FOOTBALL: AN IMPROVED performance saw Southam United put up a fight against Midland League Division One leaders Bromsgrove Sporting but ultimately they fell to a heavy 6-0 defeat.
Despite an improved performance from the Saints, Sporting came away with a comfortable win which maintains their unbeaten league run and keeps them in pole position at the top of the table.
Conditions were not ideal at the Banbury Road Ground with a strong, cold wind bellowing across the ground accompanied by heavy and squally showers.
There was little action for the first few minutes as both teams attempted to get a feel for what they had let themselves in for though Josh Turton forced Rouslers’ ‘keeper Ryan Price into a low parried save in the fourth minute.
Saints keeper Harry Gardiner tipped Jason Cowley’s angled shot wide of the right-hand post then Craig Jones had his header cleared off the line from the resulting corner as the visitors pressed for an opener.
And Sporting finally got their noses in front in the 23rd minute as Reece Hewitt got behind the Southam defence and pulled over a spot-on cross that Cowley had no trouble in tapping home.
Cue for several good pieces of defensive play from the hosts as Sporting laid siege though Southam did have a great chance on 32 minutes when Aaron Keen beat the offside trap but in a one-to-one with Price the keeper easily gathered the ball.
With five minutes left on the clock until the interval, Sporting grabbed a second goal as Luke Shorthouse supplied Cowley who appeared to be offside before running on and slipping the ball under the diving Gardiner from 12 yards out.
The second half saw Sporting dominate the early proceedings as they scored three goals in five minutes.
Cowley completed his hat-trick and Shorthouse got the last touch after a goalmouth scramble four minutes later when he appeared to kick the ball out of Gardiner’s hands.
Then a minute after that Sam Wills floated over a delightful corner that rose high before curving in the box allowing Luke Edwards to make it two in two games as he side-footed in from a few yards out.
Southam had another chance to get on the score sheet on 66 minutes when Price’s kick only went as far as Turton but the striker reacted too slowly to his good fortune and despite being clean through with only the keeper to beat, only managed a weak shot straight at Price.
The subsequent clearance up-field though ended up with substitute Andy Nicol who forced Gardiner into a flying save, his best of the match.
With three minutes of normal time remaining a pass from Nicol split the Southam back four allowed Chris Lloyd to shoot from just outside the box with an outswinger that went into the bottom right-hand corner of the net.