Tuesday 6th September
North West Counties Football League First Division South
Eccleshall 1 Brocton 4
Brocton made the short journey to tackle Eccleshall who were unbeaten this season and had only conceded two goals in their opening six league games. Alex Curtis named an unchanged starting line up with Christian Blanchette returning on the bench.
Brocton almost made the perfect start to the game. Cam Jackson shrugged off the attentions of the defender and volleyed towards goal. His shot beat Eccleshall keeper Alex Atton but rebounded off the bar. In the 10th minute, Reg Smith chased to keep the ball in on the by-line, cut back inside and his shot was gathered at the second attempt by Atton. Eccleshall-s first foray forward came through Lucas Green-Birch, who created an opening for himself, with his shot comfortably dealt with by Tony Allsopp. In the 19th minute, Smith challenged Atton in the penalty area. The home side were clamouring for retribution, but the referee saw nothing in the challenge and both players were OK to resume after treatment. Brocton were asking most of the questions. In the 23rd minute, Smith beat the offside trap and his shot was well saved by Atton. A minute later, the Eccleshall keeper was picking the ball out of the net. A pinpoint cross from Connor Haddaway, floated over the defence and the keeper, and Jackson was on hand at the far post to volley it home. In the 42nd minute, Jake Thomas was barged off the ball in the penalty area, but it was deemed, quite rightly, as a strong challenge, no more. In stoppage time, Green-Birch went close for the home side, his drive flashing inches wide of the far post. There was still time for Eccleshall skipper Callum Feeney to be sent to the sinbin for one too many questioning of decisions. He was quickly followed by Eccleshall manger Liam Kelly, shown a straight red card for presumably something he said.
Half-time: Eccleshall 0 Brocton 1
The ten men of Eccleshall started the second half on the front foot with Louis Downs forcing an excellent save from Allsopp. In the 50th minute, the home side were level. Downs outpaced Jake Triggs down the Eccleshall right and his low cross was expertly turned in by Anthony Malbon. On the hour mark, a good ball across the box picked out George Woodroffe but his control let him down and Allsopp gathered. Brocton’s reaction to this was to go back on the attack and they retook the lead in the 61st minute. Morgan Payne played the ball inside to Connor Haddaway, who looked up, picked his spot, and sent a superb shot into the corner giving Atton no chance. Two minutes later, Brocton extended their lead. Payne, having an excellent half, rifled in a shot which beat Atton and rebounded off the post to the waiting Cam Osborne who tapped the ball into the net. The Eccleshall fire had been well and truly extinguished, and it was Brocton that strove for more. The hard working Smith charged down a clearance from Atton but fortunately for the Eccleshall keeper the ball ran to safety. In the 75th minute, Smith tried his luck from distance, but his shot was wide of the target. Brocton grabbed their fourth in the 81st minute. Atton failed to gather a long ball forward, dropping the ball at the feet of Blanchette, who needed no second invitation to slide the ball into the empty net. With three minutes left, Liam Tomlin, from an offside position, blasted the ball way over the bar, which summed up his side’s evening.
Full-time: Eccleshall 1 Brocton 4 Attendance:145
Eccleshall: Alex Atton, Mark Groom, Lewis Dunn, Jordan Benton, Aidan Blaise, Callum Feeney, Louis Downs, Jordan Flattley, Anthony Malbon, Connor Jones, Lucas Green-Birch. Subs (All Used): Jack Flanaghan, Liam Tomlin, George Woodroffe, Oliver Hickman, Daniel Taylor
Brocton: Tony Allsopp, Jack Bostock, Jake trigs, Luke Haddaway, Kenny Devoir, Morgan Payne (Charlie King 82), Will Finlay (Cam Osborne 57), Jake Thomas, Reg Smith (Mario Novaku 88), Connor Haddaway, Cam Jackson (Christian Blanchette 810. Sub (Not Used): Ethan Harris
Yellow Cards: Malbon (Eccleshall)
Sun Bin: Feeney (Eccleshall)
Red Card: Liam Kelly (Eccleshall)