Peterborough Sports were knocked off the top of Division One Central table after losing their big Evo Stik League game to Bromsgrove Sporting in front of a bumper crowd at the Bee Arena today (February 23).
Sports went down 2-1 to the new leaders and lost powerful centre-back Paul Malone to a red card midway through the second-half after a 22-man melee. The city side are still in great shape though as Bromsgrove, who were completing the double over Sports, are only two points clear having played three more games.
The visitors were quickly out of the traps and took the lead on 11 minutes when a cross from the right from full back Liam Spink was turned home at the far post by Jason Cowley. Sports were poor in the opening stages, and seemed overawed by the occasion in front of 391 fans, and it was no surprise when Sporting doubled their advantage on 21 minutes. The Turbines have an Achilles heel of conceding from their own corners, and Bromsgrove broke at pace before the influential Charlie Dowd fed Kieren Westwood to roll into an empty net.
The hosts slowly got a foothold in the contest and got themselves back into the contest on 33 minutes when Mark Jones put Dion Sembie-Ferris through, and the Sports front man cut inside before sliding home. Sports went on to have the better of things up to the break, with Vieira heading a great chance over, but went in a goal behind.
Early in the second half Josh McCammon broke free but was stopped in his tracks by a diabolical tackle from Spink. A 22-man melee ensued and somehow the officials decided that Sports’ Paul Malone’s involvement was worthy of a red card, though the offence itself by Spink was only deemed worthy of a yellow, with two other players booked for their part in the fracas.
Not a lot happened after that, although Bromsgrove’s Josh Quaynor nearly capitalised on a James Stevenson error and man of the match Dowd went on a mazy run which ended with Lewis Moat being forced into a save with his legs, before Kyle Lincoln headed narrowly over from a corner. A Richard Jones volley and a deflected shot from Mark Jones were the home sides best efforts, but in truth the Turbines rarely looked like forcing a draw.
Sports have another tough game next Saturday (March 2) when visiting third-placed Corby who are five points behind the city side.
It was a great day for Yaxley though who eased their fears of relegation with a superb 2-1 win over play-off chasing Berkhamsted at the Decker Bus Arena.
The Cuckoos led through Dan Cotton’s 25th-minute penalty, but looked to have dropped points when Berkhamsted equalised two minutes from time.
But up popped Matt Sparrow to fire home a 92nd minute winner and lift Yaxley four places and 10 points clear of the drop zone.
Bradley Wells was the two-goal hero for Spalding United as they fought back twice to draw 2-2 with Stamford AFC in Division One East of the Northern League.
An early goal from Rob Morgan and an 85th effort from Jake Duffy looked to have given Stamford the points, but Wells scored goals in the 80th and 90th minutes to rescue a point.
Danny Setchell shot Wisbech into a 49th-minute lead over Pontefract Colleries, but the visitors scored twice in three minutes around the hour mark to claim the points at the Fenland Stadium.
Saturday, February 23
EVO STIK NORTHERN LEAGUE
East Division: Spalding Utd 2 (Wells 2), Stamford 2 (Morgan, Duffy); Wisbech 1 (Setchell), Pontefract Collieries 2.
EVO STIK SOUTHERN LEAGUE
Division One Central: Peterborough Sports 1 (Sembie-Ferris), Bromsgrove Sporting 2; Yaxley 2 (Cotton, Sparrow), Berkhamsted 1.