BROMSGROVE Sporting’s 100% home league record was finally broken at the weekend, as Berkhamsted striker Matthew Bateman ran riot and netted a hat-trick as the two sides battled it out in a thrilling 3-3 draw at the Victoria Ground.
Bateman’s opener was cancelled out by Tom Rankin and John Pykett strikes before the interval, before the Berkhamsted man levelled with a penalty then notched them back in front on 70 minutes, only for Richard Gregory to rescue a point for Sporting with an injury time penalty.
James Towell’s cross brought the opener on 22 minutes, as Bateman rose to meet the delivery at the far post and head past Sporting stopper Jono Brown, whilst Gregory looked to level on the half hour mark when cutting inside and firing from distance which was well saved.
But reprieve was found when Josh Quaynor’s corner was lifted towards Rankin who looped a header over keeper Xavi Comas Leon and into the far corner, a goal which injected new life and a succession of chances into the game.
The returning Cameron Peters played a big part in going ahead as his ball across to Gregory, who scuffed a shot into Pykett, was eventually stabbed home to give Bromsgrove a lead at the break.
Both sides started the second-half by trading blows and continually looking to break away with the scoreline, or in the visitors case, break level, which was exactly what happened courtesy of sloppy Bromsgrove defending which allowed Bateman to thump a spotkick straight down the middle of Brown’s goal.
Bateman’s equaliser caused the atmosphere at the Victoria Ground to fall flat, which appeared to set into the performance of Sporting as lacklustre defending led the forward to pick out the bottom corner from 20 yards to put Berkhamsted in front.
Five minutes later it appeared as though Bromsgrove would pull level almost immediately when a Quaynor drive was palmed away by Leon into Christ Mayuba’s path, but he could only fire into the side netting.
A first home defeat of the season looked imminent, but when Peters was hauled down in the box, up stepped Gregory to clatter his penalty off the bar and over the line to grasp a point for Sporting.
The impossible was almost achieved in the fifth minute of injury time when Tom Taylor met a cut back and sliced a shot narrowly wide of the post, but Sporting will be relieved to have maintained an unbeaten record at home when all hope appeared lost.
Next up for Bromsgrove Sporting is an away trip to Kidlington at Yarnton Road on Saturday (3pm).