Pitching In Southern Premier League Central

Bromsgrove Sporting

Ebbutt (52) (penalty), Kettle (78)

Hednesford Town

Flanagan (75)

(0) 2

(0) 1



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Carter Lycett

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Lowestoft Town (H) 2.10.21

The Pitmen suffer their second 2-1 reverse on the road this evening at a wet and miserable Bromsgrove Sporting as the hosts edge out their neighbours to return to winning ways in the Southern Premier League Central

Saturday had seen Keenen Meakin-Richards' side crash to their first league defeat of the season at Leiston and fall to fourth place in the league table in the process. There was only one change to the visitors' line-up from their trip to Suffolk at the weekend as Andre Landell returned to the side in place of Reece Flanagan after serving his one-match ban for his red card against Nuneaton a couple of weeks previously

Sporting had been on the end of a 2-1 defeat themselves at the weekend as they had been beaten by Royston Town on their own turf on Saturday to end a sequence of three league games without defeat before the game. Manager Brendan Kelly made one change to his team for tonight's game as Cody Fisher replaced Kieran Dunbar in defence. Former Hednesford men Demetri Brown and Jack Hallahan were both named amongst the Rouslers' substitutes

It had rained persistently across the Midlands for much of the day, leaving the Victoria Ground pitch slick and allowing the ball to run quickly. The all-sky blue visitors made a bright start in the opening minutes, with Landell making an early run down the wing in the fifth minute and pulled the ball back into the path of Chay Tilt, whose weak effort from twelve yards out drifted well wide of the near post

Neat play from the Pitmen once more four minutes later saw Courtney Richards win the ball and play the ball out to Lycett once more, who used Joshveer Shergill well on the overlap to take Josh Dugmore out of play and create the space to run into. The ball ran away from him however and his shot was well wide of goal from eighteen yards out

In the thirteenth minute, recent signing Shergill latched onto a fine pass from Carter Lycett in the inside left position, but rushed his effort and only succeeded in striking the ball straight at Bromsgrove stopper Ákos Onódi

Four minutes later, Bromsgrove's first attack of the game came from a free-kick out on the right as Cameron Ebbutt's fine delivery was headed over the crossbar by skipper Joel Kettle

Both sides were struggling with the terrible conditions, as passes were misplaced at both ends of the pitch and both goalkeepers scuffing simple clearances straight out of play under no pressure

Midway through a half lacking in any real quality at either end, neat play from Todd Parker saw him pick out Tilt down the right, who in turn found Callam Mendez-Jones on the overlap. The right-back took a couple of touches before drilling the ball into the near post where Nathan Hayward was on hand to beat Andre Brown to the ball and turn it behind for a corner at his near post

Two minutes later, Richards won the ball and played Tilt into space on the right once more. The diminutive winger jinked his way past a couple of challenges before being crowded out by the Sporting defence before he could shoot from fifteen yards out

A quick break through the centre of the pitch on the half-hour mark from the hosts saw Connor Taylor pick up a flick-on from Jourdain Masidi and run at the Hednesford defence before returning the ball to the charging Masidi. His fine pass played Cameron Ebbutt through behind Mendez-Jones, but the midfielder's low shot lacked power and was easily saved by Andy Wycherley

Taylor probably should have done better on thirty-four minutes as he found himself with time and space just inside the Hednesford penalty area and shot well wide of goal from twelve yards out as the Pitmen's defence looked to finally close him down

A mazy run from the tricky Masisdi on thirty-nine minutes saw him trick his way past Kyle Rowley before unleashing a shot that was at a comfortable height for Wycherley to catch

With a minute of the first half remaining, neat play from the Pitmen saw them work the ball from left to right through Lycett and Brown to Mendez-Jones, who was in acres of space out on the flank. He made up ten yards of territory before pulling the ball back into the path of Landell, whose sidefooted effort on the edge of the box lacked power and was easily saved by Onódi

It had been poor fare from both sides all being said, although the conditions had played their part in a first-half low on both chances and genuine goalscoring opportunities, with both goalkeepers fairly under-used

The hosts started the second half strongly kicking towards the Elliott Nash end and pushed the Pitmen back into their own third; Ebbutt almost opened the scoring on fifty-one minutes as he rangy run down the right saw him cut inside and lift his shot just over the crossbar from just inside the penalty area

A minute later, however, the same player was handed the chance to open the scoring as Bromsgrove were awarded a penalty kick; Masisdi's run and pass into the path of Ebbutt saw him take the ball into the penalty area, where Lewis Ison halted his progress by mistiming his tackle and bringing the player down. Referee Mr Pattison from Bromsgrove pointed to the spot without hesitation, allowing Ebbutt to strep up and fire underneath the body of Wycherley from twelve yards out to give Sporting the lead

The away side elected to make their first change of the evening two minutes later as Shergill - who had struggled to get into the game - was taken off in favour of Flanagan

Back came the Pitmen through their man of the match Lycett, who turned Dugmore inside out on fifty-nine minutes as he made a darting run in from the left but pulled his cross-cum-shot across the face of the goal and wide without looking to find either Brown or Landell

Three minutes later, a long throw from Ison on the left was flicked on at the near post by Rowley and partially cleared to Lycett, who drew the foul from Fisher. Flanagan's inswinging free-kick found the head of Ison, who could not direct the ball cleanly towards goal and looped his header over the crossbar

Skipper Richards was forced off on sixty-five minutes after taking a nasty bang on the head and appearing to suffer a concussion which required more attention in the dressing room. Teenager Joe Morely came on his place in midfield

Parker tried his luck from range two minutes later, but his hopeful effort from over twenty yards out was easily claimed by the tall figure of Onódi in the Sporting goal

Tilt and Flanagan linked up in midfield on seventy-two minutes to tee up Landell on the edge of the Bromsgrove penalty area, only for the striker's shot from twenty yards out to be claimed well by Onódi

The Pitmen were playing their best football of the game at this point and were rewarded for making a first of the game with an equaliser three minutes later; Brown found the feet of new skipper Flanagan on the edge of the penalty area, with the substitute showing great feet to nutmeg Kettle and toe-poke the ball beyond the reach of Onódi from eight yards out for his third goal of the season

You felt that the Pitmen may have the momentum now to perhaps go on and win the game at this point, but dreadful defending from the visitors allowed Bromsgrove to take the lead once more with their next attack on seventy-eight minutes. Landell lost the ball to Miro Pais, whose run down the right flank was halted illegally by a foul from Flanagan just outside the penalty area. Ebbutt took the resultant free-kick and found the head of Kettel at the near post, who had the simple task of nodding home unchallenged

The Pitmen had brought on club great Ben Bailey just before the free-kick was taken, replacing Lycett who looked as though he had picked up a knock and was holding his hip as he went off

Hallahan made a late appearance for Sporting with ten minutes remaining, as he came on to add a layer of protection to the Sporting defence as he replaced Hayward

Another well-taken free-kick from Flanagan with four minutes remaining picked out Ison, lurking at the near post, but he got underneath the ball - under pressure from Demetri Brown - and headed over the crossbar from six yards out

A superb run from Fisher on eighty-eight minutes almost put the icing on the cake for the hosts as he was allowed to drift past three challenges after cutting in from the left-wing, culminating in a save at his near post by Wycherley, who turned the ball away with his legs

It had been a largely limp display from the Pitmen, who had looked a little uninspired up front and had struggled for long periods of the game to create any openings of note. Sporting showed more in the way of know-how and took their chances well that were handed to them by the Pitmen's ill-discipline and will probably feel that they deserved the three points over the ninety minutes. Hednesford return home for the first of two home games in the next fortnight as they face Lowestoft Town at the PRG Stadium @ Keys Park on Saturday, followed by another home game the weekend after as they face Hitchin Town

Bromsgrove Sporting: Onódi, Dugmore, Fisher, Hayward (Hallahan 80), Mace, Kettle ©, Ebbutt, Broadhurst (Newell 80), Taylor (D. Brown 69), Masidi, Pais      Subs Unused: Clayton, Dunbar

Hednesford Town: Wycherley, Mendez-Jones, Lycett (Bailey 78), Rowley, Ison, Richards © (Morley 65), Tilt, Parker, A. Brown, Landell, Shergill (Flanagan 54)     Subs Unused: Chambers, Wollaston