BROMSGROVE Men saw their title hopes in the West Midlands Division One suffer a serious set-back on Saturday, after being edged out 5-4 by rivals for the top spot Solihull Blossomfield.
They had been leading 3-1, but were pegged back during a frenetic first half where eight goals were scored.
Blossomfield then won a feisty second half through a penalty flick.
Defeat means Bromsgrove slip to second in the table, level on points with Solihull, who have a slightly superior points difference and a game in hand.
The top of the table clash lived up to its billing as both teams went on all out attack.
The first half was a thrilling affair.
Callum Edwards started the scoring with a deflection from a penalty corner. Blossomfield then pulled a goal back from another penalty as the game became all about converting set pieces.
Bromsgrove player/coach Andy Langlands then scored two goals from penalty corners to give Bromsgrove a 3-1 lead.
Once again, the away side roared back and made it 3-2 before levelling the scores.
The hosts applied pressure, with Callum Edwards again at the forefront of Bromsgrove’s creativity, to force an own goal, but just before half-time Blossomfield equalised again from another penalty corner.
The second half could not keep up the frantic pace.
Nigel Johns was again the mainstay as the defence helped keep Blossomfield at bay.
Unfortunately a horrific tackle from Ziggy Morris which upended the Blossomfield striker resulted in a penalty flick being awarded, which they duly converted to move into the lead for the first time in the game.
Morris was lucky to escape with only a warning.
Despite in-form striker Karl Sharkey being on the pitch, Bromsgrove were guilty of not taking their chances as they created several in the final minutes, but Blossomfield held on to secure the valuable three points.
Captain Laurence Shah said: “This has realistically ended our title chances, as Solihull Blossomfield are now level on points with us but with a game in hand.
“We missed the creativity of Tom Green and the experience of Matt Russell in the midfield as we struggled to boss the game.
“Hopefully the command of the midfield will be returned in our next game in two weeks’ time. We still have our National Cup semi-final to focus on and our season is far from over.”
Bromsgrove return to league action with an away match at Old Wulfrunians on Saturday, March 22.