This match was not a turning point but it served to prove, if indeed it was ever required, that Sporting can compete and hold their own at this level of football. The defence was tight and well-organised against useful opponents, the mid-field both creative and defensive whilst the front-line always look dangerous and threatening writes Phil Baker.
Playing on the ground of Coventry Rugby Club, renowned for their past achievements and string of famous England internationals, the home side shaded the first half but failed to get on to the scoresheet owing to good defensive work from their opponents and probably by their own admission, finishing could have been a little better.
Dave Moli had the first chance of the match on the 3rd minute but pulled his shot wide of the left-hand post then a couple of minutes later, Josh O’Grady fired a free-kick just over the bar.
Moments later Moli again should have done better than a weak effort easily gathered by Sporting ‘keeper Brendon Bun, whilst at the other end, Jason Cowley returning for the Rouslers, put a decent chance over the bar after being fed by Josh Quaynor.
With much of the play in the centre of the park, chances were few until the 40th minute when Craig Jones’ header just went wide from a Quaynor free-kick.
After the interval the balance of the match swung in Sporting’s favour with less than two minutes on the clock. Sam Wills threaded a delightful ball through the United mid-field to Wade Malley who ran into the box only to be tackled by Ben Vallence. However, the ball ran loose to Robbie Bunn who had plenty of time to pick his spot and bury the ball from just outside the penalty area to give his side the lead.
The task was now for the away side to defend their lead but that did not stop them from attempting to increase their lead and many of the Bromsgrove supporters thought that happened on the 67th minute when Max Loveridge dummied two defenders and shot from 20 yards only to hit the side-netting.
Cowley went down in the box four minutes later but referee Mr Kidd emphatically signalled no foul and although visibly tiring the striker had another good effort on the 81st minute but miscued his shot over the bar.
However, the last few minutes belonged to the home side who laid siege to the Sporting goal but without success. Finally with four extra minutes on the clock, Brendon Bunn held on to Brad Jones’ well-taken free-kick as Mr Kidd blew for time much to the relief and blood pressure of the travelling crowd.
So a very useful three points to Sporting against one of the division’s favourites for the title. However there is a lot of football to go but it promises to be a varied and entertaining season.
Coventry: Richard Morris, Brad Jones (Jeff Woodward 52 mins), Ben Vallence, Gift Mussa, Kyle Barnett, Robert Prinzell, Lewis Rankin (Aaron Opoku 69 mins), Thomas Glascoe, Dave Moli, Craig Read (Capt.), Joshua O’Grady (Ryan Quinn (61 mins).
Substitutes not used: Aaron Wint, Scott Hammond.
Yellow: Lewis Rankin (42 mins).
Sporting: Brendon Bunn, Aaron Roberts, Josh Quaynor, Max Loveridge, Craig Jones (Capt.), Danny Morris, Liam Spink (Sam Wills 46 mins), Robbie Bunn, Jason Cowley, Wade Malley (John Pykett 61 mins), Connor Deards (Sean Brain 69 mins).
Substitutes not used: Jack Wilson, Guy Clark.
Goals: Robbie Bunn (47 mins).
Yellows: Liam Spink (28 mins), Josh Quaynor (34 mins), Aaron Roberts (68 mins), Sam Wills (76 mins), Max Loveridge (90+3 mins).
Referee: Mr T Kidd (Coventry)
Assistants Mr P Tapp (Coventry), Mr T Cairns (Bedworth)
Weather: Cool, cloudy.
Sporting Man of the Match: Craig Jones.