FURIOUS Bromsgrove Sporting boss Adrian Mander was left to lament Danny Morris’ controversial sending off in Saturday’s Midland Combination Challenge Cup defeat to Stafford Town.
Morris was shown a straight red card after five minutes following a challenge on Town hitman Morgan Hurley.
Despite the setback, the Rouslers powered into a 3-1 lead before a combination of poor defending allowed Stafford to roar back and win 5-3.
The semi-final defeat was disappointing as Sporting’s wait for a first trophy goes on.
“I couldn’t believe it was a sending off,” said Mander.
“The striker made a clever run but there was not a lot of contact and Joe Cole was also back there as well.
“It meant we played for 85 minutes with ten men. We even managed to go 3-1 up but conceded a goal 30 seconds after scoring.
“I will put my hands up because I should have made changes earlier but nobody played well.
“It was a chance to play at Bescott Stadium so we’re all bitterly disappointed.”
The loss was Sporting’s first defeat in a competitive match since December 7 and Mander has demanded a big response.
Bromsgrove can still win silverware this season as they have the Worcestershire Senior Urn semi-final at Lye Town on Tuesday, April 8 (7.45pm kick-off).
He said: “We owe it to the fans to win every game until the end of the season.
“A lot of people were looking forward to Saturday and we let them down.”
Sporting also remain second in the Midland Combination Premier but leaders Brocton extended their lead by edging out Earlswood 1-0.
Bromsgrove have six games of the season remain, starting with a home clash against Southam on Saturday (3pm kick-off).
They go to Racing Club Warwick next Tuesday (7.45pm kick-off) and Coventry Copsewood on April 5.
Studley come to the Victoria Ground on April 12, before Sporting travel to Blackwood seven days later.
They complete their league campaign at Bolehall Swifts on Saturday, May 3.