AN ASSURED first-half display saw Worcester City topple higher-ranked landlords Bromsgrove Sporting 3-2 to reach the Worcestershire Senior Urn final.

James Baldwin coolly netted twice before providing the ammunition for Kyonn Evans to make it 3-0 at half-time.

Sporting made a triple change at the break and penned back City with a powerful display only to be denied by some spirited last-ditch defending.

Star striker Richard Gregory eventually got one back in the 80th minute and nerves began to jangle when Michael McGrath slammed in another less than 60 seconds later.

Crosses flashed in towards the end but Worcester stood firm to set up a showpiece with league rivals Highgate United.

Sports reporter Andy Mitchell takes us through the talking points.


No, it’s James Baldwin – and the one John Snape has been waiting so long to see.

Defenders rarely read where he is going and at times he doesn’t seem to know either but that missing purpose and poise was finally unearthed.

Provided composed finishes, a quality cross to put the third on a plate for Evans and an outlet at key times in a second half that saw Sporting pile on the pressure.

He is loved by some fans and baffles others but if he finds this kind of form even on a semi-regular basis, he will be one hell of a player at this level.


Maligned on Saturday, the new man between the sticks produced a near-faultless display.

His one wobble was made up for by pulling off what looked like an impossible save on the rebound.

Confident takes, decisive closing of angles and timely blocks – did his chances of keeping the number one jersey no harm at all.


Three minutes before Bromsgrove got the first of two goals in as many minutes there was 30-second flurry in which both teams might have had a penalty.

City’s case looked the stronger as Jamal Lawrence went down under a pretty hefty lunge from Craig Jones which should have offered the chance to kill the contest with Worcester fans still undoubtedly feeling restless, even with a three-goal cushion.

Sporting broke and had a shout of their own as Charlie Dowd made one of many bursts past Riley Keasey, another appeal referee Wayne Barratt waved away emphatically.


The second half was largely one-way traffic after Sporting had brought on the big guns but for their faults and occasional wobbles, City turned up for 90 minutes – twice as many as their opponents.

Bromsgrove had enough chances to pull it back, perhaps even win but City’s guts and spirit made them worthy winners of this proper ding-dong derby.


City’s players provided the perfect response to recent questions over the manager’s position.

There is room for improvement, no doubt, but this was a determined and decisive performance.

The shape was good and while some of the possession was wayward under intense second-half scrutiny, everyone had one another’s backs when it mattered most.

At a time when some supporters have voiced doubts about John Snape, this endorsement from his dressing room was a timely and meaningful.


Worcestershire Senior Urn semi-final: Worcester City 3 (Baldwin 4, 21, Evans 42) Bromsgrove Sporting 2 (Gregory 80, McGrath 81)

City: Gilder 8, Caines 5.5, Smith 8 (Keasey, 67, 5.5), Forsyth 8.5, Stoddart 8, Horton 7, Withington 6.5, Attoumani 7.5 (Birch, 58, 6.5), Evans 6.5, Basford 6 (Lawrence, 64), Baldwin 8.5*. Unused subs: Lockett, Willis.

Sporting: Brown 5.5, Jones 5.5, Hall 6, Cresswell 5 (Hayward, h-t, 7.5), Taylor 6, Morris 6, Pykett 6 (Dowd, h-t, 8), McGrath 7, Cowley 6.5, Pryce 5 (Gregory, h-t, 6.5), Shorrock 6.5. Unused subs: Roberts, Quaynor.

Attendance: 583.