MATCH winner Nathan Hayward reckons promotion-hunting Bromsgrove Sporting can only benefit from facing Sutton Coldfield’s “Sam Allardyce style” in Wednesday’s fraught play-off semi-final.

The Rouslers needed extra-time to make it through 3-2 despite having led 2-0 at half-time in the Southern League Division One Central shootout.

Nervy Sporting led 32 minutes in when early substitute Jake Heath was floored by keeper Lewis Gwilliams while chasing a rebound in the box with Richard Gregory coolly slotting away the penalty.

Strike partner Jason Cowley doubled the lead five inutes before half-time with a looping header but Reece Gibson’s double, the second of which was a fortunate ricochet that arced over keeper Jono Brown levelled matters before the hour mark.

Bromsgrove were fluent going forward yet shaky at the back throughout, eventually going through thanks to Hayward’s bobbling finish on the rebound 12 minutes into extra-time.

Brown was called upon three time to save their bacon in the second period of the extra 30 but Hayward has faith in his colleagues to perform better in Monday’s final against Corby Town (3pm).

“There were ups and downs, when you’re 2-0 up you’re confident of finishing off the game but credit to Sutton, they made it hard for us by constantly pressing,” said ex-Worcester City ace Hayward.

“They got two goals, the second was lucky but they showed how good a side they are. We didn’t help ourselves or play at our best in the second half.

“Still the character of the side helped us grind it out and get the win.

“They were quite physical, a big side. It is hard to win headers against seven six-foot-plus players.

“That is their tactic, it has been for a while. It is more like a Sam Allardyce style, they have lads who are good in the air and turn up to make life difficult for you from set pieces.

“I thought we defended well in extra-time and showed our class in the last 15 minutes.

“Now we have had a taste of the play-offs we know more what it is about. I am sure the gaffer and Mase (Bren Kelly and Andy Mason, manager and assistant) will go through a few things on Saturday and put things right in time for the game.

“I am sure we will be on top form for the game against Corby.”

Rouslers: Brown 7, Spink 6, Wilson 6, HAYWARD 8*, Taylor 6, Lincoln 7, Dowd 6 (Heath, 20, 7), Quaynor 7, Cowley 8, Gregory 6 (Peters, 110, 6), Westwood 6 (Shorrock, 71, 7). Unused subs: Roberts, Rankin.

Attendance: 1,849.