WITH shirts up for grabs for Bromsgrove Sporting’s FA Vase quarter-final clash against Buckland Athletic next Sunday, boss Paul Smith is urging his players to perform at their best this weekend.
The Rouslers welcome Cadbury Athletic to the Victoria Ground on Saturday looking to maintain their position at the top of Midland League Division One and extend their unbeaten league run to 23 games.
Athletic were the first team to take points off Sporting this season when they drew 1-1 at the end of September last year.
And the performance on that day was labelled as far from acceptable by Smith who is using Saturday’s game as a chance for players to cement a starting XI place for the historic Vase clash.
He said: “It’s a huge game and it’s going to be Cadbury’s cup final as it’s their local derby.
“They are going to be coming here to cause an upset but its important we play our own game rather than focus on what they’re doing.
“The performance at their place was far from acceptable but fair play to the lads because since then they have been right at it.
“With a huge FA Vase game next week, there are shirts up for grabs so I’m hoping the players go out there and put on a good performance.”
Sporting go into the game against Athletic on the back of Saturday’s 4-1 victory at Chelmsley Town.
Former Chelmsley striker Chris Lloyd and Liam Spink gave the Rouslers a 2-0 half-time lead before Daniel Elwell pulled one back for the hosts after 57 minutes.
Spink was then straight red-carded for allegedly striking a Chelmsley player in the face but despite playing with ten men, injury time goals from Tom Craine and Sam Wills secured the win for the visitors.
But after seeing video evidence of Spink’s altercation, Smith said the club have appealed the decision.
“I spoke to the referee after the game and I have to say, he was very approachable as some refs are not like that,” he added.
“He told me he thought Liam had raised an arm but said to make an appeal if a mistake had been made so we have sent the paperwork off.
“Liam has been a big player for us since he came back and he was absolutely gutted when he realised the sending off meant he would miss the Vase game.”
Robbie Bunn and Ahmed Ali, who were rested at Chelmsley, will return to the fold on Saturday while Luke Shorthouse (ankle) is likely to be fit in time for the Vase game.
Videos courtesy of Danny Carter.