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4th Jul, 2022

FOOTBALL - Bromsgrove Sporting 1-0 Needham Market

Aaron Sutcliffe 9th Apr, 2022 Updated: 13th Apr, 2022

MATTHEW BARNES-HOMER’s early goal was enough to secure a narrow 1-0 win for Bromsgrove Sporting against Needham Market as the Rouslers took another giant step towards safety.

Barnes-Homer’s header on four minutes proved decisive as Bromsgrove survived a second-half onslaught from their opponents to claim the points at the Victoria Ground.

The result means Sporting move up to 15th in the Southern League Premier Central table, three points clear of the final potential relegation spot.

Sporting started well when a cross from the left was headed narrowly wide by Barnes-Homer in the opening couple of minutes.

And the Rouslers took the lead when Barnes-Homer was deemed to have glanced Michael McGrath’s cross from the left into the bottom right corner from close range with Nathan Hayward in close attendance.

It was almost two for Sporting when a corner from the right went all the way through to Joel Kettle in the penalty area only for Needham goalkeeper Marcus Garnham to hold onto the defender’s header.

Rouslers keeper Ollie Taylor was then forced into his first save of the game as he made a routine stop to keep out Thomas Fitzgerald’s tame effort before Nathan Hayward’s shot was easily saved by Garnham at the other end.

The home side continued to threaten when Joe Willis delivered a dangerous set-piece from the left that evaded everybody in red with Kettle colliding with the post in his attempt to reach the cross.

Bromsgrove almost doubled their lead shortly before half time when Toby Raison headed against the woodwork from six-yards out after the defender was left unmarked to meet Joe Willis’ free-kick from the left.

Needham’s best effort in the first half came in the final minute when Harvey Sayer curled a free-kick narrowly past the left-hand post from 25-yards out.

The visitors started the second half on the front foot with Fitzgerald firing over from distance after he found room outside of the penalty area.

However, Sporting went close with another set-piece soon after when Willis’s free-kick from 25-yards out from the left-hand side was magnificently tipped behind by Garnham with the ball destined for the top corner.

And Willis then delivered a corner from the left that bounced in the six-yard box after Garnham misjudged the flight of the cross with no Bromsgrove player able to apply the finishing touch.

The away side remained a threat at the other end when Luke Ingram broke into the box before shooting out of the ground under pressure from a Sporting defender.

And Callum Ebanks blazed an effort over the Elliott Nash stand minutes later after he was superbly picked out by Josh Dugmore.

Needham’s best chance to equalise fell to dangerman Ingram when he capitalised on some hesitant Bromsgrove defending only to be denied by a superb stop from Taylor at his near post.

And Kevin Horlock’s visitors then hit the base of the post as they pressed for a leveller with the ball rebounding off a Sporting player and behind for a corner.

The chances continue to come Needham’s way when a low ball into the box from the left was turned over the bar by Ingram from 10-yards out.

Sporting stopper Taylor made another fine save diving to his right to push Sayer’s free-kick from a central area behind for a corner.

A late Needham penalty appeal was turned down by the referee before Taylor saved a driven effort at the death as Sporting held on to claim another vital three points in their battle for survival.

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