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Badgers lose 8-goal thriller

Saturday 18th November

Isuzu FA Vase Round 2

Brocton 3 Ashby Ivanhoe 5

Following two postponements in the last 7 days, this 2nd Round FA Vase tie was switched from the NFU Sports Ground to Silkmore Lane to enable the game to go ahead. Brocton were thin on the ground with Tom Vaughan, Charlie Marshall, Dan Evans, Adam Weldon, Christian Blanchette, Ryan Douglas and Charlie King all unavailable. Ben Haddaway, Henry Smith and Matty Bestall came in to a much changed defence. Ashby Ivanhoe, mid table in the UCL Northern Premier Division, had had a mixed run of results with a good 4-0 win over Belper United a recent highlight.

The first opportunity was created by Ashby. Chris Acott whipped in a cross which Will Grocock could only head straight at Tony Allsopp. A late challenge on Allsopp by Will Robson saw the first yellow card of the afternoon. Brocton took the lead in the 10th minute. An attempted clearance by Ashby keeper Sam Taylor cannoned into Reg Smith and the Brocton striker followed the ball as it crossed the line. Three minutes later, a short corner routine from Brocton ended with a clipped shot from Reg Smith inches wide of the near post. Despite the heavy pitch, Brocton were playing some superb football in patches and from a move involving four players, Lucas Green-Birch shot was well saved by Taylor. In the 19th minute, a good run and cross from the dangerous Acott was deflected for a corner. Ashby equalised soon after. A cross from Grocock from the left was met by a firm header from Ash Garner giving Allsopp little chance as it flew into the corner. The goal lifted Ashby and they went close to taking the lead in the 26th minute. A right wing corner was headed goalwards by Sam Grouse and cleared off the line by Henry Smith. Brocton went close within a minute. Will Whieldon headed the ball down the right hand touch line. Reg Smith took control of the ball and crossed low into the box where Morgan Payne beat his markers and was narrowly off target. Garner had a chance to double his tally, but his header was off target from another Acott cross. In the 35th minute, a free kick from Josh Thomas was straight at Allsopp. Brocton took the lead in the 36th minute. A brilliant ball from Jake Thomas was dummied by Green-Birch. This let in Reg Smith who finished with ease. Two minutes later, good work from Whieldon saw his cross brought down by Reg Smith. Instead of shooting he chose to play in a teammate with the ball scrambled away to safety. Ashby were back on level terms in the 40th minute. Grocock controlled the ball, and his shot on the turn was placed to perfection past Allsopp. The chances kept coming and Grouse hit a strong shot straight at Allsopp. In stoppage time, Robson spotted Allsopp off his line and his audacious attempt from the half-way drifted wide.

Half-time: Brocton 2 Ashby Ivanhoe 2

The second half began tentatively with both sides wary of making a mistake. In the 56th minute, Acott found space down the right, but his cross was way over the bar. On the hour mark, Payne raced clear of the Ashby defence, but he was halted by a superb tackle from Josh Thomas. Two minutes later, things deteriorated for Brocton when Bestall received a second yellow card for a rash challenge reducing Brocton to ten men. On 65 minutes, Ben Haddaway was adjudged to have fouled Grocott in the area. Grocott’s reaction to the penalty award very telling in the legitimacy of the decision. Grouse ignored the noise and planted the penalty into the corner. In the 69th minute, playing numbers were equalled when Robson received a second yellow card, this one for simulation. Brocton were level within a minute. A lovely ball behind the Ashby back line was volleyed into the corner by Payne. Brocton were now sensing they could go on to win the tie. Ashby had other ideas and they retook the lead in the 76th minute. A mistake at the back by Brocton sent the ball into space. It was picked up and slid into the path of Grouse and his shot was too hard for Allsopp as it flew into the corner. What more could happen in this topsy turvy game? A floodlight problem was the answer. With thirteen minutes left, the referee halted the game with two floodlights no longer operational. The issue was caused by a power failure in the local area. With the game drifting towards the inevitable abandonment, local power was restored, ahead of the estimate from the National Grid, and play could recommence after a 10 minute delay. Four minutes after the restart, Connor Haddaway took aim, and his shot was brilliantly saved by Taylor. In the 86th minute, Tolani Omatola picked out Grouse who dragged his shot wide. Brocton were reduced to nine men as Henry Smith was sent to the sin bin. Brocton still searched for an equaliser and a swerving shot from Connor Haddaway was well saved again by Taylor. A minute into stoppage time, Ashby exploited the wide open spaces in the Brocton defence to seal the win. Omatola picked out Acott and his fierce drive flew into the net off the crossbar.

Full-Time: Brocton 3 Ashby Ivanhoe 5 Attendance:193

Brocton: Tony Allsopp, Ben Haddaway, Matty Bestall, Henry Smith, Kenny Devoir, Lucas Green-Birch (Cam Osborne 68), Will Whieldon, Jake Thomas (Will Finlay 78), Reg Smith, Connor Haddaway, Morgan Payne. Subs (Not Used): Ben Hackett, Lewis Rowley, Alex Curtis

Ashby Ivanhoe: Sam Taylor, Liam Donaghy, Jake Conkey, Sam Preston, Chris Acott, Will Mansfield, Will Robson, Ash Garner (Sam Baines 85), Will Grocock (Tolani Omatola 75), Sam Grouse, Josh Thomas (James Harrison 66). Subs (Not Used): Joe Neal, Macauley Holmes, Danny Quinn, Jacob Rabone

Yellow Cards: Ben Haddaway, Bestall, Jake Thomas, Connor Haddaway, Osborne (Brocton); Robson (Ashby Ivanhoe)

Red Cards: Bestall (Brocton); Robson (Ashby Ivanhoe)

Sin Bin: Henry Smith (Brocton 86)


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