HARD-WORKING Bromsgrove Sporting suffered a 4-0 defeat at the hands of National League North outfit Leamington.
Rob Thompson-Brown and Courtney Baker-Richardson gave the Brakes a 2-0 half-time lead before a brace from Colby Bishop rounded off a comfortable victory for the visitors.
Sporting, who were missing ten players and had to name manager Paul Smith and assistant boss Brendan Kelly among the substitutes, certainly held their own at times against their Step Two opponents.
And they probably should have taken the lead after the quarter hour mark as Jason Cowley’s clever reverse pass set John Pykett free but his powerful drive from inside the area was well saved by Tony Breeden.
Young midfielder Max Tranter then set Cowley up after 20 minutes with a deft pass between two Leamington players but the latter could only blaze his effort over the bar from the edge of the area.
Seven minutes later a lack of concentration among the Sporting defence allowed Curtis Revan to break free down the right before crossing to Thompson-Brown who made no mistake at the far post.
And two minutes later the visitors had their second when Thompson-Brown’s corner was met by Baker-Richardson whose headed effort into the ground looped over Steve Grogan in the Sporting goal and into the net.
Both sides cancelled each other out from then on but Grogan needed two bites of the cherry to stop the industrious Thompson-Brown’s curling shot from finding the net just before the break.
After the interval, the Rouslers slowly got into their rhythm and they came within a lick of paint away from pulling a goal back after 68 minutes when Josh Quaynor’s cross from the left deflected agonisingly wide of the far post.
Just two minutes later Leamington grabbed their third when Bishop tapped home the rebound from Thompson-Brown’s shot from close range which had initially produced a stunning save out of Grogan.
Grogan then put up a strong right hand moments later to deny Bishop from grabbing his second of the game after he connected with Revan’s drilled cross at the near post.
Wade Malley then came within a whisker of grabbing a consolation for Sporting but his lobbed effort beyond the advancing Breeden skimmed past the back post with 12 minutes remaining.
As the clock ran down the Brakes completed their scoring in the second minute of injury time when Callum Gitting’s inch-perfect pass was beautifully controlled by Bishop who stroked the ball past Grogan and into the far corner.
Sporting’s final pre-season friendly is at Stratford Town on Tuesday night (7.45pm KO).