A COMFORTABLE, if not comprehensive, win for Bromsgrove Sporting maintains their unbeaten league run and keeps them in pole position at the top of the Midland League Division One table, writes Phil Baker.
Conditions were not ideal at the Banbury Road Ground with a strong, cold wind bellowing across the ground accompanied by heavy and squally showers.
Add to that a soft and bumpy pitch did not bode well as a match for the purists.
There was little action for the first few minutes as both teams attempted to get a feel for what they had let themselves in for though Josh Turton forced Rouslers’ keeper Ryan Price into a low save on the fourth minute.
It was the tenth minute before there was much action in the home goalmouth when Saints’ keeper Harry Gardiner tipped Jason Cowley’s angled shot wide of the right-hand post then Craig Jones had his header cleared off the line from the resulting corner.
After ratcheting up the pressure, Sporting finally got there noses in front on the 23rd minute as Reece Hewitt got behind the Southam defensive line, pulled over a spot-on cross that Cowley had no trouble in tapping home.
Cue for several blocks on the line as Sporting laid siege though Southam did have their best chance of the match on 32 minutes when Aaron Keen beat the offside trap but in a one-to-one with Price the keeper easily gathered.
With five minutes left on the clock until the interval, Sporting grabbed a second goal as Luke Shorthouse supplied Cowley with a neat pass who rounded two defenders before slipping the ball under the diving Gardiner from 12 yards out.
The second half saw Sporting dominate proceedings as they scored three goals in five minutes.
Cowley completed his hat-trick on the 49th as he slotted home from Will Tibbetts nod on and Shorthouse got the last touch after a goalmouth scramble four minutes later.
Then a minute after that Sam Wills floated over a delightful corner that rose high before curving in the box allowing Luke Edwards to make it two in two games as he side-footed in from a few yards out.
Southam had another chance to get on the score sheet on 66 minutes when Price’s punt only went as far as Turton but the striker reacted too slowly to his good fortune and only managed a weak shot that Price easily held.
The clearance up-field though ended up with substitute Andy Nicol who forced Gardiner into a flying save, his best of the match.
With three minutes of normal time remaining a pass from Nicol split the Southam back four which allowed Chris Lloyd to shoot from just outside the box with an outswinger that went into the bottom right-hand corner of the net just wide of Gardiner’s outstretched arm.