Saturday 6th November
North West Counties League 1st Division South
Brocton 3 Maine Road 2
Alex Curtis welcomed back Malaki Norford and Tom Vaughan into the starting eleven following last week’s adventure to the Isle of Man. Visitors Maine Road came into the game on the back of four straight victories.
It was Maine Road that made the first impression with the tricky Abdullahi Ahmed shooting on target, a shot which was safely gathered by Tony Allsopp. Brocton’s first chance fell to Connor Haddaway who cleared the bar after being set-up by Alex Curtis. Youssef Bellatar was causing the Brocton defence problems, and after he beat Dane Evans down the Maine Road right, his shot was well saved by Allsopp. Brocton took the lead in the 18th minute when Jake Thomas picked his spot and clipped the ball over Peter Monteith into the far corner of the net. Maine Road continued to play excellent football and Ahmed was narrowly wide with a shot on the turn. Ahmed again troubled Allsopp who gathered his sot at the second attempt. Brocton should have made it two in the 26th minute. A delightful through ball from Thomas picked out the run of Curtis and his shot rattled the cross bar and bounced out to safety. Just after the half-hour mark, Maine Road were back on level terms. A free-kick from the right was headed onto the cross bar by Yousif Yousif and skipper Ben Mooney reacted quickest to head home the rebound. A lovely move from Brocton saw Reg Smith feed Ben Haddaway. He played the ball inside to Connor Haddaway who forced Monteith into a decent save. Back came Maine Road with Mooney dragging a shot just wide of the post. With half-time beckoning, Brocton went close to retaking the lead. A right wing cross from Connor Haddaway was met with an overhead kick from Smith and with Monteith beaten, the ball flashed just wide.
Half-Time: Brocton 1 Maine Road 1
The quality of the football continued in the second half from both sides. Two minutes into the half, Bellatar created space, played the ball inside to Euan Melia whose clipped shot cleared the bar. Smith had the first attempt of the second-half for Brocton, beating two defenders before shooting straight at Monteith. An excellent break by Ben Haddaway down the left hand side opened up the Maine Road defence and his cross was inches in front of the onrushing Smith. Maine Road took the lead on the hour mark. Excellent play down the right by Jamie Roe saw his low ball in pushed away by Allsopp but Bellatar was the first to react and his finish was clinical. Maine Road were now sensing victory and substitute Sajjad Elhassan cut inside form the left and saw his shot blocked by Luke Haddaway. The game continued to be end to end, and a cross from Evans was gathered under pressure by Monteith. Brocton went close again in the 63rd minute when a flick from Smith, from a Curtis cross, was inches off target. Elhassan was a lively addition to the visitors’ team and a driving run down the left forced another save from Allsopp. Brocton levelled the score with 14 minutes remaining. A free-kick was awarded 25 yards from goal and Smith rifled the ball into the bottom corner. It was Brocton who were now sensing victory and Thomas had a goal bound effort blocked by the Maine Road defence. In the 84th minute, Smith picked up the ball on the right hand touch line and his audacious shot from there flew past the post. Smith wasn’t to be denied and he gave the Badgers the lead in the 85th minute. A cross from the right fell to the feet of the striker, who controlled, spun, and hit the target giving Monteith no chance. Maine Road were not finished yet. Bellatar volleyed wide before a Roe header hit the outside of the post with Allsopp beaten. Into the last minute, the impressive Elhassan jinked past defenders, but his shot was off target. Brocton saw out the three added minutes to take all three points in a superb advertisement for Step 6 football.
Full-Time: Brocton 3 Maine Road 2 Attendance:83
Brocton: Tony Allsopp, Malaki Norford, Dan Evans, Luke Haddaway, Tom Vaughan, Kenny Devoir, Alex Curtis (Dean Williams 80), Jake Thomas (Ryan Douglas 90+2), Reg Smith, Connor Haddaway (Harry Griffiths 66), Ben Haddaway, Subs (Not Used): Cam Jackson, Josh Mousley
Maine Road: Peter Monteith, Jake Pogson, Ismail Suleiman, Ryan Eiselt, Louis Edwards, Ben Mooney, Youssef Bellatar, Euan Melia, Yousif Yousif (Reece Lyndon 68), Jamie Roe, Abdullahi Ahmed (Sajjad Elhassan 54). Subs (Not Used): Ryan Smith, Daniel Burgess, Niall Fallon
Yellow Card: Devoir (Brocton)