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28th Jan, 2022

Gregory's penalty double fires Bromsgrove Sporting to 3-1 win at nine-man Wisbech Town to secure FA Vase last 16 place

RICHARD GREGORY struck twice from the penalty spot in the second half as Bromsgrove Sporting booked their place in the last 16 of the FA Vase with a 3-1 victory at nine-man Wisbech Town.

After a goalless 45 minutes, the second period proved to be action-packed as fans witnessed two penalties, four goals and two red cards.

Gregory put Sporting ahead from the spot just after the hour mark before Sean Brain doubled the visitors’ advantage seven minutes later.

Alex Beck then reduced the Fenmen’s arrears with little under 20 minutes to play but Gregory crashed home another penalty moments later to secure Sporting’s place in the next round.

Both Jon Fairweather and keeper Paul Bastock were sent off for the hosts who failed to capitalise on their dominant first-half display.

It did not take long for the United Counties League Premier Division outfit to get their first opportunity with Michael Frew directing a header straight at Sporting keeper Reece Francis inside the first minute.

And Francis then showed instinctive reactions just seconds later to deny Sam Murray from smashing home from the centre of goal.

Although the Fenmen looked well in control, Sporting had their chances with Jason Cowley testing Bastock at his near post while Robbie Bunn blazed an effort over the bar.

As the half progressed the hosts came closer and closer to breaking the deadlock but they just could find a way past Francis.

Again it was Frew who was getting among the chances but at first, he drilled a shot from 18 yards out straight at the Sporting stopper before glancing a header wide from Adam Millson’s corner prior to the break.

Wisbech started the second half like they had played throughout the first 45 minutes and once again it was Francis who had to be at his best to keep the visitors level in the 53rd minute.

The former Cadbury Athletic keeper firstly denied substitute Kieran Hamilton from levelling at the near post before scrambling across his line like a flash to get a hand to Frew’s effort at the opposite stick.

But seven minutes later Sporting were given a great chance to nose themselves ahead just after the hour mark when they awarded a penalty after Gregory’s shot was handled by Fairweather who was booked in the process.

Gregory then dusted himself down to take the penalty, drilling it hard and low into the bottom right-hand corner.

This spurred the Rouslers into action and seven minutes later they doubled their lead when Cowley’s clever outside of the boot cross found Brain who cleverly lifted the ball over Bastock and tapped into an empty net.

However, the Fenmen were given a lifeline with just under 20 minutes to go when Beck volleyed home from the corner of the box.

This looked to have given the hosts hope but life was made difficult when they conceded another penalty after Fairweather fouled Cowley in the area, leaving the referee no choice but to send off the Wisbech skipper for a second bookable offence.

Bastock was also booked in the build-up to the penalty for dissent and once the dust had settled, Gregory once again powered an effort into exactly the same corner of the goal he found earlier to all-but secure Sporting’s place in the next round.

While Sporting were celebrating, Bastock was sent off in the process, picking up a second yellow card for dissent.

Cowley could have grabbed what would have been a deserved goal in the 90th minute but after breaking clear of the depleted Wisbech defence, he could only curl an effort agonisingly wide of the far post.

Eight minutes of stoppage time followed but Sporting ticked down the clock to reach the last 16 of the Vase for the second year running.

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