Honours even in derby

On the spot: Sporting’s Joe Brookes’ penalty hits the back of the net. Pitcure: Rob McLaren.

On the spot: Sporting’s Joe Brookes’ penalty hits the back of the net. Pitcure: Rob McLaren.

First published in Local

Fairfield Villa 1, Bromsgrove Sporting 1

FAIRFIELD Villa and Bromsgrove Sporting could not be separated in an entertaining local Midland Combination Division One derby in front of a crowd of more than 200.

With the Rouslers already confirmed in third place in the league and Fairfield certain of mid-table security all that was left to play for was the bragging rights.

The two sides had met on three previous ocassions this term with Keith Draper’s men victorious twice.

Scott Gaffney and Lewis Smith made the Sporting defence work hard in the initial stages while Ryan Sproston had a goal ruled out for offside.

But it was visitors who took the lead against the run of play in the 22nd-minute when Jon Rogers burst into the Fairfield area only to be bundled over by Chris Pratt allowing Joe Brookes to slam home the resultant penalty.

The hosts were now well and truly fired-up with Gaffney forcing Sporting keeper Tom Savage into two good saves while lively midfielder Martin Slevin unleashed a great shot from 20 yards which the Rouslers’ stopper kept out.

Kevin Banner came close for the Victoria Ground side three minutes after the interval but Marc Rogers pulled off a fine save.

Sporting attempted to keep possession and patiently worked their way up the field on a difficult surface, however, Fairfield were defendly stoically.

But in the third minute of stoppage-time Slevin, who was causing the Sporting defence no end of problems, beat Aaron Roberts on the left and fired home from 15 yards.

Smelling blood Fairfield thought they could find a winner and with seconds remaining, former Bromsgrove Rovers man Steve Frost got on the end of a loose ball only to see it safely gathered by Savage.

Fairfield: M Rogers, Wroe, Pratt, Pike, Frost (capt), Slevin, Cosgrove (Morgan 83), McGlen, Gaffney (Chance 90), Sproston, Smith. Subs not used: Albutt, Hatfield, Pillinger.

Sporting: Savage, Bright (Allen 57), Roberts, Martin, Thurbon, Brookes, KJ Draper (Evans 70), Turk, Conway, J Rogers (capt), Banner (Jenvey 75). Subs not used: Molesworth, McNally.

Referee: D Humphries (Edgbaston). Attendance: 235.

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