a goal down gave Gornal a bit more impetus and they gradually got themselves into it, with Chris Bladen and Dreniz Bala going close.
But it was Bromsgrove who were the more clinical as they doubled their advantage two minutes before the interval.
Adams latched on to a loose ball and drove home a low powerful shot from just outside the box.
Sam Prescot then also almost gifted Sporting a 3-0 lead as he nearly put the ball into his own net trying to clear Hewitt’s cross.
However, the home side finally got one back on the 64th minute as Shaun Edwards failed to grasp substitute Liam Hickman’s cross and the ball went over his head and into the net.
A minute later Brain could have put the match beyond their opponents but skied a shot that was easier to put in the net.
Gornal also had chances in the latter stages as Carl Martin produced a stunning strike which was brilliantly saved by Edwards.