Saturday 30th September
North West Counties Football League First Division South
Cammell Laird 1907 1 Brocton 5
Brocton made three changes from the side that drew at Eccleshall last weekend. Matty Bestall, Lucas Green-Birch and Will Whieldon coming in for Dan Evans, Benn Haddaway and Morgan Payne. Cammell Laird came into the game with just one defeat at home this season, Stafford Twon winning on the first day of the campaign.
In torrential rain and on a difficult surface, it was Brocton that started on the front foot. The first chance fell to Whieldon in the 2nd minute, but his shot was high, wide, and not at all handsome. Green-Birch forced the first of many saves from the Lairds keeper William Ebbrell in the 6th minute, his cross to the near post being palmed over the bar. Brocton took the lead a minute later. A cross from Connor Haddaway picked out Reg Smith. His shot was diverted past Ebbrell into the net by Christian Blanchette, showing great awareness of the goalkeeper’s position. Brocton had another opportunity in the 11th minute, Jake Thomas forcing a fine save from Ebbrell. Lairds first attack of any note came in the 13th minute. A good run and cross from Nathan Johnston was just too far in front of the onrushing Kieran Hamm at the far post. An excellent passing move for Brocton created an opening for Whieldon. He checked back inside the defender and his goal bound effort was superbly blocked by a Lairds defender. The home side had a great chance to equalise in the 27th minute. A mistake at the back let in Hamm, and with only Tony Allsopp to beat, he curled his shot wide of the target. Allsopp was called into action, racing off his line to clear the ball away from Michael Speed. Four minutes before the break, Lairds were awarded a free kick on the edge of the penalty area following a foul by Adam Weldon on Johnston. Johnston himself took the free-kick and his superb effort was tipped over the bar by Allsopp. A minute later, Thomas had another shot on target comfortably saved by Ebbrell.
Half-Time: Cammell Laird 1907 0 Brocton 1
The second half had barely started before the home side grabbed an equaliser. Confusion between Kenny Devoir and Tom Vaughan allowed the ball to squirm free to Hamm. The forward placed a first time shot accurately into the corner giving Allsopp no chance. Brocton responded immediately with a shot on the turn from Whieldon clearing the bar. Brocton should have regained the lead in the 53rd minute. Smith intercepted a back pass, and his effort was well blocked by Ebbrell. From the corner, the ball came out to Smith. His shot was off target but fell to the foot of Thomas, who missed the target with the goal at his mercy. A minute later, Brocton went closer still. Smith poked the ball towards goal and Lairds scrambled it off the line. Brocton were not to be denied and they took the lead in the 55th minute. Green-Birch played the ball into the path of skipper Connor Haddaway, and he picked his spot and blasted it past Ebbrell. It was three in the 58th minute. Wonderful control from Smith as he beat three defenders before hammering the ball into the net off the cross bar. Brocton were now totally in control, and it should have been four within a minute. Whieldon broke through the heart of the Lairds defence, but his shot was saved by Ebbrell. The rebound came out to Blanchette who could not make a clean connection and the ball went out for a goal kick. Despite the conditions, Brocton were playing some scintillating football. Smith burst past the last defender, but he too was denied by Ebbrell. A superb run down the left by Green-Birch was well defended by the Lairds defence, In the 68th minute, Thomas’ shot was saved by Ebbrell. Ebbrell was beaten in the 70th minute when Green-Birch created a chance for Connor Haddaway. He picked his spot and beat the keeper but saw the ball rebound off the far post. Brocton continued to search for more goals, and they were rewarded with a fourth in the 84th minute. Ben Haddaway played the ball out o the right wing to Cam Osborne. Osborne cut inside onto his left foot and curled a superb shot into the top corner. A rare foray forward from Lairds saw James Eaton clear the cross bar with a free kick. In the 86th minute, a flick from Smith sent Osborne clear and his lob beat Ebbrell but also cleared the crossbar. Osborne then tested Ebbrell again before Brocton scored their fifth goal of the afternoon in the 87th minute, A cross from the left was headed goalwards by Smith. Ebbrell made a stunning save to tip the ball onto the crossbar. The ball rebounded down where Ben Haddaway nodded it over the line under no pressure from any defender.
Full-Time: Cammell Laird 1907 1 Brocton 5 Attendance:90
Cammell Laird 1907: William Ebbrell, Jake Hulley (Jack Wood 80), Greg Drummond, Ben Graham, Dominic Hoppe, James Ludbrook, Michael Speed (Ben Wood 72), Zak Gatesby (Richard Ley 72), Kieran Hamm (James Eaton 72), Jay Harvey (Ben Summers 80), Nathan Johnston
Brocton: Tony Allsopp, Adam Weldon (Charlie King 67), Matty Bestall (Dan Evans 77), Kenny Devoir, Tom Vaughan, Lucas Green-Birch (Ben Haddaway 72), Will Whieldon (Morgan Payne 65), Jake Thomas, reg Smith, Connor Haddaway, Christian Blanchette (Cam Osborne 81)