Saturday 26th February
North West Counties Football League First Division South
Brocton 1 New Mills 1
Brocton welcomed back Brad Rolston, Dan Evans, Kenny Devoir and Cam Osborne into the starting line-up following their league cup defeat at Stafford Town in midweek. High-flying New Mills had to make a couple of late changes with two players unable to make the game due to problems on the M6.
Yet again, the match was plagued by high winds which had a big bearing on play throughout the afternoon. Brocton made the first inroads with Christian Blanchette being bundled over in the penalty area with a goal-kick being correctly awarded. New Mills were awarded a free-kick in the 9th which Darren McKnight drove across the face of goal and out of play. Brocton took the lead in the 14th minute. A free-kick was awarded on the edge of the area for a foul on Reg Smith. Smith himself stepped up and fired his shot low and to the left giving New Mills keeper Dylan Forth no chance. A quick break from Brocton saw Blanchette hit his cross against a defender for a corner. Connor Haddaway delivered the dead ball which was met by Blanchette at the far post, and his header was headed off the line by New Mills. Joe Bevan was a constant threat for New Mills, and he had a shot which was well blocked by Ben Haddaway. Smith went close to a spectacular goal in the 25th minute when he rolled the defender and blasted a shot inches wide from a narrow angle. Brocton were creating plenty of chances, and from a deft lay-off from Smith, Connor Haddaway blasted over the bar. New Mills had an excellent chance to equalise in the 35th minute. A cross from Mason Fallon was punched clear by Tony Allsopp. The ball fell invitingly for Benito Lowe, but his effort sailed over the bar. New Mills equalised in the 5th minute of time added on and it was a goal out of nothing. Elliot Cooke shot from distance, and it flew low into the bottom corner.
Half-time: Brocton 1 New Mills 1
Brocton had an early opportunity to regain the lead, but Connor Haddaway’s free-kick was in front of all of the attackers. In the 52nd minute, an excellent shot on the turn by Bevan forced a flying save from Allsopp. The introduction of Michael Fish added to the New Mills front line. In the 57th minute an excellent ball from Fish seemed to be perfect for Richard Tindall however he inexplicably missed the ball, and the chance was gone. Within a minute Brocton almost grabbed their second when Smith controlled a ball over the top from Tom Vaughan, and his volley hot the side netting. New Mills fashioned another opportunity when Fallon played the ball inside to Fish with the finish again lacking as it cleared the bar. Tindall forced a comfortable save from Allsopp. The introduction of Alex Curtis posed more problems for the New Mills defence. An excellent ball from Connor Haddaway picked out Curtis whose superb shot produced an excellent save from Forth. New Mills had a decent chance in the 76th minute when Harry Norris turned a free-kick goalwards forcing Allsopp into a decent save. Brocton wasted a glorious opportunity in the 79th minute. Osborne had the ball inside the penalty are and had Smith in acres of space, but his pass hit the defender. A minute later and Brocton should have had their second. Connor Haddaway found Curtis with an excellent ball and Forth was there again to foil the Brocton player manager. New Mills were incandescent in the 81st minute when Luke Haddaway pulled back Bevan on the edge of the area. The free-kick was awarded, and the Brocton defender shown a yellow card when most in the ground expected a red for being the last man. Lowe hammered the free-kick against the wall which did little to improve his humour. Brocton finished the game strongly. In the 86th minute, a free-kick from Curtis was flicked on by Smith and Forth made another fine save. In the 90th minute, Forth again saved New Mills, Smith’s shot from the narrowest of angles forcing he keeper into an excellent save. From the resulting corner, the ball was half-cleared as far as Smith and he ballooned a shot over the bar. Three minutes into stoppage time, Curtis was clattered by an awful challenge from Chris Rogers, and he could consider himself extremely fortunate to receive just a yellow card. After the final whistle, New Mills manager Mike Norton was shown a straight red card by the referee as he continued to complain about the lack of a red card for Luke Haddaway.
Full-Time: Brocton 1 New Mills 1 Attendance:91
Brocton: Tony Allsopp, Brad Rolston; Dan Evans, Kenny Devoir (Luke Haddaway 45+3), Tom Vaughan, Ben Haddaway, Christian Blanchette (Alex Curtis 70), Jake Thomas, Reg Smith, Connor Haddaway, Cam Osborne. Subs (Not Used): Adam Weldon, Jack Bostock, Cam Jackson
New Mills: Dylan Forth, Elliot Cooke, Mason Fallon, Darren McKnight (Kyle Oakes 75), Harry Norris, Chris Rogers, Jack Wray, Benito Lowe, Joe Bevan, Richard Tindall, Adam Muir (Michael Fish 54). Subs (Not Used): Samuel Kilner, Mike Norton
Sin Bin: Muir (New Mills)
Yellow Cards: Vaughan, Ben Haddaway, Smith, Luke Haddaway (Brocton); Rogers, Muir (New Mills)