A Shaquille McDonald goal seven minutes from time secured Bromsgrove Sporting a 1-1 draw with Rushall Olympic on Tuesday evening.
However, it could be argued that the result does not truly explain the game, as an explosively rampant Sporting ran riot on the visitors, who were top of the league prior to a ball being kicked, in the second half and could so easily have bagged all three points, despite going into the half time interval a goal down, courtesy of a Jonathan Letford conversion.
The start of the game, for all it was end to end, was a little devoid of meaningful chances; that was until the 18th minute, when Rushall should certainly have broken deadlock, as an enticing Shaquille Leachman-Whittingham cross into the area found Levi Rowley at the far post, who got on the end of it but blazed over from six yards out.
Richard Gregory and Josh Quaynor had free kicks that were kept out by the visiting defence and Sporting’s inability to make their possession count for something in the opening 45 would come back to haunt them, as Letford scored the game’s first goal 44 minutes in.
The in-form striker and league’s top scorer picked up the ball and drove at the Sporting defence, taking it around Tony Breeden before slotting coolly into an empty net.
A Gregory effort three minutes into the second half kickstarted a second half of true dominance from an attractive Sporting in attack.
It was created via a lovely team move, involving Quaynor and Will Shorrock, who teamed up to play through Gregory, who made space for himself inside the area and fired a one on one straight at Jonathan Flatt, which he would definitely have believed he should have scored from; Charlie Dowd had the rebound saved.
Soon after, Gregory had another effort, this being from the D outside the area, which he got plenty of power behind but clattered the crossbar.
The pressure continued with a Breeden free kick finding the head of Tom Taylor, who put the ball just wide.
The 70th minute saw an incredible save from Flatt, but from one of his own men – Shorrock and Gregory collaborated well together; with the latter putting a ball into the box that the former missed altogether. Despite this, Rushall defender Orrin Pendley made contact with the ball; diverting it towards the goal, with Flatt having to dive well and low to keep it out.
The goal would eventually come in the 83rd minute and it saw all three of Sporting’s strikers involved. Kyle Perry. who started the evening on the bench alongside McDonald, won the ball in the air. It fell to Gregory, who set up McDonald, before rounding Flatt and slotting home into an empty net from a tight angle, sending the noisy Shed End into jubilant eruptions of euphoria.
The pressure did not relent though; an already booked Callam Mendez-Jones received his marching orders after hauling down an oncoming McDonald, who had an opportunity in the moments following from the edge of the area but saw it deflected wide.
Letford almost notched up his second in additional time, firmly against the run of play, with a pair of opportunities – the first was by an outstretched, leaping Breeden, whilst the other was an effort blocked for a corner.
McDonald almost won it for the Rouslers at the death, as a sublime cross from the hugely impactful Nathan Hayward was volleyed narrowly wide by Sporting’s goalscorer; 1-1 the final result, but with the chances Bromsgrove had, it could have been much more.