Saturday 20th August
North West Counties Football League First Division South
Ellesmere Rangers 0 Brocton 2
It was 2nd versus 3rd as the Badgers travelled to unbeaten Ellesmere Rangers. Brocton made two changes with Cam Jackson replacing the suspended Reg Smith and Jake Triggs returning to the starting line-up with Morgan Payne unavailable. There was also a place on the bench for 16 year old Jonah Scutt, as well as returnee Henry Smith.
It was the Meresiders who made the first impact inside the opening two minutes. They were awarded a free kick for a dubious handball outside the area. Carl Rogers struck the free kick which beat Tony Allsopp but hit the outside of the post. Both sides were battling against the strong wind. Brocton opened the scoring with their first meaningful attack in the 11th minute. A superb, floated ball from Connor Haddaway was met by the head of Jackson who flicked the ball into the far corner giving Jack Boswell no chance. Ellesmere responded through Jordan Davies whose fin run ended with a cross cut out by Tom Vaughan. Brocton had a great chance to make it two in the 16th minute. Christian Blanchette won the ball, and with Connor Haddaway unmarked, the pass was too near the keeper who gathered. Brocton were having a good spell and excellent work from Adam Weldon saw his cross overhit. Jackson was proving a handful for the Ellesmere defence, and he shrugged off the attention of Jack Sweeney before firing just wide. Brocton doubled their lead in the 23rd minute. Cam Osborne was clearly tripped in the area and Connor Haddaway converted the resulting penalty. Ellesmere were rocked by the second goal and took some time to gather themselves. When they did, Blake Robinson was off target with a hopeful effort. The home side wasted a good chance in the 41st minute. A free kick from Callum Graybrook was met at the far post by Sweeney but his header was well wide. Graybrook then tried a different tack with the next free kick with his shot way over the bar. In stoppage time, Steve Hole shot on the turn, but it was straight at Allsopp.
Half-Time: Ellesmere Rangers 0 Brocton 2
Brocton had the first chance of the second half. A quick break allowed Jake Thomas to send Blanchette clear with his shot saved by Boswell. At the other end, a rare mistake from Allsopp on the edge of the area, the keeper fumbling ball before it was cleared by his defence. Hole had an opportunity for Ellesmere, but his shot was blocked by the hard working Brocton defence. On the hour, Boswell produced a fine save to palm away a 25 yard effort from Vaughan. The ball was played back into the area by Connor Haddaway, Osborne volleyed the ball goalwards, and it was blocked by the Ellesmere defence. With Ellesmere having more of the territory, Brocton were relying on quick breaks and from one of these, Osborne had a cross blocked. In the 63rd minute, Jordan Davies ran down the left, checked inside and curled a shot goalwards where Allsopp made a good save. Four minutes later, Blanchette chased a lost cause, won a ball he had no right to win, and when his ball was not properly dealt with, Thomas’ shot forced another good save from Boswell. Ellesmere sub Jack Harris wasted a decent opening, clearing the bar with his effort. Ellesmere were certainly asking lots of questions with Brocton working their socks off to keep them out. The best chance of the afternoon for Ellesmere came three minutes from time. A ball over the top picked out Ben Davis, and one-on-one with Allsopp, it was the Brocton keeper that won the battle with an excellent save. In stoppage time, Ben Davies again went close, but it was Brocton’s day as they climbed over the Meresiders into 2nd place in the table.
Full-Time: Ellesmere Rangers 0 Brocton 2 Attendance:77
Ellesmere Rangers: Jack Boswell, Ben Davies, Matthew Jones, Jack Sweeney, Carl Rogers (Ryan Hickman 78), Blake Robinson (Jack Harris 57), Jordan Davies, Owen Lloyd, Steve Hole (Harvey Howell 71), Callum Graybrook (Cameron Davies 57), David Howells (Jamie Hands 61)
Brocton: Tony Allsopp, Adam Weldon (Jack Bostock 38), Jake Triggs (Henry Smith 78), Luke Haddaway, Tom Vaughan, Kenny Devoir, Christian Blanchette (Charlie King 75), Jake Thomas, Cam Jackson (Jonah Scutt 80), Connor Haddaway, Cam Osborne (Lewis Rowley 89)
Yellow cards: Weldon, Osborne (Brocton)