BOSS Brendan Kelly was left with mixed emotions after Bromsgrove Sporting’s hard-fought 1-1 draw at Cambridge City.

The Rouslers had all of the ball for the opening half an hour but came up against a deep-lying City side that broke with venom and created more chances across the 90 minutes.

Kelly’s men dug deep, though, cancelling out the coolly-taken opener from Adam Watkins within 10 minutes when Michael McGrath forced in Josh Quaynor’s free-kick from close range.

City then hit the bar through livewire Nathan Olukanmi with Bromsgrove keeper Jono Brown called upon to save two efforts from Josh Oyinsan either side of beating away a Micky Davis effort as time ticked away.

But having soaked up that pressure, Bromsgrove might have pinched the points with a flurry of their own that saw McGrath denied by Jamie Head’s single glove when his 90th-minute effort from a recycled corner seemed destined to land in the net.

“We were not at our best going forward but they really frustrated us,” said Kelly.

“The formation they played worked for them. We mixed it up and went 3-4-3 which seemed to work but we didn’t have that important part, the finishing touch to get us the goal.

“That said, they could have won it with some good chances. They hit the bar and Jono made some good saves from shots that went at him. Had they been in the corners it would have been game over.

“I am sure it will feel like a point gained in the long run but at the minute, I am unsure.

“The first half was a bit of a non-event to be honest, both teams cancelled each other out.

“They were resolute and defended really well, it was frustrating but I didn’t think we moved the ball as well as we could have.

“We did in the second half, mixed up the play and the game opened up. It was a completely different game with lots of chances.

"It was possibly a fair result. We defended well for large parts, I just felt our attacking play could have been a bit more potent.”

It meant Sporting got overtaken at the top by Peterborough Sports ahead of a Boxing Day clash at home to Sutton Coldfield Town (3pm) but Kelly remains content with his side’s progress.

“We didn’t expect to be where we are, we’re not expecting to run away with it. We’re still minnows with this being our first season in the division,” he added.

Kelly expects to have a full squad available for the visit of the Royals.

Sporting: Brown, Roberts (Pykett, 62), Wilson, Hayward, McGrath, Morris, Dowd (Pryce, 62), Quaynor, Cowley, Gregory, Shorrock. Unused subs: Taylor, Massey, O’Sullivan.

Attendance: 270.