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New Year starts with a win

Saturday 6th January 2024

North West Counties Football League First Division South

Brocton 4 Barnton 0

Brocton began 2024 in a strong position at the top of the table. They welcomed Barnton to Silkmore Lane with the visitors just outside the play-offs following three consecutive wins. Brocton’s injury woes continued with Connor Haddaway, Jake Thomas, Reg Smith and Christian Blanchette all sidelined. Matty Bestall made his first appearance for a couple of months with Henry Smith also making a return on the bench.

Due to problems on the M6, the game kicked off 15 minutes late. The home side made the perfect start, taking the lead inside three minutes. Will Whieldon whipped in a free kick from the left, Cam Osborne stopping low to head home. Two minutes later the same pair combined, Whieldon’s free kick from the right headed over the bar by Osborne. Barnton responded with a free kick of their own which was volleyed across the face of the goal by Dylan Proctor. In the 9th minute, another Whieldon free kick was punched clear by Paddy McLoughlin. A minute later, a cross from Charlie King was headed goalwards by Tom Vaughan and saved by McLoughlin. Barnton were inches away from an equaliser in the 12th minute. A quick break saw Justeace Nichols-Holness drive forward, He played the ball to Rodrigo Schmitdinger and his well-placed shot beat Tony Allsopp but rebounded off the outside of the post. Within three minutes Brocton doubled their lead. A mazy tun from Vaughan ended with a cross to the far post. Morgan Payne’s effort was saved, the rebound falling invitingly to Ben Haddaway who hammered the ball into the net. The goal knocked the stuffing out of the visitors and Brocton looked to seal the points. Payne had a shot saved before Whieldon headed wide from a King cross. Brocton made it three in the 26th minute. A delightful free kick from King picked out Payne who controlled the ball and slid the ball home. Vaughan was enjoying rampaging forward and from one of these runs, his shot was deflected for a corner. Brocton went close again in the 42nd minute, A free kick from Whieldon picked out Payne at the near post and his goal bound flick was well saved by McLoughlin. Four minutes into added on time, Payne had another effort cleared off the line as Brocton dominated.

Half-Time: Brocton 3 Barnton 0

Barnton began the second half with more purpose, but it was the home side that went close in the 48th minute. Osborne lined up a free kick from the left and his effort skimmed the crossbar. In the 52nd minute, Lucas Green-Birch forced McLoughlin into a save at the second attempt. Brocton’s fourth goal came a minute later. A through ball from Haddaway picked out Payne, who beat McLoughlin and finished well under pressure. Brocton were comfortable despite Barnton having more possession. Haddaway cleared the bar with a shot from just outside the area when in a good position. In the 76th minute, Payne screwed a shot wide as he pushed for another hat-trick. A minute later, substitute Seb Conaghan ran at the Barnton defence leaving defenders in his wake and his shot was saved by McLoughlin. Young Conaghan again took on the Barnton defence a minute later, outpacing the defenders and forcing another save from the keeper. Brocton should have made it five in the 82nd minute. An incisive break from Whieldon set up Payne, who missed the target. In the 88th minute, Whieldon hit the target with McLoughin again keeping Brocton out. In stoppage time, excellent close control by Payne created an opening and his shot was saved at full stretch by the overworked Barnton keeper.

Full-Time: Brocton 4 Barnton 0

Brocton: Tony Allsopp, Adam Weldon, Matty Bestall (Dan Evans 55), Kenny Devoir (Henry Smith 75), Tom Vaughan, Ben Haddaway (Lewis Rowley 70), Will Whieldon, Lucas Green-Birch (Alex Curtis 82), Morgan Payne, Charlie King, Cam Osborne (Seb Conaghan 66)

Barnton: Paddy McLoughlin, Robel Kesete (Joshua Elverstone 58), Ellis Bolton (Finley Rorke 58), Rodrigo Schmitdinger, Harvey Woodhouse, William Avon, Sam Smith (Joshua Maris 58), Calum Proctor, Dylan Proctor, Justeace Nichols-Holness (Oghenero Orhenomare 70), Chris Hunt

Yellow Cards: Green-Birch (Brocton); Bolton, Schmitdinger, Woodhouse, Hunt (Barnton)


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