Bromsgrove Sporting will be playing Step Three football next season, after an enthralling 4-3 play-off final win (AET) over Corby Town.
A crowd at the Victoria Ground of 2,943 watched the Rouslers clinch their third successive promotion, in a match that literally had it all.
Elliot Sandy gave Corby the lead just after half an hour, before a Richard Gregory header brought Sporting level five minutes later.
A quickfire brace from Jason Cowley put the Rouslers firmly in the driving seat on the hour mark, but a goal from Stephen Diggin soon after and an equaliser six minutes from time by Jordon Crawford forced the game into extra time.
The winner would come in the final minute of the first half of extra time, courtesy of a low, left-footed drive from Kieren Westwood – a goal befitting of sealing victory in such a pulsating game of football.
The opening chance of the game fell to Westwood, who’s strike from around 20 yards sailed just wide of Daniel George’s goal.
The moments after saw the Steelmen dominate proceedings, as Jordan Francis ballooned a promising opportunity well over the bar before Crawford had an effort saved and Sandy had a close range header palmed onto the crossbar, in what was an exquisite piece of goalkeeping from Jono Brown.
However, the visitors pressure would soon reap rewards, as they opened the scoring, via a low drive from inside the area by Elliot Sandy, having been found initially by a brilliant Crawford pass.
The game soon turned though as, firmly against the run of play, Gregory latched onto a cross from Cowley and headed the ball into the net from the far post.
Bromsgrove could easily have bagged the lead just two minutes later, as a sumptuous ball into the area from Westwood was headed out, but only into the path of Jake Heath, who curled the ball towards goal with a delicate left footed shot that clipped the underside of the crossbar before eventually being headed out for a corner.
Five minutes into the second half, substitute Will Shorrock was brought down in the area by Samuel Warburton – Gregory took the penalty, but saw his strike kept out by the feet of George.
However, Sporting would eventually take the lead soon after, after a wonderful team move that started with Josh Quaynor, who found Westwood, who passed to Nathan Hayward, with the central midfielder finding Gregory out wide, allowing him to whip a cross into the area that was poked into the roof of the net at the front post by the left foot of Cowley.
The home side notched up their third just two minutes later, as a cross field ball from Shorrock found Westwood, who’s first time cross was flapped at by George, allowing Cowley to tap home into an empty net.
The goals continued to flow, with Stephen Diggin halving the deficit just a mere three minutes later, as he scored with a low drive from inside the area with what his second bite of the cherry, after having his initial effort kept out by Brown.
With just six minutes remaining, some in the ground may have thought Sporting were going to get the job done inside 90 minutes, but the lively Jordan Crawford put paid to that, as Corby capitalised on some sloppy defending, with Diggin putting the ball across the six yard box and finding Crawford, who managed to guide the ball home.
And it was heroics from Brown in the Sporting goal that prevented Corby from scoring the first goal of extra time, as Diggin showed strength to lay off Sandy, who’s shot from point blank range was incredibly saved by the Bromsgrove stopper, who vitally made himself as big as possible.
Cowley leapt well to make contact with a Quaynor cross, but could only head narrowly but Sporting would take the lead with just a minute of the first half of extra time remaining, as Westwood capped off a marauding run through midfield with a left footed effort that scooted into the bottom corner.
Bromsgrove could have put the result beyond reasonable doubt in the second half of extra time, as they were awarded another penalty after Cowley was brought down in the area by Delroy Gordon, who was sent off for preventing a goalscoring opportunity.
The hat-trick seeking Cowley stepped up but, like Gregory earlier, saw his effort saved by Daniel George, who kept this spot kick out with an incredible diving effort, matched with a strong outstretched palm.
Cowley would have a further chance to claim the matchball but was charged down by George when faced one-on-one with the Corby stopper – however, it was not to matter, as sheer pandemonium spread across the VG upon the final whistle, as this historic success was celebrated.