SPORTING manager Brendan Kelly expects his side to bounce back with another winning run, after Bromsgrove suffered just their fourth defeat of 2019 at the hands of Stourbridge in Southern Premier League Central on Bank Holiday Monday.
In a two-game weekend of contrasting results, the Rouslers progressed to the FA Cup first qualifying round with a 2-1 victory over Leicester Road at the Victoria Ground in a game they dominated, before slipping to a 2-1 reverse at the War Memorial Ground.
Shaquille McDonald’s 11th-minute strike had sent Sporting into the lead in the league encounter, though they quickly fell behind 19 minutes later when Jordaan Brown notched a goal following Michael Taylor’s headed equaliser.
The Rouslers manager admits the Stourbridge loss is one that won’t trouble him or his side, despite the defeat putting an end to their unbeaten start to the season.
“I’m not concerned, if you take the Berkhamsted game out [a 3-1 loss in April], which was a dead rubber with us already qualified for the play-offs, then we’ve only lost once since January,” said Kelly.
“We usually react really well and go on a run when we lose.
“It’s not very often that we do, but when it happens we usually respond well.”
Kelly felt that the result was a fair one, albeit with neither side standing out as the better side.
“We may have got closer to their first goal from the header, the second followed good approach play by them,” he said.
“Liam came in with a last ditch tackle, but he sent the ball in the wrong direction and they go and score.
“It was a cagey affair, both teams gave the utmost respect to each other, but we had to make a few unwanted changes due to circumstances before kick off.
“We knew we weren’t going to come out of this tough start unscathed, but it’s still been a good start.”
Two early strikes from McDonald and Charlie Dowd put Bromsgrove in control of Saturday’s FA Cup tie after just three minutes played, but they were unable to add to their early advantage despite 15 attempts on target.
Matt Langham’s penalty in that clash meant that Bromsgrove are still waiting to record a shut-out during their five opening games of the season, something that Kelly is hoping to rectify when hosting Banbury United on Saturday (3pm).
“A clean sheet is always a priority for us every week,” he said.
“We’ve missed Tom Taylor in recent games, and it’s fair to say that our back four have not yet settled with players coming in and out.
“A number of young lads came in on Saturday and played well, it wasn’t a contest – regardless of the scoreline looking closer than it actually was.
“Our concentration levels need to remain high throughout the game.”
Taylor is expected to return for this weekend’s fixture after declaring himself fit, with no other injury worries at present for Bromsgrove.
Kelly did confirm the departure of Jake Heath and thanked him for his service to the club, after he decided to move on with opportunities limited at the Victoria Ground.