Saturday 20th November
North West Counties Football League First Division South
Abbey Hulton United 4 Brocton 1
Brocton made one change following last week’s dramatic late win with Jake Thomas returning to the starting line-up and Dan Evans dropping to the bench. There was also a place in the replacements for the returning Christian Blanchette.
It was the home side that started on the front foot with Dan Cope well off target from 25 yards. Fitzroy Butler was a danger from the left and a deep cross was over hit from a decent position. In the 9th minute, Tony Allsopp was called into action, saving a header from Sam Wytcherley at the 2nd attempt. On the right side, full-back Kevyn Davies was finding space, but his delivery left a lot to be desired. In the 16th minute, Davies again was unmarked, but his cross was too far in front of the forwards and the danger was averted. Brocton’ first sight of goal came from Ben Haddaway who forced a fine save from Abbey Hulton keeper Dominic Kurasik. Brocton began to gain a foot hold in the game and Ben Douglas reached the byline, playing the ball inside to Thomas whose first time shot was over the bar. Abbey Hulton missed a glorious chance in the 22nd minute when an unmarked Butler headed wide with only Allsopp to beat. The home side were made to pay two minutes later. Reg Smith beat his defender on the Brocton left and somehow squeezed the ball through to the advancing Alex Curtis. Curtis took the ball in his stride and placed the ball into the far corner past the despairing dive of Kurasik. Two minutes later. Smith played a delightful ball through to Ben Haddaway, but poor control let him down. At the other end, a superb turn from Lee Cropper created an opening but he failed to hit the target. Nice football from Brocton created a chance in the 39th minute. Tom Vaughan brought the ball out of defence and played the ball down the line to Ben Haddaway. He continued his run and picked out a pass to Smith, but his shot was blocked, and Abbey Hulton scrambled the ball away. Brocton should have doubled their lead three minutes before the break. Thomas broke through the defence but with Smith unmarked in front of goal, he chose to take it on himself and Kurasik gathered the ball off his toes. On the stroke of half-time, Butler and Cropper combined but Allsopp was on hand to comfortably deal with the latter’s strike.
Half-Time: Abbey Hulton United 0 Brocton 1
The home side took just 28 seconds of the second half to draw level. Butler turned Luke Haddaway inside out and crossed to the far post for the simplest of tap ins for Cropper. Five minutes later and Abbey Hulton had turned the game on its head. A quick break again saw Butler run clear and his perfectly weighted cross was slid home by Keeylin Thomas. Brocton’s response came from Smith whose shot on the turn was comfortably saved by Kurasik. Cropper wasted another excellent chance for the home side, clearing the crossbar when he should have hit the target. Brocton were playing some decent football but were lacking the end product. Thomas failed to test the keeper with a weak shot and Douglas hit a wild shot after good Brocton approach play. On the hour, Smith had half a chance, but his shot was blocked. Curtis crossed from the right, but Blanchette and Smith got in each other’s way challenging for the same ball. Joe Lewis had a snapshot just wide before Abbey Hulton made it three in the 71st minute. A free-kick from the left saw a mass of bodies challenge for the ball, and the ball somehow ended in the Brocton net with Zak Hill taking the congratulations. Brocton continued to try and claw back the deficit, but their finishing let them down. A free-kick from Curtis picked out the unmarked Ben Haddaway but he couldn’t keep his header down. Ben Haddaway was again in a position to shoot but to continue the theme of the day, his shot was way over the cross bar. The game was sealed with the best goal of the afternoon. A ball was played through the Brocton defence to Cope, who spun his defender, created space, and picked his spot in the corner. Cope celebrated with his customary somersault. The home side were not finished and only a superb last ditch challenge from Thomas, thwarted Tyler Barnes. With a minute of normal time remaining, Smith turned his defender, and his shot was palmed onto the post by the impressive Kurasik. Two further chances fell to the home side with Cope hitting the side netting and Josh Bowden just wide. The damage had been done in the second half, and Abbey Hulton ran out deserved winners.
Full Time: Abbey Hulton United 4 Brocton 1 Attendance:81
Abbey Hulton United: Dominic Kurasik, Kevyn Davies, Sam Wytcherley, Zak Hill, Ryan Pickup (Josh Bowden 77), Josh Bristow, Brandon Newell, Keeylin Thomas (Joe Lewis 66), Fitzroy Butler, Dan Cope, Lee Cropper (Tyler Barnes 75). Subs (Not Used): William Tams, Thomas Urwin
Brocton: Tony Allsopp, Malaki Norford, Ben Douglas (Dan Evans 72), Luke Haddaway (Cam Jackson 80), Tom Vaughan, Kenny Devoir (Christian Blanchette 45), Alex Curtis, Jake Thomas, Reg Smith, Connor Haddaway, Ben Haddaway. Subs 9Not Used): Ryan Douglas, Dean Williams
Yellow Cards: Davies, Thomas (Abbey Hulton United), Douglas, Devoir, Ben Haddaway (Brocton)