A PIVOTAL weekend ahead for the Southern League Premier Central promotion race is in store, according to Bromsgrove Sporting manager Brendan Kelly.
The Rouslers will play host to fifth-placed Coalville Town on Saturday (3pm), looking to build on Tuesday night’s 7-1 derby massacre of Redditch United, which was a direct response to last weekend’s 3-1 defeat at Kings Langley.
Kelly hailed his Bromsgrove side as “the pride of Worcestershire” on the back of the midweek rout, highlighting the result as the latest example of the resilience in the club’s ranks.
“The character and mentality is something that I’ve wanted to work on, even as an assistant when I first came to the club,” he said.
“We’ve tried to strengthen in those ways and it’s something that now comes naturally. We’ve become quite good at bouncing back whenever we have a defeat.
“I wouldn’t say it was the hairdryer treatment at half-time [on Tuesday], but I wasn’t pleased with the first-half performance. It was a difficult one to combat, Redditch worked hard to try and mount a comeback and their work rate was impressive.
“We were a bit fortuitous with some of our goals, the first-half penalty was not a bona fide challenge and the third changed direction after a deflection.
“It took us a while to get back in our stride, but certainly towards the end we were playing some brilliant football to watch.”
One negative to come out of the win was a first-half injury to midfielder Gift Mussa, a result of a challenge with Redditch’s towering striker Brandon Diau.
Kelly gave an injury update, adding: “He’s received some treatment but we’re awaiting a full assessment.
“Liam Spink put in a stand-out performance I have to say, he came in and filled the role in midfield really well.
“Jack Wilson, Leon [Broadhurst] and Jak Hickman are all doubtful for the weekend, they’re big players to have missing out.”
With another big challenge awaiting the high-flying Rouslers this weekend, albeit against a side of differing quality, the Bromsgrove manager is urging fans to make the difference.
“To have had just under one thousand on a wet Tuesday night is amazing,” Kelly said.
“We just hope they’ll keep coming back to spur us on through to the business end of the season.
“The game is on a knife edge if you like, we snatched a point with two late goals back in August, and we narrowly lost in the [CSS League Challenge] Cup game [2-1 in November].
“We’re a better side than when we last played them, and I’m sure they’ll feel the same. It’ll be pivotal but it won’t decide anything at this stage.
“Tamworth are playing Peterborough Sports, and then Hednesford are playing Stourbridge, so it’s a big weekend in the league.”