Tuesday 1st September 2020
Westfields 2 Brocton 0
FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round
Mid week FA Cup games this season will throw up much longer journeys than this, but a trip to Hereford, setting off soon after 4 p,m, and eventually returning past midnight seemed long enough.
The early start was to allow the team to get rid of travel weary legs and warm up well in time for kick off at 7:45 p.m. And a bright start which saw Chrictian Blanchette get in a tempting cross from the left bye line, was an excellent sign.
When Westfields, through the speedy wing work on the right of Dan Stoneman, mirrored Brocton’s move, the result was an early goal for the home side. There was an element of luck as the first blocked shot ricocheted to Keanu Cooper and worse when his effort took enough of a deflection to wrong foot Henry Smith in Brocton’s goal. But the run and cross alone deserved that result and was a warning to the visitors.
That was on the stroke of five minutes and the dose was repeated barely five minutes later when Jack Arrowsmith put in a needful tackle on the right flank only for the ball to run loose and be quickly chipped into that dangerous right corner. Stoneman was once again quickest to it and his early cross was this time met by the head of Cooper, who nestled it past Smith for a second.
It could have been a very long night for Brocton, against a team full of confidence, having strolled to a 13 point lead in their step 5 campaign last year, but having been denied promotion to step 4 only by corona virus. But Brocton gradually worked their way back into the match and Jake Thomas saw a fierce effort on goal after another Blanchette cross, blocked by a sliding body on the hour. A deeper and higher cross from Arrowsmith beat all defensive attempts to head it away but Jack Weldon, beyond the far post could only skim his header for a goal kick. Arrowsmith produced a similar cross just before the break and this time Dan Lomas headed it back into the danger area for Jack Weldon to shoot.
The home side gave the impression of having another gear if they needed it and indeed had the ball in the net for a third time only to find that it came from off side. But Brocton too created chances, particularly as the game drew to a close. Matt Kimmins typified Brocton’s spirit, never giving up and pressing high and with his midfield partner JackPartridge, was never over run. Substitute Ryan Brooks had the chance of setting up a nervous last few minutes as he got in a clear header only to find keeper Stephen Sarkodie perfectly positioned.
Brocton: Henry Smith, Adam Weldon, Jamie Weldon, Alex Scott, Jack Arrowsmith, Jack Partridge, Matt Kimmins, Jake Thomas, Dan Lomas, Christian Blanchette, Jack Weldon.
Subs used: Ryan Brooks, Kenny Devoir, Ben Haddaway.
Referee Josh Brookland