Saturday 22nd January 2022
North West Counties Football League First Division South
Brocton 2 Ellesmere Rangers 1
Brocton welcomed back Jake Thomas and Jed Davies who both missed the midweek defeat against league leaders West Didsbury & Chorlton. Keeper Tony Allsopp missed out through injury with Corey Mallen returning between the sticks. Ellesmere were looking to avenge the home defeat inflicted by the Badgers back in August.
Brocton started strongly with Reggie Smith trying his luck from distance, but the shot was off target. Ellesmere wasted a decent chance in the 7th minute when Karl Bailey blasted well over the bar following a lay-off from the experienced Marco Adaggio. Brocton took the lead in the 9th minute. Thomas found space down the left and his inch perfect cross was headed home by Smith. In the 15th minute, Smith beat Ellesmere stopper Ashley Spittlehouse to the ball, laid the ball to Connor Haddaway and his cross was blocked for a corner. Cameron Osborne shot wide as Brocton continued to apply the pressure. A through ball from Smith picked out Thomas and his cross, came back off the cross bar. In the 21st minute, the woodwork again saved Ellesmere as a cross from Davies came off the fingers of Spittlehouse and bounced off the crossbar. A superb run and cross down the right hand touchline by Brad Rolston was just about cleared by the troubled Ellesmere defence. Brocton should have made it two in the 23rd minute. Smith played the ball into the path of Osborne, and with just the keeper to beat, he hit his shot against the legs of Spittlehouse. As the ball came back out, Connor Haddaway’s shot was deflected for a corner. It was all Brocton and Spittlehouse did well to again thwart Smith. The ball was played back into the box and Spittlehouse pulled off a phenomenal save to deny a Kenny Devoir volley. The visitors sent a warning to Brocton that they were still in this game when Josh Dunne hit a free-kick which skimmed Mallen’s cross bar. A mistake at the back allowed a chance for Blake Robinson, thankfully for Brocton Dan Evans was on-hand to block the shot on the line. On the half-hour mark, Mallen suffered a knee injury which saw him leave the field on a stretcher. With no keeper on the subs bench, Thomas took on the gloves with Ethan Scutt coming on in midfield. Ellesmere equalised in the 36th minute when KarlBailey fired low from inside the right hand side of the area, the shot giving Thomas no chance. Brocton were soon back in the ascendancy with Smith again forcing a save from the impressive Spittlehouse. In the seventh minute of stoppage time, Brocton were awarded a free-kick in ideal range for Smith. The striker’s free-kick rebounded off the wall, the referee blowing for half-time before Smith’s follow up which hit a defender and flew into the net.
Half-Time: Brocton 1 Ellesmere Rangers 1
Brocton started the second-half as they finished the first with Smith causing havoc in the Ellesmere defence. He cut in from the left, onto his right foot, but dragged his shot wide of the near post. On the hour mark, a snap shot from Osborne was wide of the near post. Steve Hole created space down the right hand side and his cross was well cut out by skipper Devoir. In the 62nd minute another Brocton free-kick was taken by Davies, but his effort was well over the bar. Two minutes later, Connor Haddaway was tripped on the edge of the area. It was either a free-kick or a booking for simulation, but the referee decided to give neither. The Brocton defence were doing a superb job in protecting replacement keeper Thomas with Nelson throwing himself in the way of a good effort from Robinson. That man Spittlehouse was at it again in the 71st minute making a spectacular save to thwart a header from Smith after yet another excellent cross from Davies. Davies almost scored a spectacular goal himself when he received a poor clearance from Spittlehouse, sent the ball goalwards from 45 yards with ball taking a deflection before being acrobatically cleared by the Ellesmere defence. Ellesmere came close to taking the lead in the 77th minute. A long throw from Carl Rogers was flicked goalwards by George Taylor only for the ball to hit the cross bar and bounce to safety. As the clock neared 90 minutes, it was Brocton that pushed for the winner. Rolston, now playing wide right, shot wide when in a good position. With two minutes left, Spittlehouse pulled off a point blanks save to deny Smith, the best of his many saves of the afternoon. Brocton grabbed what was to be the winner in the 90th minute. A long free-kick was flicked on by Nelson and Ben Haddaway was on hand to bundle the ball into the net. Brocton didn’t sit back, and Rolston was to be denied twice more by man of the match Spittlehouse before the final whistle saw Brocton back to winning ways.
Full-Time: Brocton 2 Ellesmere Rangers 1 Attendance: 88
Brocton: Corey Mallen (Ethan Scutt 34), Brad Rolston, Dan Evans, Kenny Devoir, Keiren Nelson, Ben Haddaway, Jed Davies (Christian Blanchette 82), Jake Thomas, Reg Smith, Connor Haddaway, Cam Osborne (Luke Haddaway 71). Subs (Not Used): Adam Weldon, Cam Jackson
Ellesmere Rangers: Ashley Spittlehouse, Ryan Hickman, Connor Courtney, Carl Rogers, Owen Lloyd, George Taylor (Ben Davies 85), Karl Bailey, Blake Robinson, Marco Adaggio (Degol Antonio 58), Steven Hole (Nicholas Porter 74), Josh Dunne. Subs (Not Used): Callum Griffiths
Yellow Cards: Devoir (Brocton), Robinson (Ellesmere)