BROMSGROVE ROVERS AFC won their first league game of the season by beating Birmingham University Medics (B) 3-1 in Division 3 of the Birmingham and District Football League on Saturday, writes Neil Gordon.
Rovers went into the game with confidence after beating Saltley Stallions 6-3 away in a friendly last Saturday after drawing one, and losing one, of their two opening league games.
The Greens started brightly at their new home of South Bromsgrove High School and on nine minutes Jack Hopper found the back of the net with a sweet long-range shot which beat the ‘keeper comfortably.
The home pressure continued and from the restart Dan Haggard was put through on goal with the ‘keeper parrying his shot for a corner. Jake Evans headed Rovers second from the resulting set-piece.
Play ebbed from end-to-end with the visitors guilty of failing to capitalise on their possession in and around the Rovers box.
On 32 minutes Rovers’ Ben Murphy was yellow carded for a foul on the Greens right. The resulting free-kick failed to trouble the home defence and a long, high, clearance saw Eden Sadler-Baker chasing down the ball, deep in the visitor’s half. The keeper came out to challenge with Sadler-Baker winning their duel to put Rovers 3-0 up with a simple tap in.
However, the Medics fought on with Morelli-Batters being played in on 41 minutes but he put his shot wide with only the ‘keeper to beat.
Rovers finished the first-half strongly with Eden Sadler-Baker hitting the post following a free kick, and Tom Cox hitting a long-range rasping shot just over the crossbar.
Rovers started the second-half eager to build on their 3-0 half-time lead. However, after an early chance for the Greens, the visitors reduced the arrears on 48 minutes when Arjan Shanker slotted home at the back post after being found with a low cross from the left.
Both teams had more chances to score with Medics again guilty of lacking the killer finishing touch. A poor back pass let them in on 75 minutes but they contrived to miss two gilt-edged chances.
Rovers substitutes’ Jayden Bevan and Jack Zammit combined superbly in the 78th minute with Bevan confidently beating the visitor’s keeper with a sweet finish. However, the goal was unfairly disallowed after a questionable offside decision given by a visiting substitute tasked with being linesman. The visitors handed the flag to another substitute before play resumed.
The game finished 3-1 giving Rovers their first league win of the season in front of several new supporters, following an appeal by the Club for more people to follow the team.
Rovers moved up to fifth in the league on four points with this result ahead of welcoming third-placed Galore FC to South Bromsgrove High School on Saturday.
Kick-off is at 2.30pm with new supporters again encouraged to go along and back the team.
Admission is free and there is ample parking at the Charford Road site.