BROMSGROVE SPORTING surrendered a three-goal lead in the final nine minutes before being knocked out of the Worcestershire Senior Cup on penalties against Pershore Town.
Sporting looked set to reach the semi-finals after Charlie Wise, Nathan Hayward and Callum Ebanks eased the Rouslers into a three-nil lead at the Community Stadium.
However, an extraordinary collapse saw Pershore take the tie to penalties as they struck twice in injury time to complete the most unlikely of comebacks.
And goalscorer Ebanks was the only player to miss the target in the shootout as Sporting were beaten 5-4 on penalties by a side three leagues below them.
Sporting made a quick start with Hayward heading over from a corner and Josh Quaynor seeing a free-kick easily saved by the Pershore goalkeeper.
At the other end, Ollie Taylor made a couple of comfortable savs to keep the scores level before Ebanks saw a brilliant header kept out.
The Rouslers went ahead on 35 minutes when Wise slotted home from close range after a fine chest down from Ebanks.
And Sporting soon had their second goal when Hayward was quickest to turn home the loose ball on 42 minutes after Ebanks’ initial shot had been saved.
That sent the Rouslers into the break with a two-nil lead and Wise thought he had added to Bromsgrove’s tally early in the second half only for the goal to be ruled out.
Pershore almost found a way back into the contest when Taylor made an excellent stop at close range on the hour mark.
The game looked to have been put to bed on 71 minutes when Ebanks hammered an effort into the bottom corner from Josh Dugmore’s pass.
However, Pershore started the comeback on 83 minutes when James Baldwin squeezed the ball home in off the post from a tight angle.
And the home side struck again in the first minute of added time when Matt Nutt’s header beat Sporting goalkeeper Taylor from a free-kick.
The game slipped away from Bromsgrove one minute later when Baldwin rounded Taylor and finished into an empty net after he was played in-behind the Sporting defence.
That goal took the game to penalties as Connor Taylor and Dugmore were successful with the opening two penalties.
However, Ebanks blasted his spot kick off the crossbar which handed Pershore the advantage after three penalties each.
Despite Jordan Goddard and Will Shorrock finding the net, Pershore scored all five of their penalties to dump the Rouslers out of the cup, with Baldwin converting the decisive penalty.
Defeat marks the second time Bromsgrove have lost via penalties under boss Gavin Hurren after exiting the FA Trophy to Morpeth Town in the same manner last November.
Sporting will want to put this result behind them quickly when they return to league action against local rivals Alvechurch on Saturday, January 15 with kick-off at 3pm at the Victoria Ground.