BROMSGROVE Sporting’s loyal band of supporters left Dunkirk thinking what might have been after watching their wasteful side get knocked out of the FA Vase.
The Rouslers dominated the first round clash on Saturday, but they were only able to convert one of their chances, with Reece Hewitt slotting home a penalty.
And the Nottingham outfit made them pay for it as a first half brace from David Webb was enough to secure their place in the next round.
Almost 100 Sporting fans made the 65-mile journey to the leafy Ron Steel Sports ground to see their team and Paul Smith’s men looked keen to reward them with a win.
The first chance of the match fell to Josh McKenzie who was put through on goal by a Connor Collins header only to see the on rushing Dunkirk keeper Joe Bloomfield save with his legs.
But it was the hosts who struck first as Webb picked up the ball and ran through the Sporting defence and calmly rounded Josh Moreton to open the scoring in the ninth minute.
Dunkirk continued to show why they play in a higher league with some neat passing out of trouble and resolute tackling when the opposition looked to retain possession.
Strong challenges were going in as both sides tussled for the ball, but Dunkirk were edging it and they moved further in front on the 37th minute. Webb set off on a mazy run that took him past several players before firing passed Moreton.
Facing a 2-0 deficit, many sides would have tried to hold out until the break, but Sporting quickly regrouped and hit back just before half-time. After being brought down in the area, Hewitt then stepped up to tuck away the resultant spot-kick.
This looked like being a big moment in the match for Bromsgrove as they came out firing at the start of the second period.
But they could not turn their pressure into goals as McKenzie’s shot was blocked before Bloomfield got in the way of Hewitt’s follow up.
Smith looked to change things around as Collins was replaced by Sean Brain and the change almost brought an immediate result. The speedy striker was put through on goal but he showed Bloomfield too much of the ball and the keeper saved well at the player’s feet.
The visiting fans’ frustrations were growing as the Rouslers were caught offside time after time by a well-marshalled Dunkirk back four.
In the 87th minute a well-timed run beat the trap and McKenzie was through on goal again, but a collective groan was then emitted when Bloomfield stopped the striker’s shot.
With Dunkirk tiring in the closing stages, Sporting tried to take full advantage, but they could not find the finishing touch as Brain, who was found free at the far post, fired in a last-gasp shot which was headed over.