Saturday 14th October
North West Counties Football League First Division South
Ashville 1 Brocton 2
Brocton, as expected, reverted back to their regular league starting line-up albeit with injuries to Matty Bestall and Ben Haddaway, and a one match suspension for Charlie King. Ashville had made a fine start to the season and were sitting in 7th place at the start of the game.
The game began in difficult conditions with a strong wind blowing at the Ashville backs. The pitch had taken an awful lot of rain in the past 24 hours and would cut up as the game went on. It was the home side that started the brighter taking advantage of the conditions. In the 2nd minute, Shaun Parrington skipped past Kenny Devoir, but his low cross was cut out by Tom Vaughan. A minute later, Peter Morgan shot wide from a good position. It was all Ashville at the start, and from a corner from the right, Nathan Haynes planted a header off the crossbar. Brocton’s first foray forward saw Reg Smith block a clearance, and his resulting cross was cleared by the Ashville back line. Morgan was causing problems for the Brocton defence, and when he was tripped ion the edge of the penalty area, the free kick whipped in from the left was headed off the line by Will Whieldon. Ashville continued to push forward, and Lucas Green-Birch did well to block a fierce drive from Joshua Maldon. Brocton weathered the storm and began to take some sort of control in the middle of the park. Whieldon had the first attempt on goal, his shot smothered by the defence. Brocton went close in the 26th minute. Smith created a chance out of nothing, and his shot hit the crossbar, the rebound cleared for a corner. From the corner, Whieldon had a chance, but his shot was well wide. Brocton took the lead in the 31st minute. A mistake at the back by Toby Jones, allowed Morgan Payne to run on goal, he hammered his shot past the advancing Michael Dixon, into the roof of the net. Haddaway had a shot blocked as the Brocton midfield began to find space. In stoppage time, a volley from Green-Birch cleared the cross bar.
Half Time: Ashville 0 Brocton 1
The second half began in a similar manner to the first with Ashville on the attack. In the 49th minute, a cross from Connor Courtnell picked out Haynes in the 6-yard box but his shot was straight at Tony Allsopp. Parrington beat Devoir down the left, but his cross was easily dealt with by the Brocton defence. Brocton almost made it two in the 53rd minute. A cross from Dan Evans was met by the head of Green-Birch and his looping header drifted wide. Ashville should have been level in the 55th minute. A poor header from Tom Vaughan failed to reach Allsopp. Ben Greenop intercepted but Allsopp was on hand to make a fine save. Smith was proving to be a real handful for the Ashville defence and a through ball from the striker was almost collected by Whieldon. In the 57th minute, Smith hit a shot over the bar. Brocton had again weathered the storm and were creating openings at will. A quick break saw Haddaway feed Payne, and his shot was well blocked. In the 63rd minute, A cross from Haddaway was met perfectly by Green-Birch and his header brought out an excellent save from Dixon. Brocton grabbed their second in the 67th minute. Smith created space down the left. His low cross was met by Christian Blanchette who nudged the ball into the path of Payne. He controlled the ball onto his right foot and his finish was emphatic into the roof of the net. Ashville were far from done, and the busy Morgan forced a fine save from Allsopp. With fifteen minutes left, Blanchette passed to Payne, looking for his hat-trick, and his shot curled over the bar. Excellent work again by Smith, created a shooting opportunity with the Ashville defence remaining resolute and blocking well. Ashville grabbed a lifeline in the 86th minute. Courtnell, in space down the left, picked his spot and beat Allsopp at his near post. Ashville were sensing a chance to snatch a point. Two corners in quick succession ended with a volley wide from Joseph Dulson. In the 6th minute of stoppage time, a big booming clearance from Vaughan, almost caught Dixon napping, the Ashville keeper happy to grab the ball from beneath his crossbar. Eight minutes of stoppage time ensued with Brocton standing form to make it six wins out of seven on the road to extend their lead at the top of the table to seven points.
Full Time: Ashville 1 Brocton 2 Attandance:116
Ashville: Michael Dixon, Daniel Hardman, Connor Counsell, Toby Jones, Shaun Farrell, Lewis Willingham, Nathan Haynes, Joshua Maldon (Lewis Moynes 64), Shaun Parrington, Ben Greenop (Thomas Davies 74), Peter Morgan (Jospeh Dulson 74). Subs (Not Used): Michael Reynolds, Thomas Quinn
Brocton: Tony Allsopp, Adam Weldon, Dan Evans, Kenny Devoir, Tom Vaughan, Lucas Green-Birch (Christian Blanchette 68), Will Whieldon, Jake Thomas, Reg Smith (Cam Osborne 81), Connor Haddaway, Morgan Payne (Charlie Marshall 76). Subs (Not Used): Henry Smith, Alex Curtis
Yellow Cards: Counsell (Ashville); Devoir, Vaughan, Whieldon, Smith, Haddaway (Brocton)