Bromsgrove Sporting ran riot at Hayden Road on Saturday, as they emphatically thumped AFC Rushden & Diamonds 8-2.
Mikey Taylor continued his incredible start in a Sporting shirt with two goals in either half, with the other goals coming courtesy of a Jack Wilson free kick, a Nathan Hayward header and late strikes from substitute Shaquille McDonald and winger Charlie Dowd.
Ryan Dove and Jack Bowen equalised for the home side in the opening 45, at 1-1 and 2-2 respectively, in a game which also saw AFC Rushden & Diamonds’ Zack Reynolds and Jack Ashton sent off for dangerous challenges.
Both sides enjoyed chances before the game’s opener; Leon Broadhurst struck wide from distance and Will Shorrock headed over a great opportunity from close range, before Dove had a header that missed the target from a free kick and the lively Ben Acquaye fired a 25 yard effort over the bar.
The first of the match, and Taylor’s first, came 11 minutes in; in a move that started with Josh Quaynor winning the ball via a header in midfield and finding Taylor, who subsequently bullied Ashton off the ball, shrugged off Patrick Casey and serenely slotted home past keeper Ben Heath.
Rushden levelled proceedings 10 minutes later, as Jesse Akubuine had a shot blocked away before Dove managed to convert the rebound, which hit defender Kyle Lincoln on the way in.
Bromsgrove regained the lead 34 minutes in, as a Jack Wilson free kick from the edge of the area managed to find its way under the wall, after which it skimmed into the bottom corner.
A frenetic first half continued four minutes later, as Tony Breeden came out to the ball in a wide position, but failed to clear it away, allowing Bowen to cleverly hit into an empty net from an acute angle.
The action was far from over either; Taylor notched his second in the final minute of regulation time, as a Kieren Westwood long ball allowed the striker to shake off Rushden skipper Alex Collard, make space for himself in the area confidently find the top corner with a right footed strike.
The first red card of the afternoon came in the second minute of additional time; Quaynor went in for a challenge but Reynolds also went in and did so late, with studs coming in over the top, as he appeared to stamp on him, although it appeared more clumsy than malicious.
Sporting enjoyed a bright start to the second half, with Shorrock, Westwood and Richard Gregory all having shots on goal – the second red card came in the 58th minute and there was no clumsiness about this; a truly horrific tackle, in which Ashton hurled himself at Dowd with a two footed, aerial challenge that the Sporting player was lucky to come out unscathed from.
Following this, it was truly one way traffic for Bromsgrove, as any flame of a Rushden comeback was well and truly extinguished.
The fourth, and what was the decisive goal, was a very simplistic one; a 62nd minute Quaynor corner found the head of an unmarked Hayward, who smashed the ball home with his head.
More chances followed for Sporting before the floodgates truly opened in the final moments of the game; Taylor had a shot blocked, Dowd had an effort cleared off the line and both Hayward and Gregory drew impressive saves from Heath, the latter being a thunderbolt from the Bromsgrove frontman that he did well to palm away with an air bound leap.
The flurry of goals thereafter began in the 82nd minute, as Taylor followed up an initial shot from the inside the area saved by Heath with a drive that the keeper could not keep out.
Acquaye drew an exquisite save out of a largely dormant Breeden with six minutes remaining, as he unleashed a drive from 30 yards that the Sporting stopper got a hand to and diverted onto the crossbar.
The sixth for Bromsgrove was Taylor turn provider, by latching onto an undercooked backpass from Casey. He rounded Heath and found McDonald, who slotted home into the bottom corner of an empty net.
Taylor’s fourth three minutes into added time was a joy to behold, skilfully beating three men before dinking the ball over Heath with aplomb.
The rout was completed a minute later, as Dowd picked up the ball in the middle of the park, breezed past a couple of men before smacking home into the bottom corner, past the palm of a forlorn Heath, capping off a scintillating, sensational afternoon for the Rouslers.