Monday April 10th
North West Counties Football League First Division South
Brocton 5 Stafford Town 0
Brocton welcomed back Jake Thomas and Christian Blanchette to the starting line-up following injury. Jack Bostock was unavailable due to his England Schoolboy commitments, and he was replaced by Jake Triggs. Stafford Town came into the game needing points to ensure that they finished 3rd bottom in the table.
The kick off was delayed by 15 minutes due to a lack of an official. Thankfully, Teagan Clamp stepped into the breach to run the line. Brocton had the first attempt on goal after 25 seconds with Thomas’ volley just over the bar. Stafford Town had a chance in the 3rd minute when Tom Duffy headed wide from a right wing corner. Josh Simcox was unlucky for Town in the 6th minute, his shot from 30 yards just wide with Tony Allsopp at full stretch. The next chance fell to the home side with Morgan Payne heading over from a good cross from Luke Haddaway. In the 19th minute, excellent close control from Payne as he beat four defenders before playing the ball into the path of Reg Smith who was marginally offside. A free kick from Connor Haddaway was met by Blanchette but his header was off target. Blanchette then fired over the bar after he was set up by Smith. In the 31st minute, a deep cross from Connor Haddaway was just too far in front of Smith. Brocton took the lead a minute later. Blanchette’s initial shot came back off a defender. He controlled the rebound and curled a superb shot past Adam Jenkins and into the far corner. Brocton went close to doubling their lead moments later. Lewis Rowley played the ball to Smith. His header found Blanchette who cleared the bar with his effort. With half-time approaching, a shot from Smith took a deflection off Jack Keeling and into the grateful arms of Jenkins.
Half-Time: Brocton 1 Stafford Town 0
A minute into the half, Brocton had a great chance to make it two. Smith beat the offside trap, raced towards goal but his shot was brilliantly saved by Jenkins. A minute later, Jenkins surpassed this save with a stunning effort to tip over a chip from Payne. Brocton doubled their lead in the 50th minute. A low ball into the box from Smith, was deftly flicked home by Rowley for his first senior goal. In the 53rd minute, Connor Haddaway won the ball in midfield, took the ball forward and his shot was just over the bar. Simcox was seriously injured in attempting to make a challenge and the game was stopped for more than 10 minutes as the stricken midfielder received treatment. When the injury was stabilised sufficiently for a stretcher to be used, Simcox was warmly applauded from the pitch by both sets of players and the large Bank Holiday crowd. When the game restarted it didn’t take long for Brocton to grab their third. Blanchette wriggled to the by-line and when the ball was played into the box, Payne was on hand to turn it home. Brocton continued to hunt for goals, and Payne turned provider to Charlie King, his shot was over the bar. Allsopp had to be alert to save at the feet of both Duffy and Jack Grimshaw on a rare Stafford Town attack. In the 72nd minute, Jenkins was sin-binned for questioning the decisions of the linesman once too often. He was replaced between the sticks for ten minutes by Duffy. Two minutes after taking over the gloves, Duffy produced the save of the match. Connor Haddaway struck a superb shot from 30 yards, and somehow Duffy managed to turn it onto the bar and out for a corner. From the corner, Luke Haddaway hit a low shot from 30 yards which went under the body of Duffy and into the corner of the net. Five minutes later, Brocton made it five. Smith sent Payne clear, and he calmly slotted the ball past Duffy. Four minutes into stoppage time, Mario Novaku did well on the left, played the ball inside to Alex Curtis and his first time shot was brilliantly saved by Jenkins. From Connor Haddaway’s corner. Smith headed over the bar. The final whistle went with Brocton requiring a win next week at Ashville to secure 3rd place.
Full-Time: Brocton 5 Stafford Town 0 Attendance:227
Brocton: Tony Allsopp, Luke Haddaway, Jake trigs (Adam Weldon 69), Kenny Devoir, Tom Vaughan, Charlie King (Sam Scott 86), Christian Blanchette (Alex Curtis 81), Jake Thomas (Lewis Rowley 7), Reg Smith, Connor Haddaway, Morgan Payne (Mario Novaku 86)
Stafford Town: Adam Jenkins, Konstantinos Mario, Bradley Taylor (Ethan Pickford 70), Jack Keeling, Johmari Hyatt, Joshua Simcox (Kamal Martin-Edwards 64), Jack Grimshaw, Taylor Draper (Hayden Brown 85), Tom Duffy (Max McLure 89), Sean Kinsella, Jake Cartwright
Yellow Cards: Simcox (Stafford Town)
Sin Bin: Jenkins (Stafford Town)