North West Counties Division 1 South
Saturday 29th January 2022
Maine Road 0 Brocton 0
Brocton made three changes from the side which played against Ellesmere Rangers with Tony Allsopp returning in goal and youngsters Luke Haddaway and Cameron Jackson replacing Keiren Nelson and Jed Davies, respectively. The young look of the team was extended to Ethan Scutt and newcomer Jack Bostock on the bench alongside their player manager Alex Curtis, who hoped not to be needed as he is not quite ready after injury.
It has to be said that despite valiant efforts from both sides, this was a game very much won by the wind. There were goalmouth incidents and Brocton’s closest chances came early in the match. The first of these was when home keeper Peter Monteith made a brave save at the feet of Jake Thomas after pressure in the box gave the midfielder a sight of goal.
The second came at the same end on the tenth minute when Regan Smith was denied by a smart save by the keeper’s feet. Tony Allsopp, at the other end, made a save from a shot on the run by Youseff Bellator just after the quarter hour. He also had to show his confidence in the air, taking the ball high with Reece Lyndon poised to head after a cross from foraging right back Jake Pogson.
That was about the last action from Lyndon as he had to give way to what seemed to be an existing injury, to be replaced by Daniel Burgess.
The game soon settled into a pattern of long clearances chased into the channels by willing runners and neither side could get control of the game. On the half hour Jake Thomas did get in for another shot at goal, but he was well marshalled and the effort, under pressure, was weak.
The home side worked a throw deep in Brocton territory just after the half hour and the ball sent hopefully into the box was taken above the head of Burgess by Allsopp.
Brocton managed another foray at goal as the ball was kept low for once and Cameron Jackson was caught just off side when the ball was cannily flicked through the defensive line for him to run on, Jackson having made his run a fraction early. And as the half ended Reg Smith got to the right bye line and tried a cross on the run only to see it veer out of play.
Half-Time: Maine Road 0 Brocton 0
Maine Road sent on Shaquille Lewys for the second half, and he proved to be a handful over the half for the Brocton defence.
Largely though the half continued with more of the same fare.
Maine Road generally made better use of the wind at their backs than had Brocton in the first half. Speedy wide men in particular, Youssef Bellatar and Sajad Elhassan were willing runners and the clearances from the back regularly set one or other of this pair scampering forward.
For Brocton’s part, it was a credit to the full back pair of Dan Evans and Brad Rolston that they stuck to their task and matched the wing pair for speed. The physique of Shaquille Lewys could easily have been the difference between the sides on the day, especially as the home side pressed for that elusive goal late on.
Cameron Jackson was replaced by Ethan Scutt and Alex Curtis was needed to replace Brad Rolston as he suffered late on from cramp.
Young Luke Haddaway had a stern test trying to match the forward for strength and coped amazingly well, limiting the Maine Road player to half chances at best.
Even so, late on it was Tony Allsopp’s turn to be brave as he smothered an attempted shot deep in his own box and he was supported to the end by the likes of Ben and Connor Haddaway who never stopped running and helping out in front of a resolute back line.
In the dying moments 16 year old Jack Bostock came on for his debut, but the game drifted to a no score draw, a fair result on the day.
Full-Time: Maine Road 0 Brocton 0 Attendance:76
Maine Road: Peter Monteith, Jake Pogson, Ismail Suleiman, Ryan Eiselt, Louis Edwards, Ben Mooney, Youssef Bellatar, Mark Holdridge, Reece Lyndon, Jamie Roe, Sajjad Elhassan.
Used Substitutes: Daniel Burgess, Shaquille Lewys.
Brocton: Tony Allsopp, Brad Rolston, Dan Evans, Luke Haddaway, Kenny Devoir, Ben Haddaway,
Cameron Jackson, Jake Thomas, Regan Smith, Connor Haddaway, Cameron Osborne.
Used Substitutes: Ethan Scutt, Alex Curtis, Jack Bostock.