BROMSGROVE Sporting moved to the summit of the Midland League Division One table and extended their unbeaten start to eight games with an entertaining 4-2 victory over Nuneaton Griff.
Coming up against a side who were the only side to do the league double over them last season, the Rouslers got off to a flying start as Jack Wilson opened the scoring after six minutes when he sweeped home from Tony Clarke’s cutback before Robbie Bunn’s brilliant individual effort double the lead eight minutes from the break.
Clarke himself got on the scoresheet just four minutes after the restart but two goals from Keinan Palmer in the final ten minutes set up a tense finally.
However, worries of completely throwing away a 3-0 lead were eased as Chris Conway brilliantly lashed the ball into the bottom right-hand corner from 20 yards out with virtually the last kick of the game to send Sporting to the top of the table following Lichfield City’s 4-1 demise at Leicester Road.
In front of a 567-strong crowd at the Victoria Ground, Sporting could easily have found themselves one up inside the first minute as Clarke was sent free from Bunn’s throughball but Courtney Belford in the Griff goal did well to save a low shot with his feet.
But five minutes later there was nothing Belford could do as Clarke broke free down the left, made his way into the area before laying the ball into the path of Wilson who passed the ball into the back of the net to give Sporting the lead.
A great save from Belford a minute later denied a glancing header from skipper Craig Jones doubling the hosts’ lead before Lloyd forced another save out the Griff keeper five minutes later.
After scoring on his debut at Pelsall Villa last week, Jason Cowley will be wondering how he did not get on the scoresheet again this Saturday as two chances went begging for the striker in the space of four minutes as his lob over the on-rushing Belford went wide before skewing a volley into the stands.
Despite all Sporting’s dominance, Griff provided a wake-up call for the Rouslers in the 34th minute as Tom Bates’ free kick from 25 yards out smashed against the crossbar.
And wake up the Rouslers did as three minutes later Bunn scored the goal of the game to double the lead going into the break.
After a pinpoint over the top ball from Lloyd, Bunn cut inside, sending Ryan Millerchip to the floor, then cut around the outside, sending Millerchip flailing once again, before slotting home with aplomb.
Following the interval, it took all of three minutes for Sporting to add to their lead when Lloyd’s cross from the right found Clarke whose bullet header found the back of the net.
The crossbar again was rattling eight minutes later as Cowley’s thumping header from Clarke’s cross crashed against the woodwork before Belford denied Ahmed Ali’s header at the near post to keep the score at 3-0.
Sam Wills, Cowley and Conway all had chances to kill the game as the game progressed but Griff were given a lifeline after 81 minutes when substitute Palmer volleyed home brilliantly from the edge of the area after Sporting failed to clear their lines.
More defensive woes five minutes later saw Palmer net again as he prodded home from Sam Belcher’s free kick which was not dealt with in the Sporting penalty area.
A nervous few minutes followed as Sporting lost their edge and Griff looked as though they were going to salvage a remarkable draw, but those hopes of securing a point were dashed as Conway turned his man on the edge of the area before arrowing home into the bottom corner to secure the win for the Rouslers.