GOALSCORER Chris Lloyd believes home advantage was a huge factor in Bromsgrove Sporting booking their place in the semi-finals of the FA Vase with a 2-0 victory over Buckland Athletic.
The Rouslers rode their luck a little yesterday (Sunday) as Simon Laughton saw a ‘goal’ chalked off for offside before Lloyd Gardner saw his penalty saved by Nathan Vaughan in front of a packed Shed End.
But after half-time, Paul Smith’s men came out a rejuvenated side as Liam Spink fired Sporting ahead on the hour mark from the penalty spot before Lloyd’s individual effort after 74 minutes secured a place in the last four where they will meet Cleethorpes Town of the Northern Counties East League Premier Division.
Speaking to the Standard after full-time, Lloyd praised the fans for coming out in force as a new club record attendance of 2,984 was set.
“The lads have relished playing in front of nearly 3,000 fans and it was great atmosphere,” he said.
“The Shed End was absolutely quality when we were on top and no team is going to want to come here when you have fans like that behind you.
“At the start of the season we did not think we would get this far but we have took how we are playing in the league into the Vase and we’re looking forward to the next round.”
Lloyd’s goal proved to be a spectacular solo effort as he latched on to Jason Cowley’s clever throughball and after being forced out wide, he provided the killer finish to find the bottom right-hand corner with aplomb.
But Lloyd admitted he should have taken the chance a little sooner than he had done.
“I think I took it a little bit further wide of the goal than I wanted to originally,” he said.
“When I looked up, I fancied myself one-on-one with the full-back but he did not commit to the tackle which sent me wider than I wanted to go.
“But I don’t think the keeper expected me to shoot and I have hit the shot nicely and it has nestled in the far corner so happy days.
“I didn’t know where to go after scoring because I have seen so many players run into the crowd but as we pay our own bookings I did not fancy the £10 fine.”
Lloyd could have had another goal to his name in the dying stages of the game but with the Athletic net at his mercy from Cowley’s cross, he somehow fired wide.
“I’m going to say there was a bit of a bobble,” Lloyd joked.
“I just wanted to hit the target to be honest and I was going to lace it but I thought I’d send the ball into the car park.
“Looking back I probably should have taken a touch and put it in the bottom corner.”
The first leg of Sporting’s semi-final will be at the Victoria Ground on Saturday, March 11 with the return leg on the following Saturday.