BROMSGROVE Sporting got the new season off to a slow start as they were held to a 2-2 draw by Rocester in the FA Cup extra preliminary round.
The Rouslers will have to do it all again on Tuesday night in Staffordshire as the visitors came twice from behind to earn a replay.
Wade Malley scored on his competitive debut to give Sporting a 17th-minute lead but three minutes later the scores were level when Oliver Roome rounded keeper Reece Francis and slotted into an empty net.
Robbie Bunn looked to have booked the Rouslers’ place in the next round 11 minutes from time when he curled home into the far corner.
But five minutes later the Romans restored parity as Scott Wesson was on hand at the back post to tap in Sebastian Szondi’s low cross.
The visitors probably should have nicked it right at the death when Callum Riddell raced through on goal but his lobbed effort sailed over the bar.
Before going behind, Rocester missed a golden opportunity to have taken the lead after 13 minutes but somehow Roome managed to guide his effort from James Frost’s inch-perfect cross wide of the mark with the goal at his mercy.
And that miss proved costly just four minutes later as a lovely lofted ball from Hewitt allowed Malley the time and space to smash home a debut goal with a spectacular first-time volley.
Roome made up for his miss, though, just moments later when he beat Sporting’s offside trap before beating the onrushing Francis and sliding home from a tight angle.
A good near post save from Adam Binks then denied Malley from grabbing his second of the game after 35 minutes.
It could have been Rocester who went into the break 2-1 to the good when Riddell charged down Francis’ clearance but the ball drifted agonisingly wide of the mark.
Twelve minutes after the restart the woodwork came to the rescue of the Romans as Malley’s shot cannoned off the post before Hewitt rattled the crossbar with 78 minutes on the clock.
But Sporting’s pressure eventually paid off just seconds later when midfield maestro Bunn charged into the box and sent an effort into the far corner beyond a rooted Binks.
However, with seven minutes to go, Wesson drew Rocester level once again after connecting with Szondi’s cross at the back post.
Riddell should have won the game for the visitors in the third minute of stoppage time but with only Francis to beat, he could only lift his effort over the bar, much to the relief of the Sporting faithful.