BROMSGROVE Sporting moved another step closer to securing promotion from Midland League Division One with a 5-2 victory over Coventry Copsewood – but skipper Craig Jones was disappointed the Rouslers failed to keep a clean sheet.
On the day of Paul Smith’s 100th league game in charge of Sporting, things got off to a bad start as Dave Akinuli gave the visitors a surprise lead after nine minutes.
But just moments later it was 1-1 as an unfortunate Matthew Burt headed Robbie Bunn’s corner into his own net before a Jason Cowley penalty two minutes before the break gave the Rouslers a 2-1 lead.
Just under ten minutes after the interval it was 3-1 as Luke Edwards poked home from close range then impact substitute Chris Lloyd scored with his first touch, rifling an effort from 25 yards out beyond rooted Copsewood keeper Dale O’Donnell just after the hour mark.
Alex Andrews then pulled one back for the visitors following some slack Sporting defending but just a minute later Cowley grabbed his second and the Rouslers’ fifth goal of the game as his powerful shot from the edge of the area found the top left-hand corner.
Jones told the Standard: “It was a bit of a gritty game and I don’t like conceding goals – I would have rather won 1-0 than 5-2 but we keep chugging on.
“Giving goals away bothers me because I like to keep clean sheets but it is very hard to go through a season without conceding goals and losing games.
“At the moment we are winning games, not conceding many and scoring quite a few so when you look at like that, I think I’ll take it.
“We did not start very well today (Saturday) but we finished a lot better and we got another win.”
Copsewood started the better of the two sides as Sporting keeper Jon Brown was forced into early action when he palmed away Craig Civzelis’ powerful free-kick from the edge of the area after two minutes.
That proved to be a warning for the Rouslers as seven minutes later they fell behind when Akinuli powerfully headed home Civzelis’ cross from the right.
But within a minute the hosts were level as Bunn’s in-swinging corner was met by the unfortunate head of Burt who diverted the ball into his own net.
The visitors kept pressing and Copsewood were unlucky not to go ahead after 26 minutes when a poor clearance from Edwards cannoned off the onrushing Danny Fraser but the ball agonsingly drifted wide of the Sporting goal.
Cowley then saw an effort blocked after being sent through by Andy Nicol before Bunn found the side netting with ten minutes of the first half remaining.
Sporting’s pressure paid off though, when in the 43rd minute Reece Hewitt was clumsily fouled in the area by Jack Rooney, giving referee Sam Anderson no choice but to point to the spot.
Cowley took responsibility and sent O’Donnell the wrong way to fire the Rouslers into the break 2-1 to the good.
Eight minutes after the restart it was 3-1 when Bunn’s corner made its way through several bodies before being turned in from close range by Edwards.
Moments later Bunn came close to scoring a beautiful solo goal which saw him dance past several Copsewood defenders before shooting a low drive wide of the mark.
Lloyd then came on Wills just after the hour mark and he was immediately celebrating.
With his first touch he arrowed a shot into the top right-hand corner, leaving O’Donnell a bystander as the ball flew into the net from 20 yards out.
Copsewood never gave up though and substitute Andrews made his mark when Sporting’s defence failed to clear Burt’s cross, leaving the striker with the easiest of finishes from six yards out.
However, just moments later Hewitt carved his way through the visitors’ defence before laying the ball into the path of Cowley.
He skipped past his marker and lashed a wonderful effort into the far corner to make it 5-2 and ensure Sporting made it back-to-back wins following Tuesday night’s 3-0 victory at Racing Club Warwick.
And Jones was happy to see the squad come back strongly after last Saturday’s disappointing FA Vase semi-final defeat at Cleethorpes Town.
“The result last Saturday hurt us all but it was a good thing that we had the Tuesday night to get straight back on it,” he said.
“For me, that was the biggest game of the season because if we had lost that other teams in the league would start to think if we’ve gone off the rails.
“But two games since the Vase we have picked up six points so we could not have asked for much more.”
Sporting make a quick return to the Victoria Ground on Tuesday night when they entertain Heather St Johns (7.45pm KO).