A HAT-TRICK from Will Tibbetts inspired Bromsgrove Sporting to a 5-2 victory over ten-man Coventry Copsewood on a wet and windy day at the Victoria Ground.
Despite going 1-0 up after 30 minutes through Michael Healy, Copsewood were reduced to 10 men when Reece Blackmore was sent off in the 52nd minute and the Rouslers made the extra man count as three goals from Tibbetts, one from leading goalscorer Sean Brain and an own-goal ensured Paul Smith’s side walked away with all three points.
Copsewood added a consolation five minutes from the end through substitute Ryan Harkin but the result ensured Sporting maintained their position at the top of the Midland League Division One table after fellow title rivals Coventry United beat Pelsall Villa 11-0 and Nuneaton Griff edged past Lichfield City 2-1.
Sporting started the game the slower of the two sides but with the visitors failing to register a shot on goal in the opening 15 minutes, they soon carved out their first opportunity of the match but Brain could not keep his lobbed effort down as the ball sailed over the bar.
Jozsef Jakab came within inches of putting Sporting in front after 19 minutes but he glanced a header from Tibbets’ cross from the right agonisingly wide of the mark.
Sporting were dealt a sucker-punch 10 minutes later as Healy put the visitors ahead after tapping home the rebound from Chris Jay’s save to deny Danny Fraser.
A fantastic save by Copsewood keeper Scott Dutton three minutes from the end of the first half to keep out Brain ensured the visitors went into the break with a 1-0 lead.
Following the interval, it took all of six minutes for Sporting to draw level when Connor Collins forced his way into the box before cutting the ball back to Tibbetts who tapped home.
One minute later Copsewood were reduced to 10 men after Blackmore was sent off for a cynical foul in the middle of the park and in the on the hour mark, Sporting made the extra man advantage count.
Collins once again found himself clean through on goal but he was unselfish in his efforts as he squared the ball for Brain to slam home into an empty net.
In the 65th minute, Sporting found themselves 3-1 up when Tibbetts grabbed his second of the game following some wonderful football.
Reece Hewitt played in Brain who hit an outside of the boot cross which Tibbetts at the back post to chip a delightful effort into the back of the net.
Five minutes later, the Rouslers were awarded a penalty when Brain was tumbled in the area and up stepped Tibbetts to complete his hat-trick with a powerful drive down the middle.
Sporting grabbed their fifth goal of the afternoon in the 73rd minute when Tibbett’s collected a cross from Liam Spink but his effort was saved by the keeper before bouncing back of a Copsewood defender into the back of the net.
Hewitt and Kyle Turner both squandered opportunities to add a sixth but a lack of composure and poor finishing ensured the score remained 5-1.
Despite trying to go for the sixth goal, it was Copsewood who got the final goal of the game when Harkin netted from close range after collecting Lawrence Rawlings’ cross from the left.
Tibbetts should have grabbed his fourth goal of the afternoon right at the death but his header from close range was sent over the bar when it looked harder to miss than score.
Sporting’s next game sees them battle it out against Premier Division high-flyers Alvechurch in the final of the Worcestershire Senior Urn on Wednesday night.