Thursday 6th April
North West Counties Football league First Division South
Rocester 0 Brocton 2
Brocton made two changes from the side that lost at home to league leaders Wythenshawe Amateurs last time out. Jack Bostock returned from international duty to replace Jake Triggs and Sam Scott, fresh from winning the league with the Under 18s on Monday, replaced Lewis Rowley. There was a welcome return on the bench for Jake Thomas and Adam Weldon. Rocester were guaranteed to finish bottom of the table and they welcomed back highly rated keeper Charlie Wood.
Brocton had a great chance to open the scoring inside two minutes. Reg Smith set up Morgan Payne who miss kicked in front of goal. At the other end, Harry Payne curled a shot over the bar as a warning to Brocton. Brocton’s response saw Scott on target but straight at Wood. In the 5th minute, Morgan Payne wasted another great chance, missing the target from in front of goal following an excellent ball from Smith. A minute later, Brocton were given a gilt-edged chance to take the lead when Charlie King was felled in the penalty area by Wood. Connor Haddaway stepped up to take the penalty and Wood pulled out a fine save. Wood again foiled Morgan Payne, saving well when the Brocton striker was clean through on goal. Morgan Payne was causing the Rocester defence all sorts of problems, and after beating three defenders his shot was blocked. On the quarter hour mark, a cross to the far post from Connor Haddaway was missed by Scott with the goal at his mercy. Brocton continued to ask all the questions. A delightful ball over the top from Connor Haddaway was just too high for Morgan Payne to bring the ball down. Scott then laid the ball off to Morgan Payne whose first time volley was saved by Wood. A rare chance fell to leading scorer Smith, but his shot was off target after he had been teed up by Morgan Payne. Rocester gave Brocton a reminder that they could be dangerous when Reuben Kenny forced a fine low save from Jonty Kearns. In the final attempt of a frustrating half, King played the ball into the path of Scott who cleared the cross bar with his effort.
Half-Time: Rocester 0 Brocton 0
Brocton created an opening a minute into the second half but Scott screwed his shot wide. In the 55th minute, a shot from Braima Coma was comfortably saved by Kearns. Brocton went close to opening the scoring two minutes later. Morgan Payne worked himself into space and his shot was brilliantly cleared off the line by Oliver Hetherington. Rocester countered with Kearns making a good save from Kenny. Brocton finally broke the deadlock in the 63rd minute. Smith shielded the ball from two defenders, drove forward and shot low to Wood’s right and into the bottom corner. Two minutes later, Wood made an excellent save to keep out a shot from Morgan Payne which was heading into the far corner of the net. Brocton continued to push forward. A shot from Smith was deflected for a corner and from the dead ball, the ball came out to Will Whieldon who lifted his shot over the bar. Brocton had the ball in the net in the 70th minute. A fine shot from Thomas was saved by Wood, and Smith was on hand to tuck home the rebound, albeit from an offside position. A cross from Connor Haddaway was cleared with a superb defensive header from Hetherington. The Rocester keeper excelled once again in the 76th minute. Smith was sent clear on goal and his goal bound effort was brilliantly touched past the post by Wood. The second goal eventually came in the 83rd minute. A cross from Connor Haddaway was headed back into the box by Thomas with Morgan Payne on hand to force the ball home. Deep into stoppage time, the story of the game was encapsulated by a Wood save from Smith. The final whistle went with Brocton edging closer to a 3rd place finish and a home play-off.
Full-Time: Rocester 0 Brocton 2 Attendance:139
Rocester: Charlie Wood, Matt Nutt, Ashley Elliot, Scott Abbey, Oliver Hetherington, Reuben Kenny, Logan Toplis, Sam Bates, Callum Niven, Harry Payne, Braima Coma (Brandon Alkins 74). Subs (Not Used): Darren Bullock, Lewis Jackson
Brocton: Jonty Kearns, Luke Haddaway (Adam Weldon 68), Jack Bostock, Kenny Devoir, Tom Vaughan, Will Whieldon (Lewis Rowley 86), Sam Scott (Christian Blanchette 61), Charlie King (Jake Thomas 61), Reg Smith, Connor Haddaway, Morgan Payne. Sub (Not Used): Will Finlay
Yellow Cards: Elliot, Kenny (Rocester); Whieldon (Brocton)