Saturday 16th October 2021
North West Counties Division 1 South
New Mills 2 Brocton 0
New player manager Alex Curtis came in for injured Dan Evans and returning Tom Vaughan replaced youngster Luke Haddaway, who travelled with the squad. Anyone not at the match could be forgiven for looking at the result and consequent league places and think that it was all business as usual, but nothing could be further from the truth.
An even and fairly uneventful start lasted just five minutes before the first meaningful action resulted in a high ball down the right channel. Tom Vaughan at full stretch was unable to get a head on the ball and a sharp low cross was met and tapped in by Joe Bevan. If that was easy, then what followed was far from it as Brocton gritted their teeth and fought all over the pitch for the right to play. Home captain Benito Lowe worked hard to get the referee’s sympathy as he lost the ball and went down in apparent agony only to find that the game continued without him. When the ball came close it clearly had magical properties as the recovery and sprint were exceptional.
Brocton had to work hard whenever they lost possession as New Mills were keen to hit the channels and the threesome of Bevan, mostly on the right and Teddy Osipitan, on the left or central, were quick to anticipate the forward pass and to get behind Brocton’s rearguard. Constantly under attack and largely unable to mount meaningful attacks of their own, Brocton never the less held their lines and conceded very few further chances on goal and as the half wore on so did the belief in the visitors that maybe there was something in this game for them.
Half Time: New Mills 1 Brocton 0
The second half increased that belief when New Mills showed a glimmer of vulnerability as keeper Dylan Forth miss kicked and only just recovered enough to clear what would have been a bizarre own goal off his line. Brocton broke through the home back line on the 50 minute mark as a high cross from Ryan Douglas had to be defended. Just before the hour the returning Regan Smith replaced the hard working youngster Cameron Jackson and almost immediately collected the ball on the left after a quick Brocton break. His cross reached Connor Haddaway in the box but too high for him to control and it was pinched off his foot. Osipitan continued to be a threat though and Malaki Norford had to hold him at bay on 65 minutes before another Brocton foray brought a free kick from Alex Curtis. Connor Haddaway took the ball well on the left and then crossed for Smith to convert, only to find he had drifted off side. Brocton were well in this match and the intensity was on the increase. New Mills played their part and Jake Pollard half volleyed high over the bar after a free kick found him in good position. On 72 minutes Josh Mousley replaced Ryan Douglas and an obviously planned defensive shuffle took Malaki Norford to left back, Mousley to right and pushed Alex Curtis further forward on the right. Brocton’s hearts were briefly in their mouths as Tony Allsopp had to leave his area but was able to hold the ball inside the area to the loud disapproval of the partisan crowd behind his goal, but to the satisfaction of the linesman, who was in line with play.
Allsopp was then in action blocking a goal bound shot from outside the box by Lowe and Pollard, snapping at the rebound was given off side, although Tom Vaughan was already coming away with the ball before the whistle was blown. The final ten minutes saw Brocton on top and the home side trying to see out time. Regan Smith had a header across the keeper only to see it go beyond his far post and he then combined with Connor Haddaway, who hit the ball across the goal with nobody able to tap it in. Then came the final moment when a free kick, given when Osipitan backing in and then going down was seen as a foul gave Darren McKnight the chance to hit a direct free kick. His excellent strike beat Allsopp to give the home side a flattering 2-0 on the day with the last kick of the match.
Full Time: New Mills 2 Brocton 0 Attendance 143
New Mills: Dylan Forth, Elliott Cooke, Ben Richardson, Darren McKnight,
Henry Norris, Emmanuel Omorogbe, Christopher Rogers. Benito Lowe,
Joe Bevan, Jake Pollard, Teddy Osipitan.
Used Substitute: Adam Muir
Brocton: Tony Allsopp, Malaki Norford, Tom Vaughan, Alex Curtis, Ben Douglas,
Kenny Devoir, Ben Haddaway, Jake Thomas, Cameron Jackson, Connor Haddaway,
Used Substitutes: Regan Smith, Josh Mousley, Todd Pryor.
Unused: Harry Griffiths, Luke Haddaway