Tuesday 21st November
The Macron Cup Round 2
Brocton 2 Alsager Town 3
Brocton welcomed back Tom Vaughan, Charlie Marshall, and Ryan Douglas, all of whom were unavailable for the FA Vase tie against Ashby Ivanhoe. Brocton and Alsager had met twice in the league this season with Brocton winning both by the odd goal.
It was the home side that started the brighter. In the 2nd minute, a good break down the left saw a fine challenge on Cam Osborne to win a goal kick for Alsager. In the 4th minute, Reg Smith was pulled back on the edge of the area. He took the free-kick, and his low shot was gathered at the second attempt by Jason Kirwan. Alsager took the lead in the 7th minute. Good interchange play sent Oliver Pope clear. He beat Douglas and his shot went into the net off the inside of the far post. Brocton were awarded another free kick in the 15th minute. This time it was Will Whieldon who hit a low shot straight at Kirwan. Smith found himself free on the left but dragged his shot wide of the target. It was a real midfield battle with both sides trying to play on the break. In the 28th minute, a Connor Haddaway cross was caught under his cross bar by Kirwan. Connor Haddaway picked out Whieldon who beat his defender but missed the target with his shot. Smith then found Osborne whose shot was well saved by Kirwan. Brocton were level on the half-hour mark. A cross from Whieldon was punched into his own net by Kirwan under pressure from attackers and defenders alike. Alsager responded and were unlucky not to regain the lead within a minute. Jack Woolley picked his spot and saw his shot rebound off the inside of the post, fly across goal and out of danger. Brocton took the lead in the 37th minute and what a goal it was. The ball was half cleared by the Alsager defence to Whieldon whose volley gave Kirwan no chance as it flew past him into the net. Alsager went close to an equaliser in the 43rd minute. The ever dangerous Pope clearing the bar from a tight angle. Brocton were inches away from extending their lead just before the break. A cross from Osborne was met on the volley by Smith who beat Kirwan but saw his effort cannon off the cross bar. Lucas Green-Birch was narrowly wide with a volley as Brocton finished the first half with a slight advantage.
Half Time: Brocton 2 Alsager Town 1
The tight nature of the game continued after the break. In the 52nd minute, Osborne had a shot blocked. The rebound fell to Jake Thomas who was just wide with his effort. Excellent play from Green-Birch created an opening and his shot was blocked. On the half-hour mark, Green-Birch picked up the ball in his own half, drove forward before passing the ball to Smith. He in turn played the ball into the path of Whieldon who forced an excellent save from Kirwan. A superb piece of control in the middle of the park from Thomas, beat the defender and made an opportunity for Connor Haddaway whose shot was wide. Alsager were back on level terms in the 68th minute. A cross from the left from Chris Hunt was not dealt with by the Brocton defence, and the ball cannoned off Ben Hackett, wrongfooting Tony Allsopp as it crossed the line. Both sides continued to work hard with a penalty shoot-out looking ever more likely. In the 87th minute, Morgan Payne thought he had clinched it for Brocton, but his fierce drive was brilliantly tipped over by Kirwan. Down the other end went Alsager and they duly won it with two minutes left. A great cross from Saem Son was controlled by Thomas Stanton and he finished with aplomb.
Full-Time: Brocton 2 Alsager Town 3 Attendance:106
Brocton: Tony Allsopp, Ryan Douglas, Charlie Marshall, Ben Haddaway (Kenny Devoir 59), Tom Vaughan, Lucas Green-Birch, Will Whieldon, Jake Thomas (Ben Hackett 64), Reg Smith (Matty Bestall 90+1), Connor Haddaway, Cam Osborne (Morgan Payne 70). Sub (Not Used): Alex Curtis
Alsager Town: Jacob Kirwan, Same Son, Chris Hunt, Jacob Stretch, Elliott Coleman, Jack Hart, Ryan Jackson, Jordan Cobley, Jack Woolley (Thomas Stanton 54), Kallam Boyle, Oliver Pope. Subs (Not Used): Lukas Jacobsen-Murphy, Oliver Jones, Ben Chesters
Yellow Cards: Osborne (Brocton); Son, Hart (Alsager Town)