BROMSGROVE Sporting’s bid to win the title this season suffered a set back as they were edged out by league leaders Coventry United in a fiesty encounter on Saturday.
The hosts have lost just once since being promoted to Midland Football League Division One, but they had to dig deep to beat the Rouslers who went ahead thanks to a 16th minute goal from Reece Hewitt.
Matthew Brown levelled matters just before the break before Muziwandile Nduna and Joshua O’Grady netted in the final 12 minutes to take an unassailable 3-1 lead.
Kyle Turner marked his debut with a late goal, but Bromsgrove were defeated as they slipped 13 points behind table toppers United.
Looking to continue their impressive run of form, Coventry got out the blocks quickest and got the first shot away as Pierre Moudime’s second minute effort went well wide of the post.
But Sporting were matching their opponents and went close on eight minutes when Richard Morris took the sting out of Hewitt’s shot only for it to creep toward the goal line before being cleared by Moudime.
Hewitt, though, was luckier eight minutes later when he hit a powerful angled shot from the right that took a deflection off one of the home defenders and ballooned over Morris into the corner of the net.
It was turning into a fast and furious fixture and things boiled over on 37 minutes with the first of three fracas involving most of the 22 players and benches.
Bromsgrove were then left further frustrated when United equalised in somewhat controversial circumstances. Moudime looked to handle by the by-line but there was no flag and having controlled the ball, he sent over a well-flighted cross to Matthew Brown who headed home past a helpless Josh Moreton.
The second half continued in the same vein as the first with both sides cancelling each other out, but this all changed when Dale Edwards was caught in possession shortly after coming on.
O’Grady who won the tackle sent the ball into the Sporting box but a poor clearance only went to Nduma who picked his spot and found the corner of the net giving his side the lead.
Sporting upped the tempo with Edwards going wide and the away side having a good penalty appeal turned down. But it was United who secured a penalty on 84 minutes when Craig Jones was adjudged to have fouled O’Grady, who converted the spot kick himself.
This all but sealed victory for Coventry, but Sporting finished on the front foot and gained a deserved goal three minutes into added time when Richard Macauleigh and keeper Morris got into a mix up releasing the ball to Turner who scored off the post.