A DISAPPOINTING afternoon for Bromsgrove Sporting saw their 100 per cent Midland League Division One record come to a crashing end as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Cadbury Athletic at the TSA Sports Ground.
Chris Lloyd had given Sporting the lead from the penalty spot in the 42nd minute after Tony Clarke was pushed to the ground by Jak Walton, however, five minutes from time Athletic salvaged a point after Anthony Fletcher capitalised on some poor play at the back before lobbing Chris Jay who was caught out in no man’s land.
The result leaves Sporting top of the table on goal difference but manager Paul Smith will be left disappointed as his players never really got going and failed to make the most of the possession.
Indeed, it was the Rouslers who started the brighter of the two sides and in the third minute of the game Walker forced a good save out of former Sporting keeper Reece Francis after collecting Lloyd’s short corner.
Lloyd and fellow front-man Tony Clarke continued to hound the Athletic defence as they tried to open the scoring but the home side managed to stand firm and clear the danger.
Athletic, who went into the game unbeaten having won once and drawn three, never really got going in the opening exchanges but soon got their first shot on target in the 20th minute after Fletcher found some space on the edge of the area before firing a low drive which Jay claimed comfortably.
As Athletic worked their way into the game, more chances went begging for Sporting as Keenan Meakin-Richards saw a long-range effort and well-hit free-kick sail wide of the mark.
Despite their early dominance, Sporting slowly became frustrated on the ball as Athletic limited them to over the top throughballs, which, on a wet surface, failed to cause any trouble.
However, a sense of relief came into Sporting’s ranks as they were awarded a penalty in the 42nd minute when Clarke was pushed to the ground by Walton from Walker’s corner.
Lloyd took up the responsibility of taking the spot-kick before firing a powerful drive beyond the reaches of Francis to fire Sporting into a 1-0 lead going into the break.
Not the greatest first-half performance by Sporting but on the balance of play, deserved their lead, and after the interval, they looked for the killer second goal but Bunn could only fire wide from the restart after making himself some space in the centre of goal.
Their blistering start proved to be short-lived as once again Athletic continued to frustrate the visitors but they should have found themselves 2-0 down just after the hour mark but Clarke could only head wide from close range following some good work down the left from Lloyd.
Lloyd was again involved three minutes later and almost grabbed his second goal of the afternoon as he latched on to a long pass from Walker before cutting inside and firing a powerful low shot which Francis got a strong right hand to.
Despite never seeing much of the ball, Athletic continued to work hard and probably should have equalised in the 73rd minute when substitute Jevaughni Robinson had the goal at his mercy but could only scuff his attempted volley wide of the goal.
However, with just five minutes remaining Athletic got their just rewards as some poor play at the back allowed Fletcher to race through before sending the ball over the top of Jay from 25 yards out to level the scores.
As the game progressed and chance after chance went begging for Sporting, there was always the sense Athletic could force themselves level.
Sporting pushed hard in the final stages to try and regain the lead but a lack of ideas and ultimately, failing to keep possession, cost them dearly as the game ended 1-1.
The Rouslers will hope to return to winning ways on Bank Holiday Monday when they travel to fourth placed Heather St Johns.