BROMSGROVE Sporting were left to rue a host of missed chances as they were held by Southam United in their season opener, writes Max Banner.
The Rouslers, who finished runners up in Midland Football League Division One last season, seemed to have picking up from where they left off as they controlled the early stages.
Reece Hewitt got the breakthrough in the first half, but Bromsgrove were unable to increase their lead as they hit the woodwork on numerous occasions.
Sporting were then made to pay for their wasteful finishing as Kyle Turner levelled matters before the visitors, who were reduced to ten men, hung on for the remaining 20 minutes.
Manager Paul Smith and his players will no doubt be frustrated they did not claim all three points, especially after getting off to a strong start at the Victoria Ground.
Sean Brain saw his shot from inside the box cannon off the post on the 15th minute mark and, frustratingly for the home side, the woodwork became a familiar nemesis throughout the afternoon.
They did take a well-deserved lead on the half hour mark, though. Hewitt’s opportunistic shot from just inside the box went through the goalkeeper’s hands and ricochet off his foot and into the bottom corner.
Sporting almost doubled their lead before the break. Some nice team football resulted in a shot by new signing Luke Corbett, but James Cutts atoned for his earlier mistake with a solid save at his near post.
The first fifteen minutes of the second half saw Sporting continue to dominate play and test the Southam defence. Corbett was one-on-one with the keeper but put his effort wide of the post, Brain found himself in a similar position but had his shot tipped onto the upright by Cutts and another summer recruit, the energetic Aaron Roberts, saw his low strike saved.
Corbett failed to capitalise on another golden opportunity as he chipped the ball onto the crossbar with only the keeper to beat once again.
Brain, too, squandered a chance only a minute later as he struck the ball against the post.
There was a sort of inevitability to Southam’s goal, given how many chances the Rouslers failed to take. Just shy of the 70th minute, a pinpoint corner was headed home by Kyle Turner, which was a real body blow for Sporting and the home faithful.
Not long after, full back Jack Brighton was sent off for raising his studs in a tackle. This resulted in the away side putting almost everybody behind the ball and it paid off.
Hewitt came closest, but once again the crossbar came to Southam’s rescue as Cutts fumbled the ball onto it.
Sporting could have taken all three points in stoppage time but Brain and Aaron Williams couldn’t find the back of the net.
Sporting: Shaun Edwards, Aaron Roberts, Brendan Kelly (Capt), Simon Fitter, Craig Jones, Jamie McKeon (Ollie Gibson 82 mins), Joe Adams (Jon Myrie 61 mins), Reece Hewitt, Luke Corbett (Chrisi Conway 61 mins), Sean Brain, Aaron Williams.
Subs not used: John Pykett, Brendan Bunn.