AARON ROBERTS has expressed his delight over Bromsgrove Sporting’s incredible start to the new Midland League Division One season and is hopeful both he and the rest of the squad can maintain their superb form.
After losing 1-0 to Rugby Town in the preliminary round of the FA Cup on Saturday, Paul Smith’s Rouslers bounced back in style as they cruised to a 3-0 victory over potential title rivals Hinckley AFC at the Victoria Ground on Tuesday night.
Two goals from Ahmed Ali and a long-range free-kick from Keenan Meakin-Richards secured the win for Sporting who sit atop the table with a 100 per cent record after three games and yet to concede.
Speaking to the Standard, Roberts has labelled Sporting’s start as “brilliant” and has put the success down to Smith having so many options to choose from for each position barring goalkeeper.
“We’ve carried on from our good pre-season form but Smudge [Smith] has kept us level-headed and told us we haven’t won anything yet,” said the 24-year-old defender.
“It’s been a brilliant start and the victory over Hinckley sends out a massive message as we got on them early doors and hopefully we can push on from here as the squad has the capability to secure promotion.
“The difference between this season’s squad and last year’s is there are three or four players in every position and you never notice someone is missing as everybody is as good as each other.
“It’s going to be hard for Smudge to keep players happy but we are buying into the system and we’re enjoying our football so we can’t moan.”
Roberts and the rest of the Sporting squad return to action on Saturday with an away trip to Cadbury Athletic before making the journey to Heather St Johns on Bank Holiday Monday.
Buoyed by a positive result over Hinckley, Roberts says all the players are chomping at the bit to fight for a first team spot and maintain their phenomenal start to the season.
“We’ve been trying long enough to try and gain promotion and I’d like to think we can do it this season but we’re taking each game as it comes,” he added.
“All the players have got the bit between their teeth and we can’t wait for the next game.
“There’s a spring in our step and teams are now starting to look at us whereas usually we’re the ones doing the chasing.”
Ahead of the Bank Holiday fixtures, Sporting have been heavily boosted by the news Nathan Walker, Craig Jones, Joe Haines and Sam Wills are set to return.
Reaction from Paul Smith
Manager Paul Smith echoed Roberts’ statements and felt his players reacted well after coming away empty handed in their FA Cup tie at Rugby Town.
“I set the players a target to show a reaction on the back of that defeat at Rugby and they needed to react well,” he said.
“Defeats can be helpful but can also throw a spanner in the works if they come after each other but I got the reaction from the players that I wanted.
“It was a very good performance and it took a fine save from Chris Jay to stop Hinckley taking the lead after capitalising on an error from Ahmed Ali.
“From that point, we were the better side and deserved the victory and against a side that have title aspirations sends out a statement as we turned them over so easily.”