Bromsgrove Sporting 1, Lichfield City 1 1 (1-3 AET)
SPORTING crashed out of the Midland Combination Challenge Cup in the third round after an evenly-balanced encounter saw Lichfield clinch the win in extra-time on Saturday.
The hosts went behind early from the penalty spot but they rallied back well and found themselves level before the break.
But they suffered their first defeat in nine games as Lichfield scored twice.
Rouslers management team of Keith Draper and Graham Scott handed Scott Devlin his debut after the midfielder had impressed in training.
The game also saw the return of striker Chris Morrison to the starting line-up after a recent injury lay-off.
The pace and trickery of Jacob Snape in particular proved a stern test for the home defence and he slotted home a penalty after being brought down.
As the half progressed, the home side began to force themselves more into the game with winger Elliot Nash putting on an impressive display down the left flank.
Time and again he picked up the ball deep in his own half and carried it forward with purpose, carving out some decent chances. His pass on 25 minutes found fellow winger Jon Rogers through on goal, but he scuffed his shot.
Debutant Scott Devlin was also proving effective from set pieces.
As the temperature at Victoria Road continued to plummet, tempers began to flare and away manager Paul Holt was sent to the stands by referee Andy Hall following a touchline altercation.
Morrison levelled the scores when he headed home Chrisì Conway’s swerving cross to put his side level on the stroke of half-time.
Early in the second half, home defender Matt Ross rifled the ball beyond the City keeper but the goal was called offside. This frustration resulted in Sporting’s best spell of the game with both Nash and Devlin seeing plenty of the ball and James Turk putting in an assured shift in the heart of the midfield.
Devlin saw a powerful left-footed effort from outside the box clawed away impressively by Ryan Moore.
Sporting continued to do well in the first half of extra time, with Rogers ruing missing the best chance of the game when Nash squared to him across the box but he failed to convert.
As the game began to dwindle and the penalty shootout loomed, City’s Danny Thurstance looked to be looping a ball into the box which instead swerved beyond the hands of keeper Tom Savage to put the visitors into the lead.
With only minutes remaining, the ever-present Snape picked up the ball inside the Sporting half and ran a good 30 yards and curled a low shot beyond Savage to wrap up the win.
Sporting: Savage, Fellows (Roberts), Parker, Ross (Thurbon), Martin, Devlin, Rogers, Turk, Conway, Morrison (Draper Jr), Elliot Nash.
Subs not used: Harris, Bright Lichfield: Moore, Devalle, Hunt, Perry, Geffin, Milner, Morgan (Facey), Borne, Snape, Minto (Worrel), Thurstance.
Subs not used: Thompson, Humphries.
Referee: Andy Hall (Great Barr). Attendance: 171.
Sporting Man of the Match: Elliot Nash