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28th Jan, 2022

'Nightmare December' frustrates Bromsgrove Sporting boss Smith ahead of FA Vase clash at Wisbech

A DISRUPTED December programme has caused concern for Bromsgrove Sporting boss Paul Smith ahead of this weekend’s FA Vase fourth-round clash at Wisbech Town.

The Rouslers only played three competitive games in the final month of 2017 and were left reeling after their New Year’s Day clash against Worcester City was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.

It means Smith’s men will have had a fortnight off from action going into tomorrow’s (Saturday’s) last-32 tie against United Counties League Premier Division outfit Wisbech, who are currently on a 14-game unbeaten run.

Smith’s frustrations had already boiled over after Saturday’s planned scouting trip to watch the Fenmen’s league game against Cogenhoe United was cancelled due to the game being postponed as a result of the poor weather.

“December has been a real nightmare because it has been so disruptive,” said Smith.

“Not only had we been struggling to get games on due to the snow and rain, we had been unable to train too.

“I did not think our New Year’s Day game would get called off and it is not ideal ahead of our big cup game at Wisbech.

“But they are in the same boat as us because they have been out of action for the same amount of time. Both sides will be a little rusty.

“Wisbech are a very strong side who are performing exceptionally well under their new manager.

“We are going to have to be at our best to progress into the next round.”

Having reached the semi-finals of the FA Vase last season, narrowly missing out on a trip to Wembley at the hands of Cleethorpes Town, Smith told the Standard that Sporting have the capability of going one better.

However, he stressed as the club progresses through the stages, they will become more of a target.

“When you get closer to the final teams play better because there is even more of an incentive to beat you,” he added.

“I think it will be just as difficult, if not more so, to reach the semi-finals this time around.

“That said I have a great bunch of lads who are strong enough to go on another good cup run but we will need some luck along the way.”

Drew Canavan and Liam Holt, both cup tied, are unavailable for the Wisbech clash but Smith is boosted by the returns of Aaron Roberts from suspension and Reece Hewitt from a niggling hip injury.

John Pykett is also missing as he has flown over to Australia for a pre-season training camp to try and secure a full-time contract.

Meanwhile, Sporting’s Birmingham Senior Cup clash against Nuneaton Town, which had to be abandoned in November due to Liam Spink breaking his leg, has been re-arranged for Tuesday, January 16 (7.45pm KO).

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