Tuesday September 13th
North West Counties Football League First Division South
Brocton 1 Abbey Hulton United 3
Brocton made one change to their starting line-up with Henry Smith, back from injury, starting in place of the unavailable Jake Triggs. Abbey Hulton included former Badger Jamie Weldon amongst their substitutes.
Brocton almost made the perfect start. After just 26 seconds, Reg Smith picked up the ball 40 yards from goal, spotted keeper Dominic Kurasik off his line, and his shot beat the stranded keeper and bounced on top of the cross bar. Luke Haddaway had to be alert to cut out a low cross from Dan Cope. In the 5th minute, Eric Graves connected well with a volley, and it just cleared Tony Allsopp’s crossbar. Smith went close again for Brocton when his shot on the turn cannoned back off the stanchion. Abbey Hulton should have taken the lead in the 15th minute. A rare mistake from Allsopp presented the ball to Cope in front of goal. Somehow, Jack Bostock got back to throw himself in the path of the ball and divert it for a corner. From the resulting corner, the ball came out to Graves and this time his volley was on target, and superbly tipped over the bar by Allsopp. Jake Thomas dragged a shot wide as Brocton tried to impose themselves on a strong Abbey Hulton outfit. Cam Jackson whipped a cross in from the left, but it was inches in front of Will Finlay who couldn’t get there. Brocton wasted a decent chance in the 28th minute. An inviting cross from Morgan Payne was meant for Smith but he missed his header, and the ball ran to safety. Abbey Hulton continued to look dangerous and a ball into the Brocton box from Zak Hill was headed across the area with no-one on hand to apply the final touch. The visitors continued to ask questions of the Brocton defence. Matthew Ward saw a shot deflected for a corner and Cope forced another good save from Allsopp. Against the run of play, Brocton took the lead in the 37th minute. Jackson volleyed on the turn and his shot went into the corner over the arms of Kurasik. It could so easily have been two within 30 seconds. An interception by Will Tams, luckily for the right back, flew straight into the arms of Kurasik. Fitzroy Butler forced Allsopp to save at the 2nd attempt and Smith saw a shot blocked after he had created space with some clever footwork. Thomas hit a volley straight at Kurasik before the visitors equalised in first half stoppage time. A free kick was awarded on the edge of the area. Cope stepped up and curled his shot over Allsopp. The ball hit the crossbar, bounced down and went into the net off the back of the Brocton keeper.
Half-Time: Brocton 1 Abbey Hulton United 1
Brocton had the first attempt of the second half with Connor Haddaway clearing the bar with his effort. It was all very tight with Abbey Hulton giving little away and looking dangerous on the break. Midway through the half, both Payne and Smith had shots blocked by the Abbey Hulton defence. It was the visitors who took the lead in the 74th minute. Butler played the ball into the penalty area for the waiting Cope. His side footed finish gave Allsopp no chance. A minute later, Cope broke into the Brocton penalty area, but Bostock was strong and muscled the striker off the ball. Brocton should have been level in the 78th minute. A cross from Christian Blanchette was met by the unmarked Smith but his header was off target. Brocton were pushing for the equaliser and after Connor Haddaway got his head in the way of a clearance, the ball rebounded to Cam Osborne, but his shot was wide of the target. Charlie King was also off target with an effort. With two minutes remaining, a corner from Connor Haddaway found Smith at the far post and he put his header over the bar with everyone expecting the net to bulge. Abbey Hulton made sure of the three points four minutes into time added on. Lee Cropper slid the ball into the path of George Shaw and his low shot was too good for Allsopp.
Full-Time: Brocton 1 Abbey Hulton United 3 Attendance:85
Brocton: Tony Allsopp, Luke Haddaway (Mario Novaku 84), Jack Bostock, Henry Smith (Tom Vaughan 89), Kenny devoir, Morgan Payne (Charlie King 77), Will Finlay (Cam Osborne 60), Jake Thomas, Reg Smith, Connor Haddaway, Cam Jackson (Christian Blanchette 69)
Abbey Hulton United: Dominic Kurasik, Will Tams, Zak Hill, Keeylin Thomas, Liam Robinson, Eric Graves, Adam Catalano (Joel Igwenwanne 62), Matthew Ward, Dan Cope (George Shaw 85), Fitzroy Butler (Lee Cropper 90+3), Josh Bristow (Jamie Weldon 72). Sub (Not Used): Joe Lewis
Yellow cards: Bristow, Shaw (Abbey Hulton)