WORCESTER City’s rivalry with Bromsgrove Sporting has only just begun but history points to an Indian sign over predecessors Rovers.

More than 18 years have passed since City showed no mercy to a Bromsgrove side floundering at the foot of the Southern League Premier Division with two goals from Paul ‘Ocker’ Davies and another from Sam Bowen sealing a 3-1 success in April 1999.

In truth, Rovers had never recovered from their crash from the Conference in 1997, struggling on their return to non-league football’s second tier the previous season.

The last time Bromsgrove beat Worcester in the league was during their second month back in the Southern League as 769 supporters witnessed a 3-0 home victory at the Victoria Ground.

But by the end of the season Rovers found themselves embroiled in a relegation dogfight while City proved steady presences in the top half of the table.

Revenge was sweet in February 1998 as Sam Bowen and Michael Griffiths, both signed a few months earlier, notched in a 2-0 victory in front of 1,201 fans at St George’s Lane.

The win sparked a mini purple patch with Griffiths scoring four in five matches and Bowen establishing himself as a City favourite by becoming top scorer with 16 goals in 26 matches.

Worcester would finish seventh with 69 points, a mere two behind third-placed Burton Albion but 20 behind champions Forest Green Rovers.

Rovers sank to fourth from bottom and were saved from relegation by Chelmsford City’s inability to take promotion from the Southern Division.

The next meeting came during a period of turmoil for City.

Manager George Rooney had been sacked little more than six years into his second spell in charge with a five-match winless run and four outings without a goal following under caretaker bosses Mick Tuohy and Graham Selby.

Mark Owen was the man who raised some festive cheer, snaffling a double to seal a 2-0 win at the Victoria Ground in front of a crowd of 876 on Boxing Day 1998.

Battered Rovers finished bottom by a whopping 14 points and would never be seen at the same level as City again.

City finished seventh again, four points behind runners-up Boston United.

Worcester ended the campaign ahead of Crawley Town and Burton Albion, clubs that have gone on to establish themselves in the Football League.

Bromsgrove Rovers did enjoy a brief renaissance before their demise in 2010 with Sporting beginning life as a new club rather than a phoenix outfit.

Overall, City won 11, drew five and lost six of 22 league matches played against Rovers, scoring 33 goals and conceding 23.

Sporting host tenants City in the Midland League Premier Division on Monday (3pm).