OJM Black Country 3 Brocton 2

Tuesday 30th November 2021

JW Hunt Cup Round 3

OJM Black Country Rangers 3 Brocton 2

Played at Lye Town FC

The match had a sombre start with a minute silence for Leon Taylor, who had recently died following a short illness and who had played for both clubs in the past. Indeed, Alex Curtis, Brocton player/manager had played with him at Brocton and against him on many occasions.

Our hosts Lye Town were very welcoming and supportive, holding a number of fund raisers during the evening to go with Black Country Rangers’ generous gift of the night’s gate receipts and a further £500 from the players’ own funds towards Leon’s memorial fund.

The Badgers made a number of changes to their previous match. Ryan Douglas came in for Malaki Norford, Kenny Devoir for Tom Vaughan, Jake Thomas moved up from the bench to replace Jack Thomas, Cameron Osborne swapped his bench seat with Cameron Jackson and Alex Curtis replaced that match goal scorer Brad Rolston. No pressure there then. Youngster Ethan Scutt was named on the bench, as was the returning Harry Griffiths.

It was fully ten minutes into a cagey start that Connor Haddaway got off the first shot and that was from range and easily fielded by the home keeper, Lewis Handley, sporting a Brocton spare top because of a colour clash. It was that sort of evening. The second came from Osborne who took a cross field pass from Connor Haddaway, cut in from the left, but could only find Handley with his effort on goal.

Rangers were well marshalled at the back with their experienced centre back David Meese organising everyone round him and from early on they showed their intent to hit high balls into the channels for their speedy wing men to run on to. Dan Evans in particular for Brocton had to be alert at left back as Jared Daniels hugged his line and set off quickly whenever there was a turnover of possession in Rangers’ favour.

Whenever the high balls were too central Keiren Nelson and Devoir were in their element, heading clear despite being confronted with forwards TJ Davies and Joe Fitzpatrick both with a significant height advantage.

On 20 minutes, Rangers had a golden opportunity when a diagonal cross from left to right caught Brocton out of position, but the returning cross through the penalty area beat everyone and ran to safety. A reply from Brocton involved Curtis, passing right to Thomas, Thomas slipping it infield to Osborne and then a further pass to Connor Haddaway, who finally found Dean Williams in position to shoot, but his effort cleared the bar.