BROMSGROVE Second XI proved their promotion credentials after Matt Russell’s late goal completed a 2-1 victory against Old Wulfrunians in the West Midlands League Division Two.
Despite falling behind, Pete Hall tapped home and Russell bagged the winner two minutes from time.
Old Wulfs arrived at Bromsgrove School in second place and looked the part as they dominated the early stages.
Already without star player Scott Reeves, Bromsgrove had to draft in evergreen keeper Andy Potter from the Fourth XI with their two regular Second XI keepers ruled out.
Potter had no chance as Old Wulfs took the lead with a long ball forward leaving two on one and Ryan Harding netted.
But Potter kept Bromsgrove in the contest with two superb saves and slowly the hosts’ quicker, neater, short passing game started to create chances.
After Mark Gormley went close from a Steven Gill through-ball, it was 1-1 whenHall tapped home.
The second half was a close, feisty affair, with Marcus Dawson a rock at the back from Bromsgrove.
After warnings to both teams from the umpires Bromsgrove conceded penalty corner after penalty corner but the defence held firm. Potter again defied his age with two acrobatic saves to keep the score even.
With ten minutes to go, Bromsgrove thought they had won it. A quick break involving Stokes down the right set free Russell who unselfishly slipped the ball to Gormley five yards out with the keeper beaten; he uncharacteristically fired wide when it seemed easier to score.
It looked like the game was going to end a draw but with two minutes left Bromsgrove were awarded only their second penalty corner of the game. Top scorer Russell proved to be the hero firing in to the bottom corner to seal a much-needed victory.
The win leaves Bromsgrove in fifth place, five points behind leaders West Bromwich, as they go into the Christmas break.
Captain Charlie Parke said: “That was a battling performance that paid dividends in the end. I’m not sure we deserved to win but we were indebted to Andy Potter for his amazing saves.
“We welcome Redditch first game after Christmas and I really hope Scott Reeves is back we are just not the same team without him.”