A GOAL-FILLED afternoon at the Victoria Ground saw Bromsgrove Sporting book their place in the second round of the FA Vase with a 5-3 after extra-time victory over Cadbury Athletic.
Sporting did not have it their own way however, as they went into the break 2-0 down thanks to goals from Daniel Douse and Deon Colstock.
Robbie Bunn reduced the arrears immediately after the break before Luke Edwards pulled the Rouslers level with just 20 minutes remaining but Craig Oldfield’s spot-kick five minutes later put Athletic ahead once again.
Jason Cowley then spared Sporting’s blushes in the 80th minute to send the tie to extra-time after netting the rebound from Ahmed Ali’s initial edge of the area shot.
The Rouslers then took the lead for the first time in the 97th minute as Ali poked home before Cowley missed a penalty of his own to put the game beyond doubt in the 108th minute.
Cowley, however, made amends just five minutes later as he scuffed home his second goal of the afternoon to secure a 5-3 win for Sporting in front of a 505-strong crowd.
After dropping their first Midland League Division One points of the campaign to the visitors earlier in the season, Sporting were looking to avenge that result but failed to settle on home soil as crosses, passes and throughballs lacked accuracy.
It took until the 12th minute for the first meaningful attack to fall the way of the hosts as Jack Wilson burst down the left before crossing to Cowley who could not jump high enough to connect and send his header on target.
Athletic were quite happy to sit back and use their pace to counter and former Sporting man Dayle Kenny got their first opportunity of the game ten minutes later as he skipped past Edwards on the left-hand side before curling a shot over the bar.
Following that, the injured Javaughni Robinson departed for Daniel Douse and he was immediately involved for Athletic as he forced a good save out of Chris Jay in the Sporting goal after being sent through by skipper Dean Lea.
Lea himself on the half-hour mark had two opportunities go to waste as he first headed wide from Kenny’s cross before blazing over from the edge of the area from the resulting corner.
As the game progressed, Sporting became increasingly frustrated and their lack of free-flowing football allowed Athletic to take the lead after 41 minutes when Kenny’s long ball was headed on by Odane Barnes into the path of Douse who rounded Jay to slot home into an empty net.
And in the second minute of first-half stoppage time Athletic doubled their advantage as a lovely move saw Douse turn provided as his low cross was steered into the back of the net by Colstock at the near post.
If Sporting wanted to progress in the cup they needed to start the second period with real intensity and they certainly did as immediately after the restart Bunn pulled one back as Colstock’s clearance in his own area smashed off the on-rushing midfielder and into the back of the net.
Despite getting off to the ideal start, Sporting failed to turn their pressure into an equaliser as Bunn, Tony Clarke and Chris Lloyd saw shots saved by Reece Francis in the Athletic goal.
Eventually though, Sporting pulled themselves level in the 70th minute. With some space on the edge of the area, Aaron Roberts let fly and his powerful drive could not be held as Francis parried the effort into the path of Edwards who reacted fast to tap the ball home.
However, Sporting’s hard work was all undone five minutes later when Athletic were awarded a penalty after Douse took a tumble in the area following a coming together with Jay.
Oldfield stepped up to take the spot-kick before sending Jay the wrong way to put the visitors back in front at 3-2 but ten minutes from the end Sporting dragged themselves level once again as Cowley prodded home the rebound from Ali’s shot which was parried once again by Francis.
The woodwork came to the rescue of Sporting after 83 minutes when Barnes was clean through on goal and had just Jay to beat instead of going for placement, he went for power and his effort smashed against the upright.
As the game drew closer to extra-time, a series of good saves from Francis denied Wilson, Lloyd and Sean Brain from winning it late on for the hosts.
After a short break, extra-time got underway and within three minutes the woodwork was rattling once again but this time it was Sporting who escaped as Jak Walton’s header hit the far post before Jack McGinn tried his luck from range but his effort was straight at Jay.
On a topsy-turvy afternoon, Sporting took the lead for the first time in the 97th minute when Cowley’s headed flick-on was met by Ali who had the simplest of tasks to stab home to make it 4-3.
And ten minutes later Sporting were awarded a penalty when Cowley was bundled over in the area following a series of shot between himself and Brain.
Cowley took up the responsibility of taking the penalty but his tame effort was easily saved by Francis who was lucky to see the rebound from Brain fired wide from no more than two yards out.
Last season’s top scorer for Redditch Borough, however, made amends as he completed the scoring in the 113th minute when he scuffed home to book Sporting’s place in the second round of the Vase.
Sporting will find out who they will play in the next round on Monday afternoon at 1pm.