Paul Smith: “FA Vase run has exceeded expectation”

Bromsgrove Sporting are one of two Midland Football League teams in the FA Vase semi-finals, with Coleshill Town being the other. Manager Paul Smith says that the FA Vase run has surpassed his expectations at the start of the season.

“I thought there was a possibility that we could have a run in the Vase but with it being sides from our level and the one above but to get this far has blown my expectations out the water if I’m being honest.”

“Having said that I fully believe that on our day we can be anyone from step 6 or step 5 and it’s testament to the lads they’ve been fantastic in this competition as well as in the league.”

Bromsgrove play Cleethorpes Town, of the Northern Counties East League Premier Division, in the the two legged Semi final with the first leg on Saturday 11th March before heading north for the return leg a week later.

Smith said “They (Cleethorpes) are easily the best side we’ve come up against this season, I went up and watched them on Wednesday and my scout was there on Saturday and they’re a tremendous side.”

Cleethorpes are currently top of their division unbeaten at home this season but Smith isn’t worried about that “Our away form is actually better than our home form this season, it stacks up against anyones, we’ll fear no one either home or away.”

“We’ve got to respect them because they’re the best team we’ll have played. Likewise, we’re a step six side in a competition full of step five sides, we’ve got here on merit and they won’t take us lightly either.”

Smith expects it to be a very tight game that could hinge on just a couple of key moments, saying “Both sides will be looking to not make any mistakes and unfortunately I think the side that makes the most mistakes will be the ones that go out.”

Bromsgrove’s league form has been something to be admired this season, they currently sit top of Division One where they are seven points clear and remain unbeaten.

Smith who is in his second full year in charge said “We’re going in the right direction we’ve finished second the last two years I’ve been here, with only one going up each season it’s been a bit of heartbreak.”

“We’ve managed to get ourselves in a position to fighting out for the title again, so far we’re undefeated in the league as it stands, so we’re in a good position going into the back end of the season.”

Despite the two near misses Smith remains confident. “Our time will come, I’m confident in my work ethic, I’m happy with my work and have great confidence in the players I bring in to the club.”

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