ALFIE BLOOMER says he is going to work ‘harder than ever’ to catch the eye of Bromsgrove Sporting boss Paul Smith after impressing in the Worcestershire FA Senior Urn penalty shoot-out defeat to Highgate United last night (Wednesday).
With Sporting 1-0 down through Lei Brown’s 37th-minute strike, the 18-year-old was brought on with nine minutes to go in a bid to force penalties.
Bloomer had seen a header go just wide of the far post moments after coming on but with two minutes of normal time remaining he sent the Rouslers fans into delirium.
The ‘pocket rocket’, as boss Smith calls him, latched on to a long throughball before confidently lobbing the onrushing Brendan Bunn with an instant outside of the boot volley to send the tie to spot-kicks.
“The first thing I thought was to run to the crowd and celebrate with them, including my younger brother who was stood right at the front,” Bloomer told the Standard.
“From the moment the ball was put through I realised I didn’t really have anyone around me.
“I noticed the keeper, who to be fair was fantastic all night, was off his line and thought nothing else but to just go for it.
“Thankfully the bounce wasn’t too big and when it landed in the net I just lost it.”
Bloomer then confidently dispatched Sporting’s fourth penalty in the shoot-out to make it 3-3 but it was not enough as the Rouslers eventually lost 5-4.
Daniel Morris had missed his sudden death spot-kick which allowed United’s James Luney to hit the winner.
“As soon as I realised that it was going to penalties, I knew straight away that I was wanted to take one,” Bloomer added.
“I’ve never missed a penalty for main team football so I was confident I was going to dispatch it.
“The long run up is something I’ve always done and will always do to not give too many tips away.
“But I always make my mind up on which way I’m going on the walk to the penalty.”
Bloomer now returns to Sporting’s under-21s where he hopes to continue to progress as a player in a bid to gain more first team opportunities.
“I’ve got to work harder than ever to not only impress but to put in a shift for the under-21s,” he said.
“Smudger [Paul Smith], the staff, the players and the fans have really made me welcome in the first team and I cannot thank them enough for everything.
“But also a massive thank-you goes to both the under-18 and under-21 sides for helping me personally on getting game time and involvement in the first team.”