Bromsgrove Sporting (1)


Bromsgrove Sporting FC v Coventry United FC

Midland Football League Premier Division


Date:         Saturday 10th March 2018

KO:            3.00pm

Venue:      Victoria Ground



Well hello one and all. The games are coming thick and fast now and after the midweek late late win at home to Lye Town, we today make the trip over to the Victoria Ground to take on the league leaders Bromsgrove Sporting.

Sporting have had a great season on the pitch but behind the scenes it’s been a different story that’s culminated in the manager Paul Smith leaving the club and a few of their players leaving also. Early indications though is that they look able to cope with those losses as they ran out comfortable winners on Tuesday night with a 4-0 win over Boldmere St Michael.

United’s manager Terry Anderson will have to get the most out of his players if they are to get anything from this game and that will mean a big improvement in performance levels after the very below par performance on Wednesday night. If the recent encounters between the clubs are anything to go by then we should be in for an interesting game to say the least.

The referee gets the game under way and United are having to defend the slope in the first half. Sporting usually make the most of that advantage and this game is no different when they get the ball down field quickly in the 9th minute. The ball is flicked on by the No10 Richard Gregory and the No7 Drew Canavan latches onto it before sliding the ball under the United keeper Tom Dyche for neatly taken opening goal.


United are once again a goal down early into the game. The game resumes and Sporting are looking strong on the ball in the early stages. They keep the pressure on United with a free kick that sees the No10 Richard Gregory head straight at the United keeper Tom Dyche in the 10th minute. Sporting are soon on the break again when the No11 Sean Brain does well to slip past Ben Vallance and into the area where his thunderous shot smashes against the post and out to safety in the 17th minute.

United’s first chance at a shot at goal comes in the 23rd minute when a Chris Cox free kick picks out Robert Prinzel and his header drops wide of the target. United continue to press and when the busy Kevin Thornton laid the ball to Shaquille McDonald, his goal bound shot was cleared off the line in the 24th minute. United starting to look good and are closing Sporting down well and then break themselves as they go looking for the equaliser. A free kick by United’s Kyle Carey sees his shot  cannon off the wall and Lewis Rankin shoots the rebound wide of the target in the 25th minute. Another United chance comes again in the 29th minute when Lewis Rankin played a lovely pass through to set Shaquille McDonald on into the area to then see his shot fantastically saved by the Sporting keeper Reece Francis. United are really having a go and they deserve to be at least level in my opinion. The first booking of the game goes to United’s Ben Vallance in the 32nd minute for his challenge on Sporting’s Jason Cowley. The resulting free kick is taken by the No8 Josh Quaynor and his chip into the area is miskicked and the ball falls to Sporting’s No4 Matt Loveridge who makes no mistake as he smashes the ball into the back of the net from 10 yrds.


Now that’s a right kick in the teeth for United after being the more dominant team for the last 10 minutes. So once again United find themselves 2-0 down and a huge mountain to climb. The game resumes without any other chances being created by either side before the referee blew up for half time.


Second Half

The second half gets under way and United have made a change during the break by taking off Nathan Cadby and sending on Kyle Barnett.

Sporting start the half in buoyant mood straight from the start and force a corner in the 47th minute that’s taken by the No7 Drew Canavan. His cross into the box is headed out but the Sporting No5 Craig Jones (captain) had other ideas and sent the ball goal wards with an overhead kick that looked to have been cleared off the line but the officials had clearer views and the goal stood.


The score line is most definitely not a reflection of the game and United can find themselves very unlucky to be 3-0 down. They have though already been in this position before against Sporting and on that occasion they managed a dramatic comeback. Can they manage to do it all again?

United try to do just that when after some great build up play between Chris Cox, Kevin Thornton and Lewis Rankin. Lewis Rankin slides a great ball to Shaquille McDonald but his shot unfortunately goes high over the bar in the 49th minute.

Soon after things nearly got even worse for United when an attempted clearance by the keeper Tom Dyche is charged down by the advancing No9 Jason Cowley and the ball drops just wide of the open goal in the 53rd minute. United decide to make another change when they take off Chris Cox with a knock and send on Aaron Opoku in the 55th minute. Then in the 58th minute the booking tally is evened up when the Sporting No7 Drew Canavan shown a yellow card for upending Lewis Rankin. Lewis Rankin then takes the resulting free kick and sees his shot goes just past the post.

Sporting decide to make a change of their own in the 60th minute when they take off the No8 Josh Quaynor and send on the No15 Luke Dougmore. United make their final change in the 70th minute when they take off the influential Kevin Thornton and send on debutant Frankie Baignet.

United are certainly not throwing in the towel and are really having a go at trying to get back in the game. United’s Shaquille McDonald brings out a great save from the keeper Reece Francis from his free kick in the 72nd minute that goes out for a corner that results with Lewis Rankin shooting wide of the post. United have really got Sporting on the rack at the minute and finally get their reward in the 75th minute when Robert Prinzel’s penetrative run sees him slide a great ball to Shaquille McDonald who makes no mistake as he coolly finishes with a firmly hit shot.


That was a good break and no more than United deserve as they are dominating most of this second half to date. The game is now into the last 15 minutes so surely United can’t pull off another comeback? Things get a bit tricky for Sporting in the 81st minute when their No10 Richard Gregory is shown a straight red card for I think an elbow on United’s Jamal Clarke. Sporting soon after respond with a change to try and shore up the defence as they try and see the game out. They take off the No11 Sean Brain and send on the No12 Dan Preston in the 83rd minute.

The scene is now set and United are camped in the Sporting half. They break forward in the 86th minute and Aaron Opoku races clear into the area but his shot is really well saved by the keeper Reece Francis and the rebound is blazed wide of the target by Lewis Rankin. United pass up a couple of further half chances and in the 90th minute the ball is payed into the area and after a bit of a scramble United’s Jamal Clarke forces the ball into the back of the net to make it 3-2.


Wow, what a finish we have now. Can United pull this off again? The game resumes and shortly after the time runs out and United’s valiant attempt to get something out of the game is over as the referee blows up for full time and Sporting hold on to take the points.

Full Time


In summing up this game I would have to just say WHAT A GREAT GAME OF FOOTBALL. This was two great teams giving it a great go with nothing being given up easily. A pretty even first half saw Sporting still go into the break 2-0 up with United justly feeling a little hard done by on the score line.

The second half started disastrously for United as they conceded another goal early in the half to give them a huge mountain to climb. There is one thing nobody can take away from a United side and that is their ability to never give up until the final whistle is blown. United went about Sporting and really put them to the sword and clawed back two goals to make a really nervy ending for Sporting but the managed to hang on for their victory.

Players worthy of a mention would have to be the Sporting keeper Reece Francis who had to be at his best on numerous occasions to keep his team in front. The No11 Sean Brain really impressed me to and was always a threat.

For United, they all battled like Trojans and were unlucky not to get at least a point for their efforts. Ben Vallance had another good game and showed his quality in both defensive and attacking modes when required. Shaquille McDonald did well working hard up front and finally got his reward with another goal to add to his collection. Kevin Thornton was again right in the middle of it all and was always looking to make things happen with a telling pass or bringing in others around him into the game but for me my man of the match today must go to the hard working Gift Mussa. Gift was not fazed in the slightest in a tough midfield battle that was fiercely contested and in my opinion Gift came out on top at a canter so very well played Gift Mussa.

Match stats         United           Sporting

On target                (8)                    (5)

Off target               (9)                     (5)

Corners                  (4)                     (7)

Free kicks              (18)                   (14)

Yellow cards         (1)                     (1)

Red cards              (0)                     (1)

Offside                   (5)                    (1)


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