Tuesday 8th August
North West Counties Football League First Division South
Brocton 0 Eccleshall 2
Brocton made three changes from the side that won convincingly at Winsford United. Adam Weldon and Henry Smith were unavailable and replaced in defence by Jamie Weldon and Ben Haddaway. Jake Thomas returned to the starting line-up with Declan Arber dropping to the subs bench. Eccleshall included former Brocton striker Nick Wellecomme in their starting line-up.
It was Eccleshall that had the first opportunity of the evening in the opening five minutes. Wellecomme skipped past a tackle from Ben Haddaway and crossed from the left. The dangerous ball into the area was dummied by an Eccleshall forward and met by Mitchell Glover. With only Tony Allsopp to beat, the Eccleshall striker blasted the ball wide of the target. Brocton’s first chance fell to former Eccleshall player Lucas Green-Birch, who controlled the ball well but dragged his shot wide. A floated ball in from the Brocton left from Connor Haddaway was flicked goalwards by Reg Smith but Aaron Woolrich was on hand to make a comfortable save. In the 13th minute, George Woodroffe found himself in acres of space down the left, but his cross was easily dealt with by Allsopp. Smith created an opening for Thomas, flicking the ball into the path of the midfielder who decided to chip Woolrich instead of crossing to the unmarked Morgan Payne, the ball clearing the crossbar. Eccleshall had another good chance in the 21st minute. A free kick from Jordan Flattley was headed wide by Aidan Blaise. Brocton were awarded a free kick just outside the area. Will Whieldon’s shot had plenty of venom, but it was well defended by Flattley. Eccleshall took the lead in the 31st minute. The bounce of the ball created confusion between Tom Vaughan and Matty Bestall. Glover took possession of the loose ball and hit a stunning shot from 40 yards over Allsopp and into the net. On the stroke of half-time, Whieldon hit a first time volley from 35 yards which was inches wide.
Half-Time: Brocton 0 Eccleshall 1
The second half began in similar vein with the game a tight midfield battle. In the 52nd minute, Smith beat two defenders and played the ball inside to Whieldon in a good position, Unfortunately, Whieldon failed to control the ball and the chance evaporated. A free kick from Bestall was comfortably held by Woolrich. The game became increasingly fractious with strong challenges flying in from both sides. Referee Dan Parkes did well to keep a lid on things. The best of the chances were falling to the visitors. In the 64th minute, Woodroffe headed wide from a deep cross. Smith again found Whieldon in a good position and his shot cleared the Eccleshall crossbar. Brocton should have been level in the 72nd minute. Thomas played a short pass to Arber and his first time shot was saved by Woolrich. The rebound came back invitingly to Arber who cleared the crossbar with the goal at his mercy. Brocton were made to pay as Eccleshall doubled their lead in the 77th minute. There seemed little danger but when the ball broke to the left, Callum Feeney had the freedom of Silkmore Lane to pick his spot and his shot went into the net off the far post. Smith was doing his best to get Brocton back into the game and another direct run finished with a shot into the side netting. Brocton’s final attempt fell to Smith whose free kick was blocked by the superb Eccleshall back line. Despite almost seven minutes of stoppage time, there was no way back for Brocton and Eccleshall deservedly took home the three points.
Full-time: Brocton 0 Eccleshall 2 Attendance:183
Brocton: Tony Allsopp, Jamie Weldon (Charlie Marshall 75), Matty Bestall (Cam Osborne 73), Ben Haddaway, Tom Vaughan, Will Whieldon (Charlie King 75), Lucas Green-Birch (Declan Arber 64), Jake Thomas, Reg Smith, Connor Haddaway, Morgan Payne (Christian Blanchette 56)
Eccleshall: Aaron Woolrich, Daniel Counter, George Woodroffe, Jordan Benton, Joseph Minshall, Aidan Blaise, Mitchell Glover, Callum Feeney, Nick Wellecomme (Mark Groom 89), Jordan Flattley, Blake Robinson (Liam Tomlin 78). Subs (Not Used): Jordan Darlington, Jordan Hewitt, Brendon Price
Yellow Cards: Smith (Brocton); Robinson, Tomlin (Eccleshall)