Emirates F.A. Cup Extra Preliminary
Bromsgrove Sporting 2 Rocester 2
By Sam Goldsworthy
Wesson At The Death As Romans Grab A Replay
Rocester claimed an F.A. Cup Replay after an extremely competitive 2-2 draw away to newly promoted Midland League rivals Bromsgrove Sporting.
The Romans, who twice went behind to a rampant Sporting side, showed great desire to not give in and levelled soon after both Bromsgrove goals, but at the same time should have won the tie right at the death as Callum Riddell blew a great chance to win it.
In front of a bumper 602 crowd it was the home side that started the brightest as Wade Malley dispossessed James Frost on the Sporting left flank and struck a decent shot, but Adam Binks was there to parry it before diving on the ball to clear up the danger.
Soon after Sporting came again and Romans keeper Binks saved well from a cross which was dipping under his bar, tipping the ball away.
Showing why they had cruised to the Midland League Division One title unbeaten last season, Bromsgrove's Chris Lloyd had another effort at the Rocester goal, but it was Rocester who then missed the clearest chance. James Frost picked out Oli Roome with a super cross from the right, and the young striker, free and unmarked in the box, had the goal at his mercy only to see his first-time volley fly just wide of the right-hand post.
After this scare Bromsgrove turned the screw again and after another powerful shot at Binks from Robbie Bunn, they finally went 1-0 up on seventeen minutes. Joe Brockley was dispossessed in the middle of the park and this resulted in newcomer Wade Malley smashing a powerful shot past Binks.
However this seemed to spur the Romans on and after Carl Allen had headed a corner over the bar, the Romans pulled the scores level again on twenty one minutes. Another great long ball from James Frost found a forward running Oli Roome, who beat the out-rushing keeper to the ball and took it past him before slotting it into the empty net.
A big chance just before the interval fell to Riddell when another ball forward saw him lose the race with the Sporting keeper Reece Francis, however Francis struck his attempted clearance against the dangerous Riddell and it rebounded inches wide for a goal kick.
Shortly after the restart another cross from Frost was tipped over by Francis as it was dipping under the bar, but after a good spell for Rocester they soon found the home side getting on top.
With the home side moving up a gear Bunn had an effort well-saved by Binks, and the increasingly busy stopper had a narrow escape when Reece Hewitt smashed a shot against the bar.
Bromsgrove deservedly went back in front with an individual goal by Bunn, who drove powerfully past Matt King on the right hand side before drilling a low shot into the far left-hand corner, taking a little clip of the post in the process.
It seemed as though that was the end of proceedings for Rocester, and it would have been had Jason Cowley made it 3-1 with a decent chance. However, against the run of play Rocester surged forward and grabbed an equaliser to force a replay. Substitute Szondi found space on the right of the box and managed to square a ball over on the floor for Scott Wesson to ssqueeze a shot over the line through defenders legs, sparking mad celebrations.
There could well have been bigger celebrations moments before the final whistle when Riddell found himself one on one with the Francis, but he attempted to dink the ball over the stranded keeper and the ball drifted agonisingly over the bar.
As the full time whistle went Rocester knew they probably should have snatched it, but at the same time had Bromsgrove been more clinical could have lost it as well.
The teams will meet again on Tuesday night (8th August) at Hillsfield to decide who will host Coleshill Town in the next Round in two weeks time.
Scorers: Sporting - Malley (17), Bunn (80). Romans - Roome (21), Wesson (84).
Romans: Binks; Frost; Pratt (King 69); Brockley (Szondi 60); Lynch; Allen; Ritchie-Smith; Wesson; Roome (Griffin 81); Martin; Riddell. Subs not used: Aliguma; Simpson; Wood.
Referee: D. Steatham (Bilston).
Top Right - Rocester celebrate Scott Wesson's late equaliser. Click on any image to enlarge.
Above Left: James Frost gets forward to whip in a cross.
Above Right: Only seconds remain, but Callum Riddell's chip just clears the bar.
Below: 1 - James Frost takes on a defender.
Below: 2 - Oli Roome tries to get a shot in.
Below: 3 - Callum Riddell tussles with his marker.
Below: 4 - Callum Riddell fires this one just wide.
Below: 5 - Oli Roome on the ball.
Below: 6 - Scott Wesson makes a pass.