top of page

Abbey Hey edge out the Badgers

Saturday 6th April

North West Counties Football League First Division South

Abbey Hey 1 Brocton 0

Brocton made four changes from the side that clinched the league title on Monday. Adam Weldon, Connor Haddaway, Kenny Devoir and Morgan Payne all dropped out of the starting line up to be replaced by Matty Bestall, Lucas Green-Birch, Charlie King and Christian Blanchette. Abbey Hey had clinched a place in the play-offs and still had hopes of a home tie. Before the game, Abbey Hey showed their class by mounting a guard of honour for Brocton as they entered the field of play.

With a gale force wind blowing down the pitch, it was clear that conditions would be a challenge for both sides, as it subsequently proved. Brocton had the first chance, King curling a left-footed effort wide in the 3rd minute. Ivanilson Da Silva had the first chance for Abbey Hey, but he screwed his shot badly wide. Neither side got to grips with the wind which was creating a scrappy encounter. In the 18th minute, Blanchette raced clear of the Abbey Hey defence and was tripped by Marcus Dibble. With no covering defender, Dibble was surely last man and would pay with a red card. Inexplicably, referee Walton did not even speak to the Abbey Hey defender, a decision which dumbfounded the Champions. Liam Delaney tried an effort from distance for Abbey Hey, but his shot sailed over the bar. In the 38th minute, Green-Birch won the ball in the middle of the park. With Reg Smith to his right and Blanchette to his left, Green-Birch was caught in two minds and caught in possession as the chance went begging. In stoppage time, Ben Haddaway shot goalwards and forced a save from Oliver Culkin.

Half-Time: Abbey Hey 0 Brocton 0

The first chance of the second half fell to the home side, Dillon Edmundson hitting the side netting from a well delivered free kick. In the 51st minute, Smith swivelled in the area with his shot straight at Culkin. Brocton were awarded a free-kick two minutes later with Smith’s effort easily held. Abbey Hey broke quickly and Ben Haddaway did well to block an effort from Trey Turner. Blanchette stung the hands of Culkin with another which was straight at the Abbey Hey keeper. Abbey Hey made a raft of substitutions and this gave the home side some impetus. Will Shawcross was off target when he would have expected to do better. With 15 minutes left, Smith went down in the penalty area with the referee waving away appeals for a penalty. In the 80th minute, Ben McNamara was off target when in a good position. Abbey Hey broke the deadlock in the 88th minute. Rhys Clooney beat Charlie Marshall and fed the ball forward to Joe Bevan. He hit a superb low ball into the area where it was despatched by the onrushing McNamara. In the 3rd minute of stoppage time, Jake Thomas hit a rising shot over the bar. The frustration of the afternoon got the better of both sides in the 7th minute of stoppage time with a melee resulting in yellow cards for Micthell Nolan, Connor Haddaway and Josh Simcox. The final whistle went shortly after, and it was a game that will not live long in the memory.

Full-time: Abbey Hey 1 Brocton 0 Attendance: 268

Abbey Hey: Oliver Culkin, Elliot Cooke, Mitchell Nolan, Josh Dickin, Marcus Dibble, Liam Delaney (Ashley Woods 62), Trey Turner (Ben McNamara 58), Isaac Lopes (Jake Dunford 78), Joe Bevan, Dillon Edmundson (Will Shawcross 62), Ivanilson Da Silva (Rhys Clooney 62)

Brocton: Tony Allsopp, Josh Simcox, Matty Bestall (Charlie Marshall 72), Ben Haddaway, Tom Vaughan, Lucas Green-Birch (Connor Haddaway 62), Will Whieldon (Morgan Payne 65), Jake Thomas, reg Smith (Kenny Devoir 83), Charlie King, Christian Blanchette (Cam Osborne 65)

Yellow Cards: Nolan, Lopes (Abbey Hey); Simcox, Connor Haddaway (Brocton)


bottom of page