MY SPORTING GOAL: Hayward vs Sutton Coldfield Town

Our brand new feature, in which we look back at some of Bromsgrove Sporting’s most famous goals and get the insight from the people who scored them, continues with Nathan Hayward’s extra time winner in the 2018/19 Southern League Division One Central play-off semi final against Sutton Coldfield Town.

1st May 2019. After finishing second in the final league table, a play-off semi final versus Sutton Coldfield Town on a Wednesday evening at the Victoria Ground awaited. The mathematics and league rules were such that the visitors couldn’t actually get promoted, no matter what the result was; but that didn’t stop Neil Tooth’s men making a game of it…

“I remember the game against Sutton Coldfield very well, as it was a massive game being the semi finals of the play offs,” Nathan said.

“There was a mixture of emotions – excitement, but also anxiety kicking in, knowing how much was at stake.”

Sporting looked to be coasting to victory at half time, when a Richard Gregory penalty and a Jason Cowley header (celebrations below) gave the Rouslers a two goal advantage.

However, a Reece Gibson brace in six shell-shocking second half minutes brought the scores level and sent Sutton Coldfield’s brass band into a frenzy; and that was how they would remain after the final whistle for normal time.

Nathan commented: “For large parts of the game, we were dominant, being 2-0 up. But Sutton being a well organised, direct side meant they pulled it back to 2-2, even though we had plenty of chances to win it in 90 minutes.”

The game’s fifth goal, and ultimately the winner, came 12 minutes into extra time.

Nathan remembered: “The ball came to me – I think I intercepted it and played it first time to Shozza (Will Shorrock), where he cut inside and had a shot.

“I carried on my run and the ball came to me. I set myself with the first touch and, to be honest ,it was a scuffed finish which hit the post and went in. But they all count at the end of the day!

Nathan reflected on the glorious feeling about the strike and subsequent result, knowing it was his goal that got us to the play-off final.

“It’s one of my favourite Sporting moments, especially when the fans were going mental, which was class! From a personal perspective, the feeling of relief after the extra time whistle went and we won 3-2 was amazing!

The tenacious midfielder also spoke about how he cannot wait to make more moments like these…

“I can’t wait to see the fans and everyone back at VG when the pandemic is all over, to create some more amazing memories! I hope everyone is okay and staying safe in these challenging times.”

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