Saturday, February 12, 2005

Bromsgrove Rovers 1 Egham 0

Southern League Division One West

STRIKER Paul Szewczyk saved toothless Bromsgrove Rovers' blushes from the penalty spot, as basement boys Egham came close to taking an unexpected share of the points at the Victoria Ground on Saturday.

Hopes had been high with the return of fit again striker Leon Mitchell that Bromsgrove could record a cricket score against the division's whipping boys.

However, manager Jimmy Mullen's side struggled on a boggy pitch to find any cutting edge at all until new signing Scott Hadland was brought down for a penalty by Mohammed Shuggee in the 70th minute.

Rovers could have scored in the first minute, but Egham winger Kofe Hagen headed Steve Hillman's header from Kevin Banner's free kick off the line.

Szewczyk headed Banner's corner wide in the third minute, while Mitchell spurned a fine scoring chance when he shot straight at goalkeeper Eric Barrett after Nathan Jameson's incisive through ball.

Banner's ninth minute free kick clipped the Egham cross bar, but after early pressure Rovers began to run out of steam as the first half wore on.

The away side carried little threat but defender Phil Male made a well-timed challenge on the advancing Hagen in the 33rd minute, before Banner volleyed over after good work by Jameson.

Rovers were let off the hook in the second half, when Mike Crowson dithered on the ball in front of goal and 'keeper Matt Lowe dived to save in the 56th minute.

Jameson fed Jon Daniels on the goal in the 69th minute, but Egham captain Dave Graves cleared his shot.

However, a minute later Rovers were handed the break they needed when Shuggee needlessly hacked down Hadland in the box and Szewczyk's firm penalty to the right beat Barrett.

Sub Ben Pakmaster came closest to equalising for the visitors in the 86th minute, but he missed Enoch Boteng's cross with Lowe stranded, as Rovers held on for their third victory in the space of a week.

Rovers: Lowe 6, Frost 6, Hillman 6, Male 7, Collins 6, Jameson 8, Daniels (Johnson, 84mins 5), Benbow 6, Szewczyk 6, Mitchell 5 (Erraji, 65mins 6), Banner 6 (Hadland, 56mins 7).

Referee: Mr W Barratt.

Attendance: 361

By Peter McKinney