REECE HEWITT netted a last gasp winner as Bromsgrove Sporting got the better of their old foes Highgate United at the Victoria Ground.
The 26-year-old was on hand in the fourth minute of stoppage time to tap in the rebound from Sam Wills’ shot to secure a 2-1 victory over the Solihull-based visitors who pipped Sporting to promotion to the Midland League Premier Division in 2015.
Connor Mooney had given United an 11th-minute lead when he capitalised on Sporting’s inability to clear Luke English’s long throw before second half substitute James Ward levelled just past the hour mark.
Paul Smith made six changes to the team which suffered a 2-0 defeat at Coventry Sphinx on Saturday but it was the visitors who grabbed the early advantage. English’s long throw-in caused mayhem in the Sporting defence with the loose ball landing at the feet of Mooney who made no mistake from ten yards out.
Another Rory Delap-esque long throw from English almost led to a second United goal 13 minutes later but skipper Arron Brown could only send his header over the bar. Sporting, who had not lost at home in the league since February last year and had not suffered back-to-back league defeats since March 2015, struggled to get into the game as they failed to force United keeper Bradley Catlow into action.
Both Josh Hawker and Trevor Edwards let fly from distance but failed to hit the target before Chris Lloyd blazed wide Sporting’s first effort of the game wide of the mark from inside the area.
After the break, the Rouslers upped their game with Wade Malley, returning from a week’s spell at Northern Premier outfit Halesowen Town, saw a volley tipped over the bar while Robbie Bunn was denied by Catlow after dropping Brown to the floor with a neat piece of skill inside the area.
Eventually, Sporting’s pressure paid off after 63 minutes when a long-ball upfield found an unmarked Malley whose unselfishness allowed Ward the time and space to fire in the equaliser from close range.
The visitors still posed a threat on the counter with Mooney seeing a shot go straight at Reece Francis while Lei Brown could not get any power behind his header from Hawker’s free-kick with 14 minutes remaining.
Sporting continued to push and it looked as though they might have to settle for a draw.
But in the fourth minute of stoppage time, Duane Courtney’s long throw reached Wills whose low shot was parried by Catlow into the path of Hewitt who had the easiest of finishes to secure the three points for Sporting.