Tuesday January 3rd 2023
North West Counties Football League First Division South
Brocton 3 Ellesmere Rangers 2
Brocton’s first home game since November 30th saw the visit of high flying Ellesmere Rangers. Brocton made two changes from the side that won at Stafford Town on Boxing Day. 16 year old keeper Jonty Kearns replaced the injured Henry Smith and 17 year old Sam Scott led the forward line with leading scorer Reg Smith suspended.
It was 3rd placed Brocton that soon gained the ascendancy. In the 5th minute, a knock down from Scott found Christian Blanchette whose shot was blocked for a corner. Blanchette had another chance a couple of minutes later, shooting across the face of the goal. An excellent ball from Connor Haddaway picked out Scott but he slipped in trying to control the ball and the danger passed. In the 10th minute. Will Whieldon volleyed from 25 yards, the ball just clearing the Ellesmere crossbar. Whieldon again tried his luck two minutes later and his effort was narrowly over. Brocton deservedly took the lead in the 14th minute. A free kick from Connor Haddaway was fumbled by Ellesmere keeper Jack Boswell and Scott was on hand to tap the ball home for his first senior goal at Silkmore Lane. Blanchette was strong to win a 50/50 challenge, the ball falling to Connor Haddaway whose shot was off target. Ellesmere’s first chance came in the 25th minute. A long throw from Carl Rogers was only half cleared and Jordan Davies headed over the bar. A minute later, a long ball forward from Brocton saw the impressive Scott win the ball and his goal bound shot was tipped past the post by Boswell. Blanchette forced a save from Boswell at the near post. On the half-hour mark, a long throw from Rogers was to the feet of Matthew Jones but his shot was well off target. Ellesmere went close to an equaliser in the 35th minute. A cross from Blake Robinson was headed goalwards by Steve Hole and the ball rebounded off the bar to safety. Brocton grabbed their second goal in the 41st minute. The ball was played into the area, knocked back across goal and the unfortunate Rogers diverted the ball into his own net. Ellesmere responded with a free kick from Jack Harris which was diverted over his own bar by Kenny Devoir. From the corner, Ben Davies headed over the bar when he should have hit the target.
Half-Time: Brocton 2 Ellesmere Rangers 0
Ellesmere were given a lifeline two minutes into the second half. Kearns challenged Cameron Davies for the ball and brought down the Ellesmere midfielder. Hole stepped up and made no mistake from the penalty spot. Brocton regained their two goal advantage within four minutes, Whieldon picking his spot from 25 yards and hitting a screamer into the top corner. Whieldon went close to his second on the hour mark. A superb free kick was brilliantly saved by the flying Boswell. Brocton were the more potent side in attack. A cross from Blanchette was headed goalwards by Jake Thomas and it dropped inches over. Mid-way through the half, Blanchette was off target with a header. Ellesmere were still in the game and a shot from Karl Bailey was well gathered by Kearns. Whieldon was wide with another free kick from just outside the box. With ten minutes left, Harvey Howell saw a shot blocked by Ben Haddaway. Brocton had a great chance to seal the win in the 83rd minute. A cross to the far post was met by Will Finlay who couldn’t get his shot on target. A minute later, and Ellesmere pulled a goal back. From a dubious free kick given for a strong challenge by Jack Bostock, the ball fell to Jordan Davies, and he beat Kearns at his near post. Brocton immediately responded with Morgan Payne hitting the post from a good position. Payne had another chance seconds later, but he shot wide under pressure from the Ellesmere defence. Despite whole hearted effort from the visitors, they failed to create another opportunity and Brocton strengthened their hold on 3rd place.
Full-Time; Brocton 3 Ellesmere Rangers 2 Attendance:86
Brocton: Jonty Kearns, Adam Weldon, Jack Bostock, Kenny Devoir, Tom Vaughan, Ben Haddaway, Will Whieldon (Charlie King 78), Jake Thomas, Sam Scott (Morgan Payne 69), Connor Haddaway, Christian Blanchette (Will Finlay 78). Subs (Not Used): Jake Triggs, Lewis Rowley
Ellesmere Rangers: Jack Boswell, Brandon Tanomjit, Matthew Jones, Carl Rogers (William Evans 78), Ben Davies, Jack Sweeney, Blake Robinson, Cameron Davies (Karl Bailey 62), Steve Hole (Harvey Howell 78), Jordan Davies, Jack Harris (David Howells 62). Sub (Not Used): Connor Courtney
Yellow Cards: Weldon, Ben Haddaway (Brocton), Rogers, Jordan Davies (Ellesmere)