A poor day for the Bromsgrove outfit who could not get into their stride and ended up being beaten by the much better side on the day writes Phil Baker.
The conditions were far from ideal with a blustery wind blowing across the exposed pitch and a soggy surface after the previous day’s relentless rain. However it was Sporting who looked to be coping better in the early stages with Joe Ward playing up front in place of the suspended Jason Cowley firing over the bar on the third minute then Reece Hewitt doing the same a couple of minutes later.
Shepshed striker Shay Brennan looked to be the man to watch as he skipped through the defence but his tame shot hit the side-netting.
However after pushing forward in numbers the home side got their reward on the 16th minute following a free-kick into the box that Brendon Bunn let slip out of his grasp and following a couple of attempts, Jake Betts got the final touch into the net.
Robbie Bunn’s swerving shot was well-saved by ‘Shed ‘keeper Denham Hinds on the 32nd minutes but The Rouslers best chance to even up the scoreline was three minutes later when Hewitt attempted an angled overhead kick that beat Hinds but hit the post before rolling gently away on the wrong side of the goal line.
In the second period Sporting did try to get even but they found themselves constantly hassled off the ball and for the playmakers space and time on the ball was at a premium. Ward had one shot hooked off the line; another went wide of the left-hand post whilst for a third decent attempt, Hinds saved with his feet.
With Sporting pushing forward they left themselves vulnerable at the back and that proved costly on the 78th minute when Liam Hurst beat the offside trap and after chasing him into the box, Craig Jones’ clumsy tackle earned him a yellow card and conceded his side a penalty. Substitute Alex Troke converted with a hard shot into the left-hand corner giving Bunn no chance.
The home side then completed their scoring on the 86th minute with a good piece of initiative from Hurst who saw Bunn well of his line and managed to shoot home from the touchline, 45 yards out.
Connor Deards might have got a late one back for Sporting but his volley from John Pykett’s cross was well saved by Hinds. It was just not their afternoon.
Shepshed: Denham Hinds, Adam Hohn, Karl Whymark, Joe Pheasant, Jake Betts (Capt.), Niall Prenderville, Cosmas Matwasa, Liam Hurst (Rheiss McLean 90 mins), Shay Brennan (Alex Troke 73 mins), Michael Reeve, Ben Harris (Josh Hill 64 mins).
Goals: Jake Betts (16 mins), Alex Troke (79 mins penalty), Liam Hurst (86 mins)
Yellows: Michael Reeve (80 mins).
Sporting: Brendon Bunn, Aaron Roberts, Josh Quaynor (John Pykett 81 mins), Sam Wills, Craig Jones (Capt.), Danny Morris, Liam Spink (Connor Deards 68 mins), Robbie Bunn, Joe Ward (Sean Brain 68 mins), Danico Johnson, Reece Hewitt.
Substitutes not used: Jack Wilson, Guy Clark.
Yellows: Danico Johnson (23 mins), Liam Spink (44 mins), Craig Jones (78 mins).
Referee: Mr T Wainman (Tamworth)
Assistants Mr W Pelech (Burton-upon-Trent), Mr T Sharett (Burton-upon-Trent)
Weather: Cool, blustery.
Sporting Man of the Match: Aaron Roberts