STRIKER Jason Cowley will miss three games after being sent off in Bromsgrove Sporting’s 1-0 victory at Heanor Town.
The marksman was giving his marching orders in second-half stoppage time following a coming together Greg Marriott, who was given a straight red card in the process.
The ban starts next Saturday when the Roulsers make the trip to Shepshed Dynamo.
Cowley’s sending off came ten minutes after in-form midfielder Robbie Bunn stole the three points for Sporting when he lashed home from inside the area to bag his eighth goal of the season in all competitions.
And with Coleshill Town throwing away a 4-2 lead to lose 5-4 at home to Stourport Swifts, Paul Smith’s men moved to within one point of the Midland League Premier Division leaders, who have played two games more.
Sporting also moved seven points clear of third-placed Worcester City who drew 1-1 with struggling South Normanton Athletic.
Boss Smith made two changes to the team which came from behind to beat Westfields 2-1 on Tuesday night, with Guy Clark and Connor Deards replacing Craig Jones and John Pykett respectively.
However, it was the Derbyshire hosts who could have gone ahead after seven minutes when Danny Gordon was played in by Alex Brown but the former could not provide the full contact to beat Brendon Bunn.
Cowley then saw a stinging shot from the edge of the area tipped over the bar by Wayne White as a lacklustre Sporting tried to get into their rhythm.
But the best chance of the game fell to the Lions midway through the first-half as Elliott Reeves beat the offside trap only to send his lobbed effort over the bar.
Back came Sporting though, with Bunn seeing a free-kick go straight at White before the Town keeper had to be at his best to get down low moments later to prevent Cowley’s free-kick from the edge of the area nestling in the bottom right-hand corner.
Heanor then came within a whisker of taking the lead six minutes before the break but Brown could not get on the end of Reeves’ dangerous ball across the face of goal as both sides went into the break level.
After the break, Sporting certainly looked the better of the two sides and as the second-half progressed they were the more likely to take the lead.
Bunn saw an effort in the 46th minute well saved by White before Liam Spink’s shot from the edge of the area was gathered easily by the Town stopper.
Heanor always looked a threat on the counter but the could not break down a Sporting defence which has only conceded eight goals all season.
A fine save from White then prevented Bunn’s angled drive from finding the net on the hour mark but eventually, the midfield maestro got himself on the scoresheet once again.
With ten minutes to go, a clever throughball from substitute James Ward picked out Bunn who burst into the box and drilled home a left-footed shot to send the Sporting faithful among the 385-strong crowd into euphoria.
But Heanor should have levelled the game just before stoppage time when Reeves managed to break free of Morris, who thought he had been fouled in the process, only to be denied by the advancing Bunn.
However, the drama was far from over as in the second minute of stoppage both Cowley and Marriott were given straight red cards for a coming together deep inside the Heanor half.
Although the Lions provided a very late onslaught, Sporting did well to close out the victory and inch ever closer to the summit of the table.