BROMSGROVE Sporting Reserves did themselves proud as they were beaten on penalties by West Midlands (Regional) League Premier Division table-toppers Malvern Town in the opening round of the Smedley Crooke Memorial Charity Cup, writes Phil Baker.
By convention teams at Step Five on the non-League ladder (Bromsgrove Sporting’s level) do not complete in the Smedley Crooke so the club’s reserves stepped up to the plate to compete for this trophy.
On paper it looked like a tough draw against the Hillsiders who have won all six of their league matches so far this season.
In addition Malvern could boast a number of experienced and older players whilst Sporting fielded a team made up of under-21 players.
Things started well for the home team who had a shot go wide on the third minute and then another cleared off the line a minute later.
Then sure enough they breached their opponents defences after six minutes when Kyonn Evans nodded in Josh Weatherby’s cross.
Cue for Sporting to get organised which they did with some neat passing and moves up field whilst the defence mopped up all of Malvern’s attacks.
However, the home side went in one-up at the interval having shaded the first half.
On restarting, Bromsgrove attempted to improve the pace and making 50-50 tackles count.
This approach paid dividends in the 50th minute when the ball found its way to Nathan Binner after a good build up and his sweetly struck shot from 15 yards went into the top right-hand corner of Charlie Weaver’s net.
Both teams had their chances but there was no change in the scoreline come full-time.
In the penalty shoot-out Malvern had one saved by Ryan Andrews but Sporting had one saved and another whistled over the bar.
That left Jake Churchill to fire home the winner for Malvern.