Sikh Hunters 3-2 Bromyard Town
By Aaron Muffett
First half showing enough to secure third win on the bounce
Sikh Hunters ended 2018 on a winning note on Saturday as they defeated Bromyard Town 3-2 in a real game of two halves.
Hunters went into the game on the back of successive wins and the confidence gained from those victories was clear to see in the opening exchanges. They'd already gone close before in the sixth minute, a neat exchange between Justin Nisbett and Tyrone Atkinson led to the latter being one on one with the goalkeeper. As Atkinson rounded the stopper, he was brought down for a clear penalty with the only surprise being that there was no further punishment for the visiting glovesman. Atkinson didn't let that bother him as he got up, dusted himself down to take the spot kick himself and slotted it into the bottom corner past the keeper's despairing dive.
One soon became two just a minute later when good hold up play by Nisbett was followed by a delightful reverse ball into the path of Dan Jones who raced through to finish underneath the goalkeeper for 2-0. A nightmare opening quarter of an hour for the visitors was then completed soon after when they were reduced to 10 men after a late, off the ground challenge on Alex Brogan in front of the dugouts. A brave decision so early in the game but there seemed to be little complaint from the away side. It could have been even worse for Bromyard a couple of moments later as a Connor Archer cross looked to have been swept home by Nisbett however the away number one pulled off a phenomenal save down to his right.
The home side continued to press as they tried to make their numerical advantage count and it was perhaps a surprise that there was only one goal to follow before the interval. An Archer ball forward was taken down majestically by Jones who set Sanjay Malhi away down the left. From the byline, his cutback was perfectly into the path of Jones who side footed home emphatically from around the penalty spot for his second of the game and his sides' third.
Into the second half and despite Hunters having more of the ball, it was the visitors who kept going to their credit and managed to get a foothold in the game just before the hour mark, albeit controversially. Ben Lawley adjudged to have fouled a Bromyard player in the box when it appeared that it was actually the Hunters defender who had been impeded. Goalkeeper Liam Haynes guessed the right way but the strike was too powerful and nestled in the bottom corner for 3-1.
The gave the away side hope, especially as Hunters were being wasteful in their attempts to kill the game off. Jones shot straight at the goalkeeper from a promising position while Todd Perry hit the crossbar from no more than 2 yards from a Jones corner as Bromyard rode their luck. The Hunters nerves increased with four minutes left on the clock as the visitors got a second goal following a goalmouth scramble from a corner and Haynes had to be alert to tip away an effort with a minute left but the home side held on for three thoroughly deserved points.
Hunters next fixture is a league encounter away to Tipton Town on Saturday. Kick off is at 3pm.