Saturday 27th January 2024
North West Counties Football League First Division South
Brocton 1 Droylsden 2
Brocton welcomed back Reg Smith into the starting line-up. Jake Thomas and Connor Haddaway also made their first appearances for a month, taking their place amongst the substitutes. Droylsden came into the game just outside the play-off places with games in hand on all of the sides above them.
Brocton started the brighter of the two sides. In the 4th minute, a low cross from Cam Osborne was turned goalwards by Smith and Jordan Hadlow, the Droylsden keeper, made a fine save to turn it past the post for a corner. Two minutes later, Smith fed the ball into leading scorer Morgan Payne. Payne’s clever footwork created the opening, and his goal bound effort was brilliantly saved by Hadlow. From the corner, Smith curled a shot inches wide. Brocton took the lead in the 11th minute. Smith latched onto a through ball, Lucas Green-Birch took the defender away with a run wide allowing Smith to take the ball on his left foot and hit an unstoppable shot past Hadlow. Droylsden were dangerous on the break and their first attempt of note saw Kyle Oakes’s shot deflected for a corner. Brocton were hungry for goals and a snapshot from Smith drifted agonisingly wide with Hadlow scrambling. JNai Butterfield-Steede was well off target with a shot from distance. In the 26th minute, Payne ran into the area, one-on-one with Hadlow and his chipped shot was somehow kept out by the Droylsden keeper. Nellson Van had the ball in the net for the visitors in the 28th minute after incisive approach play but the goal was ruled out for offside. Van went close a couple of minutes later when his shot on the turn was just over. Jake Thomas, on for the injured Ben Haddaway was next to test Hadlow in the 33rd minute. His shot from 25 yards bringing an excellent diving save. Hadlow surpassed himself seconds later, another excellent save foiling Payne. In the 42nd minute, Payne played the ball back to Osborne and his shot just cleared the angle of post and crossbar. Three minutes into time added on, a deep cross from Joseph Nield was well defended by Adam Weldon, shielding the ball away from Rio Pemberton.
Half-Time: Brocton 1 Droylsden 0
Brocton had the first opportunity of the second half, Smith volleying wide in the 51st minute. Droylsden levelled the scores in the 53rd minute. Tony Allsopp raced off his line to clear the ball, but he was caught in possession by Faud Kasali. He in turn played the ball into the path of Van whose finish was emphatic. On the hour mark, a long clearance from Allsopp was brilliantly controlled by Smith. The ball fell invitingly for Payne, but Nield was on hand to deny him with a wonderful challenge. Droylsden were having much more of the play and the speed of their forwards was putting the Brocton defence under pressure. Pemberton had a chance for Droylsden, but his shot cleared the crossbar. In the 69th minute, a low free kick from Smith was gathered by Hadlow. A deep cross from Ben Lowe drifted wide for Droylsden with no-one on hand to convert. In the 79th minute, a free kick from Smith was fumbled by Hadlow and Brocton could not turn home the loose ball. Droylsden broke immediately and with Allsopp off his line, Kasali took advantage to fire the ball into the empty net. Brocton were now having to come from behind and Payne was off target with another effort. In the 85th minute, a free kick from Allsopp was headed wide by Connor Haddaway. A minute before time, Alex Curtis appealed in vain for a penalty as he went over under a challenge. That was Brocton’s last chance and the visitors themselves went close to extending their lead. A great run by Elliott Fenton ended with a shot just wide. In the 2nd minute of time added on, Lowe beat Allsopp but also the post. Despite seven minutes of added time, it was the visitors who deservedly took home the three points.
Full-Time: Brocton 1 Droylsden 2 Attendance:144
Brocton: Tony Allsopp, Adam Weldon (Dan Evans 74), Matty Bestall, Kenny Devoir (Alex Curtis 75), Tom Vaughan, Ben Haddaway (Jake Thomas 22), Cam Osborne (Seb Conaghan 65), Lucas Green-Birch (Connor Haddaway 65), Reg Smith, Charlie King, Morgan Payne
Droylsden: Jordan Hadlow, Anthony Warburton (Joseph Nield 42), Harry Shipton, Elvis Amoakwa, Joseph Keyworth, Kyle Oakes, JNai Butterfield-Steede, Benjamin Lowe, Nellson Van (Shaquille Lewys 86), Rio Pemberton (Elliott Fenton 82), Fuad Kasali. Subs (Not Used): Oliver McKay, Morgan Piper
Yellow Cards: Smith (Brocton); Amoakwa (Droylsden)