Saturday September 3rd
North West Counties Football League First Division South
Brocton 4 Maine Road 3
Brocton had to reshuffle the pack with Tom Vaughan and Henry Smith both absent through injury. Reg Smith returned from his three game suspension to lead the line. Maine Road gave a debut to Liam Bell on a joint registration from Matlock Town.
Smith was certainly a man determined to get back into the swing of things and a strong challenge allowed Cam Jackson to burst through but a tug on the shirt went unnoticed by the officials. Maine Road first attempt came from a free kick which was headed goalwards by Yousif Yousif, Tony Allsopp gathering comfortably. Will Finlay, on the Brocton right, skimmed past Ryan Smith and his cross evaded everyone. Maine Road took the lead in the 14th minute. A corner from the right wasn’t dealt with by the Brocton defence and the ball was volleyed past Allsopp by centre-back Finn Thompson. Maine Road could have made it two within a couple of minutes, but Yousif snatched at his chance and shot wide of the goal. Brocton were their own worst enemy and when the ball was given away to Shaquille Lewys, the big striker forced a fine point blank save from Allsopp. Maine Road were having plenty of chances and a cross from the right picked put Yousif in the box, but with no-one near him, he failed to get sufficient contact on the ball and the chance was gone. The Badgers were level on 24 minutes. Smith, on the left, drove a cross into the box and Jackson powered home a header. Maine Road went close to regaining the lead almost immediately, Mark Holdridge bringing another good save from Allsopp.
Half-time: Brocton 1 Maine Road 1
Brocton were soon in the ascendancy thanks to the returning Smith. In the 52nd minute an unbelievable piece of control saw Smith bring down the ball and his resulting volley rattled the crossbar with the keeper beaten. A matter of seconds later, Smith picked up a rebound from his own shot, and with the goal at his mercy, dragged the shot wide. Smith wasn’t to be denied and he gave Brocton the lead in the 55th minute. The goal owed a lot to the tenacity of Jackson who harried the defender, won the ball, and played it into the path of Smith and his side foot finish was clinical. Back came Maine Road and Thompson, looking for his second of the afternoon, saw a shot blocked by his own player. Maine Road were level in the 61st minute with a goal of top quality. Skipper Ben Mooney ran across the Brocton defence, beating four players in the process, before finding the top corner with a superb effort. Parity lasted eight minutes and it was that man Smith who gave Brocton the lead. Jackson was again the provider, cushioning the ball into the path of Smith who took a touch onto his right foot and the ball was soon nestling in the bottom corner of the net. Four minutes later, Smith robbed Thompson and shot across goal narrowly missing the far post. The hat-trick arrived seconds later. Smith found space on the left and fired left footed across the keeper and in-off the post. Brocton were hunting a fifth and Jackson almost turned creator again, heading a cross from Connor Haddaway back into the box with Maine Road grateful to clear their lines. The visitors were not out of it by any means and Daniel Lewis forced a decent save from Allsopp with 12 minutes left. Mario Novaku’s first involvement saw him beat Smith comfortably, teeing up Connor Haddaway whose shot was blocked. In the 4th minute of stoppage time, Maine Road pulled a goal back. Yousuf Abdullahi’s shot rebounded off the post into the path of Ryan Eislet who tapped it home. There was no time for Maine Road to grab a dramatic equaliser as the referee blew for full time on an excellent game of football.
Full-Time: Brocton 4 Maine Road 3 Attendance:85
Brocton: Tony Allsopp; Jack Bostock (Ethan Harris 90), Jake Triggs, Luke Haddaway, Kenny Devoir, Morgan Payne (Charlie King 74), Will Finlay (Cam Osborne 70), Jake Thomas, Reg Smith, Connor Haddaway (Lewis Rowley 90), Cam Jackson (Mario Novaku 79)
Maine Road: Peter Monteith, Jake Pogson, Ryan Smith, Liam Bell, Finn Thompson, Mark Holdridge (Alex Rimmer 80), Shaquille Lewys, Ben Mooney, Yousif Yousif (Ryan Eislet 90+1), Yousuf Abdullahi, Daniel Lewis, Subs (Not Used): Paul Earlam, Joshua Clegg, Youssef Belattar