Tuesday 9th August
North West Counties Football League First Division South
Brocton 3 Sandbach United 1
Brocton welcomed back Adam Weldon and gave a first start to recent signing Morgan Payne. There was also a first home appearance on the subs bench for 16 year old Tom Croft.
Sandbach started positively with right winger Ryan Rogers a clear outlet. In the 5th minute an excellent run by Rogers ended with a cross which was dealt with by Badgers’ skipper Kenny Devoir. Brocton’s first foray forwards forced Sandback keeper Eric Merner to palm away a deep cross from Connor Haddaway. In the 10th minute, Reg Smith, fresh from his two goal salvo at Barnton, was sent clear by Weldon and his shot from distance was caught by Merner. Christion Blanchette continued to show his early season good form, and a sharp turn left the defender in his wake unfortunately the shot was just over the bar. Sandbach went close in the 13th minute. A corner from the right was met by the head of Liam Fitzpatrick but his attempt was too high to trouble Tony Allsopp. Brocton took the lead in the 21st minute. A back pass was too shot for Merner and as Smith challenged the keeper, the ball ricocheted off the Brocton stroker and into the empty net. Sandbach responded with a quick free kick which sent the dangerous Rogers clear. His low shot was well saved by Allsopp who safely gathered the rebound before Sandbach could react. Brocton doubled their lead in the 29th minute with a goal of real quality. A corner from Connor Haddaway reached the far post where Jake Thomas powered a header into the top corner. Brocton were now in the ascendancy and Payne had a chance to open his account when, with the keeper out of his goal, his shot from 35 yards was blocked by a defender. The chances kept coming for the home side and a direct run by Smith saw the ball played into the path of Blanchette and his effort flashed inches wide. Cam Osborne was next to try his luck, trying to catch Merner out at the near post but the big keeper saved well. Sandbach began to weather the storm and a cross from the left was headed behind for a corner by Devoir. With half-time approaching, Connor Haddaway volleyed goalwards from 25 yards with Merner happy that it was aimed straight at him.
Half-Time: Brocton 2 Sandbach United 0
The first clear chance of the second half fell to Brocton in the 55th minute. A superb ball from Smith opened up the Sandbach defence. Payne ran through on goal and his shot was well saved by Merner. Connor Haddaway hit the follow up and the shot was well blocked. An excellent break from Smith saw him cross low into the box and again the resolute Sandbach defence cleared for a corner. Sandbach were awarded a penalty in the 68th minute. A corner from the right into a mass of bodies saw Matt Russell go down in the area. The referee appeared to think about it and then move away but eventually he pointed to the spot. Sandbach sub Niall Cope stepped up and confidently beat Allsopp. Sandbach were boosted by the goal and really should have levelled two minutes later. Cope reached the by-line, played the ball into the path of Stanley Tatters but his shot was high over the bar, when he should have hit the target. The game took another twist in the 73rd minute. Devoir was the furthest forward for Brocton and shot from 25 yards. The ball was just over the bar, but the skipper was fouled by Sean Sherwood in the act of shooting. The referee called the Sandbach defender over and showed him a second yellow card much to the chagrin of the Sandbach bench. From the resultant freekick, Blanchette attempted to curl the ball past Merner who palmed it behind for a corner. Brocton should have sealed the three points in the 81st minute. AN excellent lay -off from Smith created the perfect opportunity to Blanchette but again his effort was just over the bar. Brocton had another excellent chance in the 87th minute. Connor Haddaway picked out Smith in front of goal. Surely, this would be three, but Merner again saved well to deny the home side. The ten men of Sandbach were still a serious threat and on the stroke of full time they were awarded a free kick on the edge of the are when Lewis Rowley tripped Cope. Cope took the free kick which went agonisingly wide. Smith again saw an effort saved by Merner before the game was finally out to bed in the 6th minute of stoppage time. An absolute howler at the back from Sandbach saw Osborne latch onto a loose ball and slide the ball into an empty net. There was just enough time left for manager Alex Curtis to give young Croft his debut as the Badgers continued their fine start to the season.
Full-Time: Brocton 3 Sandbach United 1 Attendance:160
Brocton: Tony Allsopp, Adam Weldon (Ethan Harris 85), Jake Triggs, Luke Haddaway, Kenny Devoir, Morgan Payne (Lewis Rowley 87), Christian Blanchette (Will Finlay 83), Jake Thomas, Reg Smith, Connor Haddaway, Cam Osborne (Tom Croft 90+7). Sub (Not Used): Charlie King
Sandbach United: Eric Merner, Matthew Russell, Max Buckley-Benbow (Adrian Kandeke 66), Sean Sherwood, Rory Roberts, William Booth (Niall Cope 60), Ryan Rogers, Jordan Stafford, Tyler Barnes, Stanley Tatters, Liam Fitzpatrick. Subs (Not Used): Callum Chapman, Oliver Jones, Joel Jones
Yellow Cards: Russell, Sherwood, Stafford (Sandbach)
Red Card: Sherwood (Sandbach)