BROMSGROVE Sporting could not capitalise on having the extra-man advantage as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Sporting Khalsa.
Robbie Bunn had given the Rouslers a 26th-minute lead when his deflected drive from the edge of the area wrong-footed Khalsa keeper Sam Arnold and crept in at the near post. But that lead lasted barely two minutes when a free-kick from the right was not dealt with by the Sporting defence, leaving David Meese the easiest of finishes from six yards out.
Khalsa were then reduced to ten men just past the hour mark when Mensah Kinch received a second yellow card for a late challenge on Josh Quaynor. Despite having the extra man, Sporting could not take advantage as Arnold pulled off a number of fine saves to secure his side a share of the spoils.
Paul Smith made four changes to the team which beat Rocester 4-2 on Saturday but Sporting struggled to settle with Craig Bannister seeing a close-range free-kick saved by Brendan Bunn inside five minutes. Bunn then had to push Liam Holt’s free-kick over the bar as the Willenhall-based visitors asserted their dominance early doors. However, against the run of play Sporting took the lead after 26 minutes. Bunn cut inside from the right and drilled a left-footed shot which took a horrible deflection to send Arnold the wrong way and give the hosts the advantage. That lead lasted a matter of moments though, as Meese drew Ian Rowe’s side level.
A free-kick from the right-hand side caused mayhem in the Sporting penalty area before the loose ball fell to Khalsa’s No.11 who prodded home from close range.
Few chances followed as the 617-strong crowd saw the sides go into the break level.
After the interval, the trickery of Reece Hewitt almost gave Sporting the lead in the 51st minute, but after dancing past several Khalsa defenders his shot deflected behind. From the resulting corner, Bunn then saw a powerful 20-yard screamer pushed away by the strong right arm of Arnold.
Eleven minutes later Khalsa were reduced to ten men when a late challenge on Quaynor by Kinch resulted in the midfielder receiving a second yellow from referee Robert Cairns.
Although a man up, Sporting could not find a way past Arnold as the Khalsa stopper produced two quality saves with his legs to firstly deny Connor Deards before thwarting Liam Spink just seconds later.
Quaynor missed a golden opportunity to put the Rouslers ahead with three minutes remaining but he could only drag his effort from inside the area wide of the mark after latching on to Hewitt’s clever back-heeled pass.
That man Arnold then denied Sam Wills’ swerving effort with 89 minutes on the clock before the second-half substitute saw a free-kick deflect agonisingly wide of the far post in the second minute of stoppage time.
Match report courtesy of Craig Gibbons – Bromsgrove Standard