Ludlow and Russell bag braces as Sporting savour cup joy

Bromsgrove Advertiser: Bromsgrove Sporting's players lift the Smedley Crooke Memorial Charity Cup. Picture: CRAIG ROSS Bromsgrove Sporting's players lift the Smedley Crooke Memorial Charity Cup. Picture: CRAIG ROSS

Bromsgrove Sporting 4 Paget Rangers 1

BROMSGROVE Sporting won their first ever piece of silverware when they clinched the Smedley Crooke Memorial Charity Cup against Paget Rangers at The Victoria Ground on Saturday.

The Cup has been played for since 1919 when it was donated by the late Conservative MP for Birmingham Deritend Sir John Smedley Crooke in memory of those who died in the First World War.

Braces for Chris 'Billy' Russell and Daniel Ludlow bagged the Rouslers' first silverware since the club's birth in 2010.

Sporting were quicker off the mark, moving the ball around neatly leaving their opponents chasing shadows and it was no surprise that they took the lead on just four minutes.

Russell made a run down the left and supplied an accurate pass across the face of the goal to Ludlow who had an easy tap in.

The Rouslers continued to press forward and extended their lead 13 minutes later.

It was Ludlow again, whose shot through a crowded goal area took a couple of deflections before ending up in the corner of the net.

The third for the home side came on 20 minutes and it was a fine effort from Russell who made a run from the halfway line into the penalty area and after side-stepping a couple of defenders hooked the ball into the top right-hand corner from a few yards out.

Playing down hill after the break Paget looked to be more fired up and organised with strikers Josh O'Reilly and Kurt White having chances early on while defender David Arrowsmith attempted to lob Jake Bedford from the halfway line but his shot went just over the bar.

They finally managed to get a goal back on 50 minutes that James O'Callaghan hit home after a goalmouth scramble.

After looking to be dominant for much of the first half, Sporting lost their impetus in the second and although Rangers' incursions were contained, they created few chances themselves.

Both sides used maximum substitutions and their fresh legs gave both sides a bit more momentum but no changes in the scoreline until just after the 90 minutes were up and what a goal it was.

Will Tibbetts chipped over a great cross to Russell in the box who chested the ball down on to his right foot and volleyed home from 15 yards out.

Four minutes into added time and Russell was involved in one more piece of drama when Paget substitute Jack Storer made a two-footed tackle on him near the dugouts, earning a straight red card in the process. Russell fortunately saw the foul coming and escaped without injury.

Shortly after the final whistle Sporting captain Craig Jones received the splendid trophy from the organising committee to applause from a large crowd who went home happy after a fine season for Sporting and an enjoyable final day.

Sporting: Bedford, Mander, Duggan, Poyner, Jones, Morris, Williams (Tibbetts, 80), Darkin (Wilkinson, 70), Bellingham, Russell, Ludlow (Taylor, 70).

Subs not used: Wilson, Clarke.

Paget: Smith, O'Callaghan (Storer, 68), Reid, Arrowsmith, O'Callaghan, Morris, Coates, Zouch, O'Reilly (Bennett, 80), White, Bradley (Flynn, 80s).

Subs not used: Edmead, Deakin.

Attendance: 408 Sporting Man of the Match: Chris 'Billy' Russell

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