NEW signing Liam Holt scored on his non-competitive debut as Bromsgrove Sporting were narrowly edged out 2-1 by Halesowen Town in a mid-season friendly.
Holt scored from the penalty spot four minutes before half-time to bring the Rouslers level after Ethan Jones had gave the Yeltz a sixth minute lead.
But the Northern Premier League side regained the advantage seven minutes into the second period when John McAtee’s looping header settled into the far corner with the help of the underside of the crossbar.
Despite defeat, boss Paul Smith was more than pleased with the work out.
“We needed a run out because we have been struggling to even get training going due to the weather and 3G pitches being fully booked,” he said.
“We made two mistakes to gift them goals.
“We tried to play offside for the first and it was a free header for the second.
“But I can’t be too harsh on the lads because Halesowen are a decent side from two levels above.
“There were some promising debuts from Holt and Drew Canavan, we caused Halesowen all sorts of problems and on another night, if we had taken our chances, we could have had four or five.”
It did not take the higher-ranked side long to open scoring as a pin-point cross by Enock Ekongu was diverted home by Jones from a couple of yards out.
Despite the early set back, Sporting grew into the game with Sam Wills forcing a smart save out of Daniel Platt while Robbie Bunn watched a low left-footed drive at the near post easily saved midway through the half.
But five minutes the woodwork came to the rescue of Sporting as the crossbar prevented John McAtee from scoring a sensational solo goal.
As the half petered out, the Rouslers were given a prime opportunity to level four minutes before the break when Josh Quaynor was clumsily tripped in the area.
And up stepped debutant Holt, signed from Sporting Khalsa, to smash home from 12 yards out to bag the eqauliser.
After the interval it took all of seven minutes for the Yeltz to regain the lead as Ekongu’s cross from the right-hand side was met by McAtee who rose highest to send a floating header into the far corner.
Then Ivor Lawton missed a gilt-edged chance to put Town out of sight with 15 minutes remaining but he could only fire wide after latching on to Cam Steele’s delicate throughball.
Sporting had chances of their own to level as Connor Deards drilled a shot wide while Cowley volleyed over at the near post from Aaron Roberts’ inch perfect cross with minutes remaining.
More chances came and went for Smith’s men as a delicious free-kick from Canavan was headed over by skipper Craig Jones before a fine double save from Platt prevented Cowley equalising.
Substitute keeper Chris Jay, making his first appearance for more than a year after struggling with a groin injury, then had to pull off a fine save right at the death prevent Lawton from finding the far corner.