Saturday February 4th
North West Counties Football League 1st Division South
Brocton 2 Foley Meir 1
Brocton made two changes from the starting line-up that beat Barnton last week. Tom Vaughan returned to the side in place of Kenny Devoir while Christian Blanchette was rewarded for his hat-trick exploits replacing Ben Haddaway. Foley Meir, struggling near the foot of the table, came into the game on the back of picking up four points in the past seven days.
Brocton started the brighter with Will Whieldon going close inside the first minute. In the 3rd minute, a ball into the area from Jake Triggs was met by the head of Blanchette, Callum Shuttlewood making a comfortable save. In the 6th minute, Reg Smith fed Whieldon and his side footed shot was easily saved by Shuttlewood. A minute later, Smith hit a dipping volley from 30 yards which cannoned off the outside of the post. The woodwork saved Foley again in the 14th minute. A superb crossfield ball from Smith, was over the head of Matthew Hope. Morgan Payne took possession, and hammered his shot off the outside of the near post. When Smith was brought down outside the area, there was a queue of Brocton players wanting to take the free-kick. The in-form Whieldon took charge but the effort was straight at Shuttlewood. Foley Meir’s first attempt came midway through the half, Alex Cimino’s header comfortably held by Jonty Kearns. Payne, fresh from his two goals last week, was causing problems down the left and from another driving run, his shot flew inches wide. Vaughan was the next to try his luck, striding forward from the half-way line, his effort clearing the fence behind the goal. Brocton were racking up the chances, Connor Haddaway heading wide from a Triggs cross the latest attempt in the 29th minute. Foley Meir were reduced to ten men in the 36th minute. Within a minute of returning from an earlier sin bin, Fletcher Rushton tackled Connor Haddaway from behind, the referee deeming that it was worthy of a red card. Brocton finally broke the deadlock in the 39th minute. Blanchette found space in the area, lifted the ball over Shuttlewood and calmly walked the ball into the net. Foley responded well with Luke Haddaway forced into a fine block to thwart Foley skipper Tom Wakefield. There was nothing stopping Wakefield a minute into time added on. He spotted Kearns off his line, and from just inside the Brocton half, sent his shot flying into the net. Parity lasted no more than a minute. Vaughan picked out Smith who spun his defender and volleyed the ball home. There was still time for Serkari Ahmadi to be sin binned and for Wakefield to be yellow carded, for taking the kick off before Ahmadi had left the field. With the referee poised to blow for half-time, Connor Haddaway’s chip flew over the bar.
Half-Time: Brocton 2 Foley Meir 1
The second half started slowly with the nine men from Foley Meir, behind the ball and scrapping for everything. In the 55th minute, Brocton were awarded a free kick in a good position, Smith’s shot wide of the target. Payne had a chance for Brocton but his shot was always rising and it cleared the cross bar. On the hour mark, Whieldon teed up Smith and he dragged his shot off target. Five minutes later, Shuttlewood did well to save from Connor Haddaway, Blanchette’s follow up skimming the bar. The chances were still falling to Brocton, and Whieldon was again profligate with his finishing. In the 76th minute, a cross from Ben Haddaway was met by Adam Weldon, and somehow the Foley Meir defender managed to hack the ball off the line. Into the last ten minutes, Foley Meir player manager Sam Golden had the opportunity to bring his side level but his volley was well wide of the target. Connor Haddaway tested Shuttlewood with another header, with the Foley keeper dealing with everything thrown at him. The ten men of Foley Meir kept searching for the equaliser and Weldon did well to block a shot from Wakefield. In the 88th minute, the victory for Brocton should have been sealed. Whieldon was through on goal, with only Shuttlewood to beat. His clipped shot was half stopped by the outstretched palm of the keeper and a defender completed the job clearing the ball off the line. Deep into stoppage time, Foley Meir thought they had equalised but the chip from the left cleared Kearns and his cross bar. The final whistle was gratefully received by the home side who extended their run to eleven wins from twelve games.
Full-Time: Brocton 2 Foley Meir 1 Attendance:95
Brocton: Jonty Kearns, Luke Haddaway (Kenny Devoir 64), Jake Triggs (Adam Weldon 50), Jack Bostock, Tom Vaughan, Will Whieldon (Charlie King 89), Christian Blanchette (Will Finlay 86), Jake Thomas, Reg Smith, Connor Haddaway, Morgan Payne (Ben Haddaway 64)
Foley Meir: Callum Shuttlewood, Matthew Hope (Sam Golden 75), Courtney Franklyn, Daniel Hughes (Kian Knott 64), Jay Lovatt, Alex Scott, Alexander Cimino (Dan Lancett 67), Fletcher Rushton, Jayden Shepherd (George Shaw 81), Tom Wakefield, Serkari Ahmadi. Sub (Not Used): Tyler Simms
Sin Bins: Rushton, Ahmadi (Foley Meir)
Yellow Cards: Whieldon, Weldon (Brocton), Wakefield, Golden(Foley Meir)
Red Cards: Rushton (Foley Meir)