Bromyard Town 1 Dudley Town 0
DEVON Smith’s strike two minutes before the interval gave Bromyard a richly-deserved victory this afternoon (Saturday) in the West Midlands League Premier Division.
The ex-Worcester City player took advantage of a defensive mix-up to slot the ball into an empty net from 20 yards.
Dudley huffed and puffed and almost broke Bromyard’s hearts in stoppage-time at Delahay Meadow.
Home goalkeeper Matt Ramage pushed a shot around a post in the 92nd minute.
And, then in the dying seconds, a visiting player latched on to a flick-on but volleyed high over the bar from eight yards.
Bromyard’s smiling secretary, Tony Haverfield, said: “That was a brilliant performance from the lads. We’ve got some excellent young players at this club. They worked so hard today and deserved that win.”
Dudley had the lion’s share of possession in the first half but, after an early penalty appeal, created few chances.
Bromyard’s players showed plenty of energy and worked hard to stifle the visitors’ attacking instincts.
Smith had Bromyard’s first chance in the 25th minute after being sent clear. However, his shot from a tight angle was blocked by visiting goalkeeper Aaron O’Mally.
Ash Millard was a constant menace to the Dudley defence and had a shooting chance blocked.
Dudley were within inches of taking the lead five minutes before the break but Grant Josyua fired wide from the edge of the box.
Bromyard hit back and made the visitors pay for that miss within three minutes.
Dudley skipper Danny Ludlow made a hash of dealing with Millard’s ball forward.
And with the visiting goalkeeper stranded, Smith took full advantage, much to delight of the home supporters, to nip in and knock a low shot into a gaping net.
Bromyard made a flying start to the second period and almost doubled their advantage within six minutes.
Millard’s effort was kept out by O’Mally after a quick break had cut open the visitors’ defence.
And, then, two minutes later, Smith had an even better opening but shot weakly at O’Mally.
Millard turned well only to fire over from an acute angle in the 74th minute before the visitors went close to levelling.
Substitute Dan Cresswell turned sharply on the edge of Bromyard’s box before unleashing a stinging drive which sailed narrowly wide of a post.
Dudley pushed three players into attack for the last 10 minutes in their effort to salvage a point.
Bromyard’s defence held firm as the frustration grew from the visiting players and management.
However, the visitors created little until missing two glorious openings in stoppage-time.
The final whistle from referee Chris Smith brought smiles of jubilation from Bromyard’s players and supporters and finally put the frustrated visitors out of their misery.
For the Big Match feature and photographs from this game, see Thursday’s Hereford Times.
To watch video footage and post-match interviews, log on to herefordtimes.com/video on Wednesday afternoon.
Bromyard Town: Matt Ramage, Josh Stafford, Adam Harris, Dean Corbett, Jamie Saunston, Rob Woodward, Alex Taffe, Ben Evans, Ash Millard (Richie Smith, 90), Craig Harris, Devon Smith. Subs not used: Nick Weaver, Alex Spencer, Ash Morris, Chris Goode.
Dudley Town: Aaron O’Mally, Steve Edmunds, Danny Ludlow, Ross Love, Alex Perry, Richard Langford, Grant Josyua, Brett McGilligan, Geoff Hill, Dreniz Bala, Thomas Gadd. Subs: Niki Faux, Bradley Taylor, Jon Watkins, Dan Cresswell.
Booked: Bromyard: Saunston, 44 min; Millard, 74 min; Smith, 82 min. Dudley: Bala, 70 min.
Referee: Chris Smith (Herefordshire).