BROMSGROVE Sporting stole a march on Alvechurch for the Red Recruitment Trophy title by beating Redditch United 2-1 with an injury-time winner at the Trico Stadium last weekend.
A 93rd-minute winner from Leon Broadhurst sent the handful of Sporting supporters who made the trip to B97 into raptures, making it a third straight win for the Rouslers over their local rivals – and the first since Bromsgrove reformed in 2009 on United’s patch.
As it stands, Sporting sit on seven points with one further fixture left – a potential winner-takes-all at Alvechurch’s Lye Meadow on Bank Holiday Monday – with the Church on four points ahead of their meeting with the Reds this weekend.
In what was a well-contested first half at the Trico, it was the hosts who shaded the best chances, with shot-stopper Daniel Platt’s goal under threat on a number of occasions.
Ex-Sporting man Tom Rankin headed over the bar from a good position, whie Kieran Day’s free-kick and a sumptuous dink from range from Jordan Clement both threatened to find the net.
Daniel Sweeney drew an important save from Platt as the half-time whistle approached, but a minute before the break Sporting were clinical in taking their first key opening to go in front.
After jinking his way into a prime shooting position to the left side of Redditch’s penalty area, Will Shorrock drove the ball into the bottom corner to leave Kieran Boucher with no chance.
But just a minute after the restart it was 1-1.
Reds substitute Jack Watts made an immediate impact by venturing down the flank and then burying the subsequent shot that followed.
From that moment on, however, Bromsgrove comfortably created the better openings and looked the side most intent on claiming the three points.
Jason Cowley was a man who featured predominantly towards the end of the encounter, going close on a number of occasions to deciding the game against his former side.
The forward sent a header flashing wide of the mark from Jak Hickman’s cross when it appeared a golden opportunity to grasp the all-important winner, but Cowley threatened again with an acrobatic stoppage-time effort that was somehow saved by the instinctive Boucher.
From the corner that followed, a brief spell of pandemonium inside the United penalty area resulted in Broadhurst finding himself in the right position to touch home a 93rd-minute winner – with what effectively proved the last touch of the game.