Saturday 8th January 2022
North West Counties Football League First Division South
Brocton 3 Abbey Hey 0
Brocton made two changes from the side that drew at Stockport Town on Boxing Day. Dan Evans and Christian Blanchette replaced Luke Haddaway and Alex Curtis, who was only fit enough for the bench. With a lot of games postponed due to the rain, Abbey Hey would go second, within a point of leaders West Didsbury & Chorlton, with a win.
On a very wet pitch it was Brocton that had the first attempt on goal. Connor Haddaway driving at the Abbey Hey defence but dragging his shot wide of the target. Attempts on goal were at a premium early on as both sides struggled to gain any control in the middle of the park. In the 20th minute, Rhys Clooney played the ball out to the right for Jordan Lazenbury and his shot was just over the bar. Abbey Hey should have taken the lead in the 25th minute. A cross from Lazenbury picked out Ben Halfacre but his header was onto the bar. The ball fell invitingly for the big striker with his follow up shot blocked on the line by Brad Rolston. Both sides were playing decent football in the difficult conditions. Brocton went close in the 37th minute. A throw in from Dan Evans to the feet of Reg Smith, and a turn and a shot flew inches over the bar. Two minutes later, Lazenbury teed up Halfacre, but his shot was well wide of Tony Allsopp’s goal. In the 41st minute, the woodwork again came to Brocton’s rescue. Clooney beat Rolston on the left hand touch line, cut inside and hammered a right footed shot against the crossbar. The opening goal of the game came just two minutes before the break. A weak throw from Ross Heywood played Dylan Norris into trouble. Cameron Osborne picked up the loose ball, threaded it through to Smith and his finish was emphatic.
Half-Time: Brocton 1 Abbey Hey 0
The conditions had deteriorated at half-time with the second half starting in torrential rain. The ever dangerous Clooney attempted to drag Abbey Hey level with his stinging shot well blocked by Kenny Devoir. Brocton should have made it two in the 48th minute. A long ball from Smith found Osborne. He beat Sikirulahi Hamzat but with only Heywood to beat, shot well wide. The introduction of Jed Davies from the bench made a big impact for Brocton. His first involvement was to deliver a free-kick into the box which Devoir flicked wide. Smith was looking hungry for more goals and a snapshot from the right was comfortably held by Heywood. Abbey Hey’s attacks were less frequent, but Lazenbury forced a corner as his shot hit Ben Haddaway. Brocton were looking the most likely and a quick break saw the ball played into the area for Smith, but he was stopped with a superb tackle from Aaron Fleming. Brocton grabbed their second in the 75th minute. Davies found space on the right and his shot to the near post was too good for Heywood. Dylan Fitzgerald tried to reduce the deficit for Abbey Hey, but his near post effort was into the side netting. Brocton made the points safe with five minutes left. Davies played a through ball to Cam Jackson who took the ball in his stride and finished superbly giving Heywood no chance. Brocton introduced youngster Matt Kilkenny for his home debut, and he showed quality deep into stoppage time winning a corner as the Badgers saw out the game for an excellent victory against a side that had humbled them earlier in the season.
Full-Time: Brocton 3 Abbey Hey Attendance:114
Brocton: Tony Allsopp, Brad Rolston, Dan Evans, Kenny Devoir, Tom Vaughan, Ben Haddaway, Cameron Osborne (Jed Davies 53), Jake Thomas, Reg Smith (Matt Kilkenny 90+2), Connor Haddaway, Christian Blanchette (Cam Jackson 69). Subs (Not Used): Alex Curtis, Corey Mal