SPORTING progressed to the next round of the Smedley Crooke Challenge Trophy after overcoming some obdurate defending from a solid Knowle side.

A goal in each half settled the tie as Sporting did just enough to overcome their lower division opponents.

Bromsgrove seemed to content to soak up pressure in the middle of the park and try and hit Knowle with long balls up to the twin strike force of Mark Bellingham and Matt Poyner.

Knowle skipper Stephen Jones was dominant in the air and Sporting only started to threaten when they got the ball down out wide.

The first goal came in the 21st minute when Poyner volleyed home from the corner of the six-yard box.

Danny Edwards then picked up a booking for a tackle.

On 26 minutes Knowle forced a great save from keeper Jake Bedford, but it was 70 minutes before either side made any further impact and Sporting almost scored as Knowle played pinball in their own area before the ball flew out for a corner. Sporting did finally wrap up the victory in the 81st minute when Joe Cole hammered home spectacularly from 25 metres.

Sporting: Bedford, Mander, Edwards (Cole), Clarke, Morris, Jones, Duggan, Wilkinson (Darkin), Bellingham, Poyner, Ashman. Subs not used: Harvey, Heath, Lowe.

Knowle: Palmer, Marcroft, Anderson, Collins, Jones, Styche M, Hinson, Oakley (Mardenborough), Craine, Styche L, Lys. Subs not used: Hall T, Hooton, Frogatt, Hall J.

Attendance: 243. Referee: M Steward (Redditch).