Bromsgrove Sporting 2 (1) Studley 0 (0)
AFTER three years of finishing second, Bromsgrove Sporting have been crowned champions of Midland Football League Division One, writes Max Banner.
This came as the Rouslers beat Studley 2-0, thanks to goals from Robbie Bunn and Jason Cowley, in a game that was met with euphoric scenes on the Victoria Ground pitch after the final whistle.
There were also long delays in the second half, as former Sporting player Keith Draper suffered a serious elbow injury with 13 minutes of normal time remaining.
In what was a nervy encounter throughout, Sporting dominated proceedings but initially lacked a little cutting edge in front of goal, with Reece Hewitt and Cowley spurning decent opportunities inside the opening 20 minutes.
However, the deadlock was to be broken on the 21st minute, as Hewitt chested the ball down and smartly found Bunn, who set himself up with a few touches before confidently curling his shot into the bottom corner.
Studley were to prove no pushovers though as two minutes after the opener, Draper had a firmly struck effort well saved by Bromsgrove keeper Jonathan Brown.
Another ex-Sporting player, Luke Dugmore, almost capitalised on a poor header by Craig Jones but his high ball towards an open goal was cleared by full back Aaron Roberts, who embodied the spirit of the 1351 strong crowd so perfectly throughout the whole match.
Sporting had chances to double their lead in the first half, but Hewitt’s low shot could only find the leg of Studley stopper Alistair Lewis before Chris Lloyd diverted his drive wide of the mark.
Bunn almost added to his tally five minutes after the interval but he just missed with his effort from a distance.
Captain Jones nearly made a rare appearance on the scoresheet for the Rouslers but couldn’t get enough of a decent connection with his head from Lloyd’s sumptuous free kick.
Sporting substitute John Pykett saw a tame shot easily saved by Lewis, which was followed five minutes later by Luke Shorthouse playing Cowley through, whose goal was ruled out for offside.
Soon after, Draper fouled Cowley but the tackle saw the Studley defender land awkwardly on his arm, which resulted in a lengthy delay as he received treatment.
The second would come six minutes into injury time, as Hewitt being brought down just outside the area resulted in Cowley sweetly striking the free kick into the net.
Keenen Meakin-Richards almost capped off a commanding performance with a goal as he hit the post with a charged down attempted clearance from a Studley defender and Cowley had a shot saved smartly by Lewis but it was not to matter, as the final whistle soon blew and jubilant celebrations swept the Victoria Ground, with players and fans rejoicing at winning the title and sealing their place in next season’s Premier Division.
Sporting: Jon Brown, Aaron Roberts, Danny Morris, Keenen Meakin-Richards, Craig Jones (Capt), Luke Edwards, Chris Lloyd (John Pykett 67 mins), Robbie Bunn, Jason Cowley, Sam Wills (Luke Shorthouse 67 mins), Reece Hewitt.
Substitutes not used: Jack Wilson, Tom Craine, Andy Nicol.
Goals: Robbie Bunn (22 mins), Jason Cowley (90 mins) Cards: None Studley: Alistair Lewis, Keith Draper (Ron Adjei 90 mins), Jake Wicketts, Luke Hennessy, Dan Dineen, Oliver Casey, Josh Westwood, Danny Ludlow, Matt Dorgan (Danny Lennon 72 mins), Luke Dugmore, Connor Perry-Holmes (Aaron Westwood 61 mins).
Substitutes not used: Jack Moss, Bradley Carter Yellow: Danny Lennon (90 mins) Referee: Mr A Hall (Wolverhampton) Assistants: Mr P Rodway (Rubery), Mr A Scriven (Northfield) Crowd: 1351 Weather: Warm, breezy Sporting Man of the Match: Robbie Bunn