Football: Tear-jerker for Bromsgrove

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The Independent Online
Bromsgrove Rovers. . . .1

Crisp 31

Barnsley. . . . . . . . 2

Rammell 88, Archdeacon 90

Attendance: 4,893

BROMSGROVE Rovers were disappointed to have drawn Barnsley for their first-ever appearance in the FA Cup third round, but with 88 minutes of the match gone, their fears looked unfounded. They were a goal ahead and could imagine the bright lights of another Cup tie - perhaps against the likes of Leeds or Liverpool.

Two minutes later, all they had to look forward to was the rest of the season in the nether regions of the GM Vauxhall Conference. Like so many underdogs before them, Bromsgrove had glimpsed the glory and had it snatched away.

Barnsley stole the tie with two goals in the closing seconds, but they didn't deserve to avoid the embarrassment that defeat appeared to have in store.

They were bettered by their semi-professional opposition, who sustained a game of pace and direction until the final whistle when they limped off, their disappointment evident in tear-filled eyes.

Particularly inconsolable was Colin Radburn, Bromsgrove's 19-year-old left-winger, a raw attacking force who did so much to try and win his team the game. His pace was apparent in the opening 10 minutes when he twice sped goalwards past Nick Eaden, his hapless marker, once setting up Recky Carter for a shot that hit the crossbar.

That was one of many chances before Bromsgrove were finally rewarded in the 31st minute when Mark Crisp fired in from 10 yards to give them their deserved goal.

For almost an hour afterwards, they held the professionals in check, Barnsley hit the post, but the going was almost all Bromsgrove's. Until the final couple of minutes, that is, when Andy Rammell headed in the equaliser from a corner, and, with barely a minute to run, Owen Archdeacon drove in the winner.

Barnsley fans invaded the pitch but there was no such dancing on Bromsgrove's grave from Viv Anderson, the Barnsley manager. 'If we had lost by four or five we couldn't have had any qualms about it,' he said. 'We are the luckiest team in the world.'