Fitter's stunner wins Vase replay for Sporting - The Droitwich Standard

Fitter's stunner wins Vase replay for Sporting

Droitwich Editorial 11th Sep, 2014 Updated: 17th Oct, 2016   0

Bromsgrove Sporting 3 Stourport Swifts 2 (AET)

FA Vase first qualifying round replay

AN ENTERTAINING and competitive match saw Sporting overcome local rivals Stourport on Tuesday thanks to a sublime late strike by Simon Fitter in extra time, writes Phil Baker.

Saturday’s initial tie had finished in a 2-2 draw and Tuesday’s game saw Stourport start much the brighter and they could have had a couple of goals early on but for poor finishing.

Sporting settled down and pressurised the away defence, gaining a free kick on 26 minutes. This was superbly taken by Sam Wills who lofted the ball over the wall where Brendan Bunn could only parry the shot into the path of the advancing Chrisi Conway who slid home from six yards out.

Sporting kept up the pressure and gained a penalty on 34 minutes when Jamie Willetts crudely brought down Conway in the box. Man of the match Wills was again on target to despatch the spot kick despite Bunn diving the right way.

Stourport’s long ball game was not bringing them any benefits and they changed tactics after the interval, using short passes and closing down the home side.

That proved to be effective and won them a free kick on the edge of the box on 52 minutes taken by Michael McGrath. He curled a well taken kick over the wall and well wide of Jake Bedford’s left arm to make it 2-1.

From then on Stourport dominated the game, giving Sporting few opportunities to get forward. With just a minute left on the clock referee Mr Ellis awarded Swifts a controversial corner, although many thought the last touch was by a Swifts player. From the resulting kick an unmarked John Griffin headed low and through a packed goal area to give his side the equaliser.

So, with half hour of extra time and with no striker on the pitch, Bromsgrove manager Paul Smith pushed Will Tibbetts up front, who until then had had a quiet game. His running at the defence unsettled Stourport and gave Sporting their best spell since the first half, although neither goalkeeper was really tested.

Halfway through the second period, legs were beginning to tire, and players were finding more free space to play in. Fitter took advantage of not being closed down near the touchline when he spotted Bunn off his line and from 35 yards floated a perfect shot over the Stourport defence and the helpless keeper into the top corner of the net.

It is certainly an early contender for the goal of the season.

Sporting then just had to defend for another seven minutes but again gave away a free kick just outside the box with seconds remaining. However, this time McGrath’s free kick went sailing over the bar and shortly afterwards Mr Ellis blew for full time to cheers and relief from the home fans.

Sporting gained a deserved win and now host Midland Football League Premier Division outfit Tipton Town in the second qualifying round on October 4.


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