A hard start against a well organised Sandbach side, but a better second half sees a consolation goal from Brad Rolston.
Saturday 31st July
North West Counties Football League First Division South
Sandbach United 3 Brocton 1 at Hind Heath Road
The Badgers started their league campaign with a 3-1 defeat at well fancied Sandbach United.
The home side started on the front foot with two chances in the opening couple of minutes. Osh Moreton Saved well from Aaron Knight before Ben Haddaway put his body in the way to block a rasping effort from Kallum Boyle. Callum Evans tried his luck for The Ramblers with his shot deflected for a corner. Jake Thomas had Brocton’s first attempt on goal seeing his 10th minute shot come off a defender for a corner. Sandbach had a great chance in the 13th minute when Declan O’Riordan headed wide from a corner. Knight was looking a real threat for the home side, and he created an opening for Bobbie McDonnell who was off target. Sandbach took the lead in the 19th minute. A corner from the right was headed goalwards by Kieran O’Connell. It looked as though the defence should clear it, but Evans was on hand to force the ball home. Sandbach were dominating possession, but Brocton posed a threat on the break. From one of those, Brad Rolston ran into the box and forced keeper Danny Hamlett to save. Sandbach doubled their lead in the 38th minute. A through ball picked out the impressive McDonnell, who beat the defender and slotted past Moreton. As the half came to a close it was all Sandbach with Robbie Hatton curling a shot just over the bar and McDonnell blasting over the bar.
Half-Time: Sandbach United 2 Brocton 0
The second half began as the first finished, with McDonnell off target after he had fashioned an opening. In the 49th minute McDonnell was unlucky as his header rebounded off the post into Moreton’s arms. Moreton was forced to race off his line to clear the danger following excellent approach play by the home side. Brocton had a chance to halve the deficit in the 55th minute when Adam Weldon broke, and teed up Thomas whose shot was saved by Hamlett’s feet. Jack Weldon pickled up a loose ball and his shot was well saved at the near post by the keeper. Just as Brocton were getting back into the game, the home side made it three. Hatton picked out McDonnell and his shot went underneath Moreton and into the net. Sandbach continued to press with Sean Moscrop shooting straight at Moreton and Evans firing over when he should have hit the target. McDonnell was again off target following more good approach play by the home side. Brocton were starting to ask questions and Cameron Jackson should have opened his account when played in by Thomas, but the keeper saved his effort. Brocton pulled a goal back in the 80th minute. Adam Weldon found space on the right, the ball into Jackson was played back to Rolston who finished superbly. Moreton pulled off another fine save to deny Jack Hart before Brocton had another excellent chance. An excellent cross from Jamie Weldon found Jackson but his header was well saved by Hamlett. In stoppage time, a speculative effort from Hart cleared the bar before former Northern Ireland International Steve Jones forced a save from Moreton.
Full-Time: Sandbach United 3 Brocton 1 Attendance 130
Sandbach United: Danny Hamlett, Callum Chapman, Kallum Boyle, Kieran O’Connell, Declan O’Riordan, Callum Evans, Sean Moscrop, Scott Evans (Stephen Jones 67), Aaron Knight (Amir Hajri 34), Robbie Hatton, Bobbie McDonnell (Jack Hart 74). Subs (not used): Matt Pearson, Amadou Doumboya
Brocton: Josh Moreton, Adam Weldon, Dan Evans, Jamie Weldon, Josh Small, Ben Haddaway (Todd Pryor 67), Brad Rolston, Jake Thomas, Dean Williams, Jack Weldon (Josh Mousley 74), Malaki Norford (Cam Jackson 70). Subs (Not Used): Kenny Devoir, Jack Partridge