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Late goal sinks the Badgers

Saturday 24th February 2024


North West Counties Football League First Division South


Brocton 1 Stockport Town 2


Thanks to the sterling efforts of a team of volunteers, the referee passed the Silkmore Lane pitch as playable for the top of the table clash with Stockport Town. Brocton had not played since the end of January while Stockport had closed the gap at the top to just four points. The game between the sides at Stockport Sports Village in December saw the home side grab the winner in the 99th minute after Brocton had lost Christian Blanchette to a serious injury. Brocton were close to full strength and there was a place on the subs bench for new signing Josh Simcox.


Both sides began at a high tempo on a sticky pitch. Brocton were the first to have an attempt on goal, a shot on the turn from Morgan Payne clearing the bar. Stockport went close to the opener two minutes later, a header from Jamie Walsh cleared off the line by Reg Smith. The visitors took the lead in the 14th minute. A lack of communication between Tony Allsopp and Kenny Devoir saw Dan McLoughlin nip the ball away from them. The Stockport leading scorer needed no second hesitation as he slotted the ball into an empty net. Will Whieldon tried to get an immediate Brocton response, clearing the bar from 25 yards. Stockport were well on top at this stage. A shot on the turn from Walsh produced an excellent save from Allsopp. In the 24th minute, dangerous left back Will Calligan went on an overlap, but his cross was overhit. Brocton gradually got a foothold in the game. Payne’s shot was blocked, and Josh Schofield gathered well under pressure from Smith. In the 38th minute, Payne again took aim and forced Schofield into a fine save. In first half-stoppage time, Jake Thomas threw himself in the way to block another goal bound effort for the visitors.


Half-Time: Brocton 0 Stockport Town 1


Brocton began the second half on the front foot. In the 54th minute, Thomas threaded a free kick into the path of Smith, Schofield closing the angle and making a good block. Brocton were level in the 58th minute. A long ball forward into the Stockport penalty area saw Smith react quickest and he managed to turn the ball home. The game had turned on its head with Brocton now the dominant force. A cross from Whieldon almost found Smith but he was denied by a superb defensive header. In the 71st minute, a free kick from Whieldon was punched clear by Schofield and Simcox’ volley was blocked by the Stockport defence. The woodwork denied Brocton in the 75th minute, a looping header from Ben Haddaway coming back off the crossbar. In the 83rd minute, excellent control from Smith created an opening but his shot was off target. In the 88th minute, a fracas in the middle of the park ended with the referee brandishing a red card apiece, for Lucas Green-Birch and Scott McGowan. A minute into stoppage time, Stockport grabbed the lead. A free kick from Callum Gardner was met by the head of Jack Kenny. The header slowly headed for the bottom corner and as Allsopp went down to gather, it squirmed through his fingers and over the line. Four minutes into time added on, Brocton went close to a deserved equaliser. A free kick from Smith was superbly saved by Schofield. The ball came out to Simcox, and his shot was cleared off the line. Stockport celebrated at the final whistle as they reduced Brocton’s lead to a solitary point.


Full-Time: Brocton 1 Stockport Town 2 Attendance:214


Brocton: Tony Allsopp, Charlie King, Dan Evans (Josh Simcox 70), Kenny Devoir (Seb Conaghan 90+2), Tom Vaughan, Ben Haddaway, Will Whieldon, Jake Thomas (Adam Weldon 67), Reg Smith, Connor Haddaway (Lucas Green-Birch 78), Morgan Payne. Sub (Not Used): Matty Bestall


Stockport Town: Josh Schofield, Ethan Padden (Scott McGowan 82), Will Calligan, Paul Turnbull, Kai Johnston, Jack Kenny, Jack Atkinson (Callum Gardner 81), James Vincent, Dan McLoughlin, Jamie Walsh (Harrison Lomakin-Rogers 90+2), Kyle Foley (Harley Monaghan 72). Sub (Not Used): Zak Oliver


Yellow Cards: Vaughan, Ben Haddaway (Brocton); Padden, McLoughlin (Stockport Town)


Red Cards: Green-Birch (Brocton); McGowan (Stockport Town)



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