A LATE sucker-punch from David Kolodynski dashed any hopes of Bromsgrove Sporting reaching the FA Cup first qualifying round for the first time in their history as they slumped to a harsh 1-0 defeat at Rugby Town.
Despite dominating the proceedings for much of the game and having numerous clear-cut opportunities to score at Butlin Road, it was Sporting who were left disappointed as the vastly experienced Kolodynski’s 82nd minute strike ensured the Northern League First Division South outfit progressed into the next round.
A handful of chances went Sporting’s way but a lack of ruthlessness in front of goal proved costly as Rugby snatched an unlikely victory.
It was Rugby who started the brighter of the two sides as Sporting gave a succession of silly free-kicks away, however, it was the Rouslers who created the first goalscoring opportunity in the 15th minute as Aaron Roberts’ speculative volley from 25 yards out was comfortably saved by Louis Connor.
Three minutes later Andrew Hall found himself clean through on goal as Kolodynski’s throughball slipped under Luke Edwards but the wide man lacked composure, allowing Sporting keeper Chris Jay to smother the ball and clear the danger.
In a half which yielded few chances, both sides were left to trying to launch the ball over the top in very windy conditions but Sporting slowly started to grow into the game as Chris Lloyd smashed a low drive from distance which was saved down low by Connor.
Sporting continued in their ways of giving away silly free kicks as the half progressed and it almost came back to haunt them in the 27th minute but Rugby skipper Andy Gooding could only fire over from 18 yards out.
A golden opportunity came the way of Lloyd seven minutes later after Connor and Aiden Print collided with each other 25 yards out from goal but the striker’s instant volley bounced along the floor before nestling into the side-netting with the goal at his mercy.
As the half progressed, Sporting continued to frustrate a Rugby outfit who never really troubled Jay all game, meaning the score remained at 0-0 going into the break.
After the interval, Rugby came out the traps fastest as they tried to find some rhythm in their play and the ever-present Kolodynski proved to be the outlet as he came close to opening the scoring in the 49th minute but his effort from just outside the area sailed wide of the far corner.
Immediately up the otherend two golden chances came the way of Lloyd in the space of eight minutes but they all went a begging.
Following some clever play from Sean Brain on the right hand side to steal the ball, his cut back in the area was met by Lloyd who saw his shot wonderfully saved by Connor before the pacey winger beat the offside trap minutes later only to see his chipped effort over the on-rushing keeper land on the top of the net.
The woodwork came to the rescue for Rugby in the 74th minute as substitute Tony Clarke wonderfully held the ball up in the penalty area before unleashing a rasping volley which thundered against the crossbar before the follow-up from Brain was cleared off the line in dramatic fashion.
With a number of clear-cut goalscoring opportunities wasted, Sporting were punished by a smash and grab in the 82nd minute when Kolodynski prodded home after the Rouslers’ defence failed to clear Darryl Thomas’ cross from the right.
In the dying embers of the game, Sporting continued to go for the equaliser but after four minutes of injury time, the full-time whistle went to bring an end to their FA Cup hopes.
Despite a spirited performance from Sporting, failing to take their chances proved costly as with their only real clear-cut chance on goal, Rugby took it.
Sporting can take plenty of positives from this game and should hold their heads high after putting on a strong show against a side higher up the non-league pyramid.