HURT Bromsgrove Sporting boss Brendan Kelly believes his players have some ‘soul searching’ to do following the crushing 4-0 home defeat to Midland League Premier Division title rivals Coleshill Town.
The Coleman took a sixth-minute lead when Robert Evans turned and volleyed home from inside the area.
Matthew Gardner added the second after 66 minutes with a deft lob and four minutes later Sporting were reduced to ten men when Luke Dugmore was sent off for a challenge on Joe Smith.
Coleshill made the extra man advantage count with Reece Leek and Joe Halsall netting late on to secure a resounding win for the visitors who leapfrogged Sporting into first place.
It was the first time Sporting had lost at the Victoria Ground in the league since February 2016 – a 1-0 defeat to Nuneaton Griff – and Kelly told the Standard his players need to have a ‘long, hard look at themselves’ ahead of Saturday’s trip to Sporting Khalsa.
“A defeat like that is something we have not experienced or felt since myself and lot of the players here arrived at the club,” he said.
“It’s hard enough to beat Coleshill with 11 men, let alone ten, but fair play to them because as much as it pains me to say it, they wanted it more than us.
“The boys will have to do a bit of soul searching and have a look in the mirror to see if they were up to their normal standards.
“It [the defeat] does hurt and it will take some time to get over it but we have got to keep our heads up as we still have a massive chance of getting promotion.”
Coleshill’s blistering intensity was rewarded after six minutes when a Ryan Edmunds free-kick dropped at the feet of Evans who turned and volleyed home into the far corner beyond a rooted Reece Francis.
Three minutes later Leek came close to adding a second but his shot at the back post was pushed away from danger by Francis.
Sporting never really got going in front of a 857-strong crowd but they had their chances with Sean Brain drilling wide and firing over before John Pykett headed straight at Paul Hathaway before the break.
Sporting came close to equalising just before the hour mark but an unmarked Jason Cowley could only direct a header straight into the arms of a relieved Hathaway.
Nine minutes later the visitors doubled their lead when a free-kick from the right came off the head of Daniel Morris and into the path of Gardner who gently lifted the ball over Francis to send the travelling Coleshill fans into euphoria.
Sporting’s life was made harder when Dugmore was given a straight red card for a tackle on Smith and it needed a fine save from Francis six minutes from the end to deny Edmunds from adding the third.
But it was not long before Coleshill made it 3-0 when Leek sprinted through the Sporting defence before lashing home into the bottom corner.
And Sporting’s misery was compounded in the first minute of stoppage time when skipper Halsall swept the ball into the far corner after latching on to Giovanni Dainty’s low cross.
“We have got to dust ourselves down now and focus on Sporting Khalsa,” said Kelly.
“We went over there in the FA Vase and dug in really well to get the win.
“We were resolute and I expect another close game but will have to defend better than Tuesday night to get a result.”
Report courtesy of Craig Gibbons (Bromsgrove Standard)