Tuesday August 30th
North West Counties Football League First Division South
Brocton 2 Rocester 1
Brocton welcomed back Cam Osborne into the starting line-up. Morgan Payne and Jack Bostock also returned with a pace on the bench along with Jack Langston, on loan from Chasetown. Rocester were looking for their first points of the season after a difficult start.
Brocton were the first to show attacking intent. Luke Haddaway beat Sam Paddock and crossed from the byline; the ball gathered by Rocester keeper Charlie Mansfield ahead of the lurking Jake Thomas. Rocester were causing Brocton problems with their pressing game, giving the midfield little time on the ball. In the 17th minute. Will Finlay challenged Mansfield who dropped the ball, but his defenders cleared to safety. Rocester were a threat going forward and a cross from Munyaradli Muchenje was headed goalwards by Harry Payne to be safely gathered by Tony Allsopp. Rocester should have been reduced to ten men in the 23rd minute. A poor challenge from Ashley Elliott on Connor Haddaway resulted in a yellow card for the Rocester midfielder only after referee Dan Parkes had returned the red card to his pocket. Brocton wasted a glorious chance to take the lead a couple of minutes later. A free kick from Connor Haddaway was clipped into the area where Henry Smith, unmarked, put his header wide of the post when he should have made the keeper work at least. Osborne hit a free kick against the wall before the visitors stunned Brocton with the opening goal of the evening in the 28th minute. A mistake by Smith left Muchenje in space. His ball inside to Samir Azam was perfectly weighted and the resulting shot was accurately placed to beat Allsopp. A superb finish. Brocton went close in the 35th minute. An excellent ball from Luke Haddaway was headed goalwards by Osborne and Mansfield made an fine save to keep the ball out. Brocton were back level two minutes later. A ball into the area was handled by a Rocester defender, the referee indicating that he had controlled the ball forward with his hand. Up stepped Connor Haddaway to make no mistake from the spot. If that penalty was somewhat dubious, the decision not to award Brocton a second penalty in the 40th minute was even more so. A cross from Finlay was clearly handled but the referee indicated that it came off the shoulder. Brocton took the lead in the 42nd minute. For the second game running, Allsopp turned provider with a huge clearance. The ball was missed by the defender, and Cam Jackson, reacting quickest of all, headed the ball over Mansfield and into the net. With half-time approaching, Thomas tried his luck from distance, but his shot cleared the bar.
Half-Time: Brocton 2 Rocester 1
The second half mirrored a lot of what had taken pace in the first with Rocester working hard to deny Brocton any space. It was the visitors that had the first chance of the half, Azam’s free-kick evading Allsopp and everyone else despite the efforts of Darren Bullock at the far post. Morgan Payne’s first touch after coming on as sub saw him run at the Rocester defence with the ball eventually going out for a goal kick. Chances were at a premium, but they were mostly being created by Brocton. In the 64th minute, Langston sent Finlay clear, and his shot rattled against the stanchion. Brocton had a glorious chance to put the game to bed in the 82nd minute. Mario Novaku split the defence with a pass to Jackson, but Mansfield pulled off another excellent save. With Rocester working valiantly for an equaliser, spaces were opening up in their defence and both Payne and Langston had attempts on goal. In the 90th minute, Finlay was through on goal again after a fine pass from Payne, this time his shot was weak and gathered by Mansfield. Rocester were reduced to ten men in stoppage time when Elliott was shown a second yellow card for a blatant trip on Tom Vaughan. Brocton saw out the six minutes of time added on to move back up to 2nd in the table.
Full-Time: Brocton 2 Rocester 1 Attendance:172
Brocton: Tony Allsopp, Luke Haddaway (Jack Bostock 78), Jake Triggs, Henry Smith (Jack Langston 50), Tom Vaughan, Kenny Devoir, Will Finlay, Jake Thomas, Cam Jackson, Connor Haddaway (Mario Novaku 78), Cam Osborne (Morgan Payne 62). Sub (Not Used): Luke Rowley
Rocester: Charlie Mansfield, Konstantinos Mario, Sam Paddock (Gregory Large 72), Luke Zona, Darren Bullock (Rhian Graham 90+3), Ashley Elliott, Jack Stevens, Sam Mellor (Bodri Tekila 90), Harry Payne (Thomas Riley 79), Samir Azam, Munyaradli Muchenje
Yellow Cards: Paddock, Elliott (Rocester)
Red Cards: Elliott (Rocester)