WORCESTER City boss John Snape insisted it was Bromsgrove Sporting’s title to lose after they claimed a 2-1 victory over his side at the Victoria Ground.

However Snape refused to give up on City’s own promotion ambitions despite slipping a further place in the Midland League Premier Division.

Striker Jason Cowley was the hero for Bromsgrove as he struck in first-half injury-time before grabbing a 83rd-minute winner after Mat Birley drew City level.

With second-placed Coleshill Town not in action, Sporting opened up a 10-point lead at the top with five games left.

Worcester remain four points behind Coleshill but Highgate United leapfrogged them into fourth position after thrashing Haughmond 4-1.

But Snape said he felt his side were still “in the mix” for second spot and vowed to continue to fight on.

“Fair play to Bromsgrove,” said Snape.

“Since Brendan (Kelly) has come in he has done a fantastic job as he has steadied the ship and they have taken three valuable points off us.

“I think it has always been Bromsgrove’s (title) to lose but it’s not about them, it is about us carrying on fighting until the end of the season and that’s what we will do.

“I don’t see anyone giving up.

“I see disappointed people being left out and disappointed people coming off.

“But that’s the game, that’s my job and hopefully I will prepare the side for Saturday to beat Boldmere.”

In front of a bumper crowd of 1,423 Worcester started positively and created two early chances.

Dave Reynolds flashed his shot wide before Nick Turton was thwarted by keeper Reece Francis.

Worcester were prone to errors at the back as they gifted Sporting an opportunity on nine minutes.

Jordan Stoddart saw his clearance come off the back of Mark Smith and the ball fall to Cowley. The striker then ran into space before firing over to the relief of City’s defenders.

With John Pykett getting plenty of joy down the right-hand side Bromsgrove were looking increasingly threatening and were getting closer to an opener.

Cowley headed wide before Pykett missed the target after finding room in the penalty area.

City also had their chances as Reynolds did well to get on the end of Jamie Smith’s deep cross but his header fell just the wrong side of the far post.

Snape’s side were riding their luck, though, with keeper Adam Przybek coming to their rescue on a couple of occasions.

The West Bromwich Albion youngster denied Pykett before putting his neck on the line to gather at the feet of Cowley after an error from Stoddart.

With half-time approaching City suffered a big blow as Cowley got in behind Stoddart before slotting the ball home to give Sporting a 1-0 lead.

Worcester responded well after the break as Turton forced Reece Francis into action with a powerful strike.

And after a good spell of pressure City were rewarded with a 57th-minute equaliser.

Francis palmed away a shot from Alex Tomkinson only for the ball to fall to Birley who took a touch and found the bottom corner with a driven effort.

Worcester had the momentum and came close to taking the lead as Reynolds dragged his shot wide.

With the match locked at 1-1, both sides were pushing for a winner but it was Bromsgrove who snatched it.

Gregory slotted the ball through to Cowley who showed great composure to get it under his control and knock it past Przybek.

Sporting then saw out the remaining minutes as George Forsyth’s free-kick in stoppage-time failed to trouble Francis.

Worcester City (4-4-2): Przybek, Forsyth, Stoddart, M Smith, J Smith; Birley, BIRCH, Hayward, Tomkinson (Baldwin 85); Turton (Dank 79), Reynolds (Robinson 70). Subs not used: Halil, Moran.

Attendance: 1,423.