Journey’s End: Bromsgrove Sporting Send Buckland Out of the Vase
Worcester side Bromsgrove Sporting, leaders of the MFL Division One, took control of the second half of their FA Vase quarter-final in front of a sell-out crowd to end Buckland Athletic’s dream of an FA Vase final at Wembley.
Just short of 3,000 turned out to watch the game with Bromsgrove increasing their ground’s capacity to cope with the increased interest.
Bromsgrove started the brighter, Robbie Bunn hitting the side netting with a deflected shot after skipping past Liam Drew along the goal-line. But Buckland, who play a step higher than their hosts, held their own. The next incident of note was a booking for Drew, 13 minutes in, after a foul on fifth round hero Jason Cowley. Six minutes later and it looked like as if the visitors had struck gold early on, Si Laughton rising high to meet a right-sided free-kick and find the back of the net. But the linesman’s flag cut celebrations short. Next up was a cut-and-dry penalty for Buckland as Jared Lewington sent Richard Groves through with a neat chip, Aaron Roberts taking away the latter’s legs inside the box. But home goalkeeper Nathan Vaughan dived low to his left to keep Lloyd Gardner’s left-footed placed effort out and the scores frustratingly level.
Despite pressure from the home side, Buckland defended well to keep the score at 0-0 by half-time, Groves ending the half in the referee’s book for dissent.
Substitute Chris Lloyd gave Sporting much more of an attacking edge after the interval but the scores stayed level until the hour mark when, after winning possession in midfield, a Sporting player was sent free on the left. With Clifford Walters beaten for pace, Grant Fisher raced out to cut out the attack but took the man before the ball giving Liam Spink the chance to open up from the spot. Spink’s penalty was placed similarly to Gardner’s but beat Fisher to spark the celebrations.
— Worcestershire FA (@WorcsFA) 19 February 2017
With their tail’s up, the hosts sought to double their lead, Cowley’s 66th minute shot saved well and the follow-up blocked. Two minutes later, Bunn rattled the bar with a dipping drive and then Fisher had to push over a shot from just outside the box. As Bromsgrove came forward yet again, Fisher once more looked to have saved his side from danger with a good save. But Buckland looked laboured in their attempts to take the ball into their opponents half and the much livelier home side regained possession. One pass found Lloyd who dragged Walters to the right side of the box before hitting a shot across Fisher and into the far left corner for 2-0 on 74 minutes. When Cowley squared for Reece Hewitt and the latter went down following a Liam Head tackle, the hosts appealed for a second penalty. However, the referee’s decision to deny them was probably right as Head looked to have got the ball first. Si Revell came on for Nick Rudge for the last ten minutes and Sporting captain Craig Jones did well to halt his incisive run after Charlie Johanson’s clever lay-off, Lewington’s follow-up going over the bar. Lloyd had a gilt-edged chance to grab his second after Sporting broke from a Buckland corner, the ball squared to leave him with oceans of space. But the substitute dragged his shot wide of the goal. Despite some good build-up play, Buckland were always at risk of a quick break and Cowley’s long-range effort wasn’t too far over after one such breakaway attack. Another, deep in stoppage time, saw Walters dispossessed by Ahmed Ali and Fisher bravely out to force Cowley to hit the post instead of the back of the net. That was the last action of the match with Sporting going through courtesy of a fairly commanding second half performance.
Here is the full match action: