The Badgers ended 2022 with a winning feeling after a 4-2 away win at Stafford Town. Goals from Jake Thomas, Reg Smith, Christian Blanchette and Will Wheeldon seal the points as we remain 3rd in the table.
Monday December 26th
North West Counties Football league First Division South
Stafford Town 2 Brocton 4
Brocton made one change from the side that won at New Mills just before Christmas with Henry Smith fit enough to return in place of Jonty Kearns. Stafford Town came into the game showing some improvement under caretaker manager Jason Scott.
Brocton had the first opportunity of the game, Connor Haddaway forcing a save from Joe Williams. It was Brocton who took the lead in the 6th minute. An inch perfect ball over the top of the Town defence from Will Whieldon fell to Jake Thomas whose finish was clinical. The home side were level within a minute. Declan Arber beat Tom Vaughan and crossed to the far post where Harvey Dangerfield climbed above the defence to head home. Brocton quickly regained superiority with Whieldon seeing a shot blocked by the Town defence. On 15 minutes, Reg Smith ran across the face of goal, shot on the turn but it was easily held by Williams. A minute later, Christian Blanchette raced clear down the left and dragged his shot just wide of the far post. Brocton continued to ask all the questions. An excellent run by Adam Weldon saw him feed Whieldon whose shot was inches wide. In the 25th minute, Connor Haddaway tried his luck from distance and Williams saved at the 2nd attempt. Brocton regained the lead in the 27th minute. Blanchette was the creator, turning Will Bates inside out before floating a cross to the unmarked Smith at the far post. Smith nodded the ball home for his 20th of the campaign. Goal number three came five minutes later. A long throw from Weldon came off the head of a Town defender, and Blanchette reacted quickest to power home a header. In the 39th minute, Smith found space on the left, crossed into the box for Weldon and his shot was saved by Williams. Brocton should have made it four a minute later. A loose ball fell invitingly for Connor Haddaway, but his finish was wayward. The chances continued to be created an Blanchette headed wide from another good cross from Connor Haddaway.
Half-Time: Stafford Town 1 Brocton 3
Town began the second half with more intent as they tried to get back into the game however it was Brocton that looked the more likely to score. Smith wasted a glorious chance in the 52nd minute turning a superb cross from Connor Haddaway wide of the post. Brocton had the ball in the net in the 55th minute. A free kick from Connor Haddaway was headed goalwards by Whieldon and Smith was on hand to tap the ball into the net. Unfortunately, for Brocton, the linesman flagged for offside. Mid-way through the half, a driving run from Thomas saw him lay the ball to Whieldon and his shot was again inches off target. A cross from Blanchette was met first time by Smith but his effort cleared the crossbar. In the 71st minute, Smith raced down the right, played the ball inside to Whieldon. He laid the ball on a plate for Connor Haddaway, but he took too long, and his effort was blocked. Brocton continued the attack and a curling shot from Blanchette was tipped onto the bar by Williams. From a well worked short corner, a cross from Connor Haddaway was tapped in at the far post by Jack Bostock, the linesman again flagging for offside. Blanchette played the ball into the path of Smith who forced a save from Williams. Brocton’s fourth goal came in the 77th minute. A corner from Connor Haddaway was headed over by Bostock. As Town attempted to clear their lines, a complete mix up in the Town defence saw the ball fall to Whieldon and he made no mistake. Twon grabbed a lifeline in the 83rd minute when Jack Grimshaw split the Brocton defence and slotted past Henry Smith. The goal failed to change the complexion of the game and Brocton ran out comfortable winners.
Full-Time: Stafford Town 2 Brocton 4 Attendance:271
Stafford Town: Joe Williams, Will Bates (Tom Duffy 55), Jake Cartwright (Sachin Bargota 65), Daniel Kelly, Seydou Bamba, Matthew Dudley, Harvey Dangerfield (Cydon Walker 80), Callum James White, Declan Arber, Nathan Brayford (Remay Porter 84), Jack Grimshaw. Sub (Not Used): Dominic Heath
Brocton: Henry Smith, Adam Weldon, Jack Bostock (Luke Haddaway 90+2), Kenny Devoir, Tom Vaughan, Ben Haddaway, Will Whieldon, Jake Thomas (Morgan Payne 74), Reg Smith (Sam Scott 87), Connor Haddaway (Charlie King 82), Christian Blanchette (Will Finlay 82)
Yellow cards: James White, Brayford (Stafford Town), Luke Haddaway (Brocton)