Saturday 11th February
North West Counties Football League First Division South
Abbey Hey 0 Brocton 3
Brocton made 4 changes from the side that beat Foley Meir last weekend. Tony Allsopp returned in goal for his first appearance in three months. Jack Bostock was on England duty with Adam Weldon coming back into the starting line-up. Luke Haddaway and Morgan Payne also dropped to the bench with Ben Haddaway and Kenny Devoir regaining their starting places. Abbey Hey came into the game with up and down form.
It was Brocton that were quick out of the blocks, Will Whieldon firing wide after just 16 seconds. Reg Smith saw his 3rd minute shot blocked by the Abbey Hey defence while Christian Blanchette hit the stanchion two minutes later. Smith had a great chance for Brocton in the 13th minute. A header from Weldon picked out Smith but his shot was just wide. Brocton were the more threatening and a corner from Connor Haddaway was palmed off the head of Blanchette by Joe Lawton. Abbey Hey wasted a glorious chance in the 21st minute. Darrhyl Mason was clean through on goal but he lifted his shot over Allsopp and over the bar. At the other end, Abbey Hey keeper Lawton pulled off a superb save to save a volley from Smith. Ben Haddaway was just off target with a left-footed effort. In the 36th minute, Abbey Hey wasted another golden opportunity. A corner from Jake Dunford was met by the head of the unmarked Luke Hincks but again, his header was over the bar. Deep into stoppage time a volley from Whieldon was wide of the target.
Half-Time: Abbey Hey 0 Brocton 0
Whatever Alex Curtis said to his team at half-time, it paid immediate dividends. A minute into the half, Brocton took the lead. A cross from Weldon was headed goalwards by Connor Haddaway. Lawton made a good save, but Blanchette reacted quickest to nod the rebound into the net. Two minutes later, a cross from Whieldon was weighted perfectly for Blanchette who was bundled over in the penalty area by Daryll Grant. The referee had no hesitation in pointing to the spot. After a couple of minutes of protest, Connor Haddaway stepped up and fired the spot kick into the bottom left hand corner. Brocton should have made it three in the 62nd minute. An excellent through ball from Smith into the path of Whieldon. One-on-one with the keeper, he lifted the ball over Lawton, the ball rebounding off the post. Whieldon went close again a few minutes later. As hard as they tried, Abbey Hey could make no impression on the Brocton back line. In the 82nd minute, Jake Thomas was fouled on the edge of the box. After yet more remonstrations from the home side, Smith took the free-kick and blasted it into the net, despite the best efforts of Lawton. Abbey Hey failed to trouble Allsopp and Brocton made it twelve wins from thirteen league games to strengthen their hold on third place.
Full-Time: Abbey Hey 0 Brocton 3 Attendance:128
Abbey Hey: Joe Lawton, Darryl Grant, Agustin Alvarez, Ben McNamara (Olaolu Odipe 43), Michael Ibelo, Joel Bembo-Leta, Jake Dunford (Cory Knight 79), Luke Hincks, Darrhyl Mason, Tremaine Eastmond (Rafel Alvarez 79), Jordyn Fitton (Dillon Kirkman 60). Sub (Not Used): Keane Joyce
Brocton: Tony Allsopp, Adam Weldon, Jake Triggs (Luke Haddaway 79), Kenny Devoir, Tom Vaughan, Ben Haddaway, Will Whieldon (Charlie King 83), Jake Thomas, reg Smith, Connor Haddaway, Christian Blanchette (Morgan Payne 74). Subs (Not Used): Henry Smith, Alex Curtis
Yellow Cards: Grant, A. Alvarez, Hincks (abbey Hey), Ben Haddaway (Brocton)