In-form Saints are hit for seven

Louis Bridges took his goal tally for the season to 21 with the opener against Pershore last Saturday.
Louis Bridges took his goal tally for the season to 21 with the opener against Pershore last Saturday.
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Southam’s winning run came to an abrupt end at a cold and wet Victoria Ground on Tuesday evening as Bromsgrove Sporting ran in seven goals without reply, writes David Hucker.

The visitors went a goal down in just the second minute when the defence failed to clear and the ball fell to Sam Wills, who comfortably beat Tom Cross.

A Max Crisp shot was deflected for corner and Jake Bedford fingertipped Connoll Farrell’s shot over the bar to deny him a debut goal following his move from Coventry Copsewood.

Cross rescued Saints, saving with his legs from an unmarked Sean Brain, but the match was effectively over as Sporting scored two more goals in the final minutes of the half through William Tibbetts; the first a header and the second on the counter attack after a Grandfield shot had been blocked.

A long-range shot from Lee Thomas early in the second half went just wide and Bedford saved from Josh Smith, but then the wheels fell off when substitute Jozsef Jakab back-flicked a low, hard cross into the net in the 66th minute and then doubled up to make it number five shortly after.

Bridges had a shot scrambled away and then Bellingham put an effort too high before Adam Guest’s 83rd-minute backpass fell short and Christopher Conway took advantage to beat Cross. Conway got his second in added time.

On Saturday, two goals from Chris Bright and a third from leading scorer Bridges sent Saints into the next round of the Les James Midland Football League Challenge Cup at the expense of Pershore.

After surviving an early scare when Craig Connor shot wide when clear through, Saints took the lead through with an eighth-minute strike from Bridges - his 21st goal of the season.

Pershore equalised when the assistant referee flagged for a foul by Crisp and the Saints defence stopped, expecting a free- kick to be awarded.

But, with the referee giving nothing, Pershore had an easy task to run through a static defence to score.

Then, in the 41st minute, man-of-the-match Bright set himself up to thump in the second to restore Saints’ lead.

Cross kept Saints in front with a penalty save in the 50th minute and again came to Saints rescue as the lively Steve Roche got the better of Jack Brighton to set up a good scoring chance.

Bridges had a shot tipped around the post for a corner before Tunde Ajibade set up him up for another chance. Although his shot was blocked, Bright was on hand to poke the ball home.

Tomorrow, Lee Knibbs brings his Heather St John’s side to Banbury Road (3pm).

Knibbs is likely to include six former Saints players in his squad, including prolific striker Simeon Smith.