A full throttle match at the Stockport Sports Village sees the Badgers return to Stafford with a point and an apology from the ref for ruling out a second goal.
Monday 27th December
North West Counties Football League First Division South
Stockport Town 1 Brocton 1
Brocton made one change for their final game of 2021 with Tom Vaughan returning to the starting line-up in place of Christian Blanchette. There was a first appearance in the first team squad for another graduate from the Under 21 side, Matt Kilkenny.
Brocton created an opening after just 19 seconds when Brad Rolston put in a dangerous cross which was cleared. Stockport broke quickly and Thomas Beckett was off target with his shut, still inside the first minute. Brocton went close to opening the scoring in the 5th minute. Rolston was fouled on the right hand side. Alex Curtis took the free-kick which beat Stockport keeper Josh Schofield and rebounded off the post with no one on hand to capitalise. A minute later, Cameron Osborne forced a good save from Schofield, pushing his shot out for a corner. Connor Haddaway’s delivery was perfect for Reg Smith at the far post, and he calmly nodded it into the net. Four minutes later, Brocton should have made it two. Curtis’ corner was met by the head of Jake Thomas, but he headed wide of the target. Max Greenhalgh hit a free-kick just over the Brocton bar before the home side equalised in the 12th minute. Jamie Wrench played the ball inside to Tobias Green who cut onto his left and fired an unstoppable shot past Tony Allsopp. Connot Haddaway was next to try an attempt on goal with his snapshot high and wide. Midway through the half, excellent play by Max Dickov, sent the ball out wide to Will Calligan. He played the ball back inside to Dickov, whose shot was blocked by the Brocton defence. Brocton again missed a glorious opportunity in the 28th minute. An excellent cross from Curtis picked out Smith and his header was cleared off the line by Kieran Kennedy. Five minutes before the break, a free-kick from Green came off the head of Curtis and out for a Stockport corner which came to nothing. A couple of minutes later, Brocton again wasted an excellent chance. Connor Haddaway worked himself into space on the by-line and his cross was inches in front of the unmarked Smith and Osborne.
Half-Time: Stockport Town 1 Brocton 1
Brocton started the second half on the front foot. Brocton were awarded a free-kick in a dangerous position which Smith hammered against the defensive wall. In the 54th minute, an excellent ball into the box was superbly cleared by Wrench with Smith waiting to pounce. From the corner, Kenny Devoir saw his shot blocked on the line and Curtis followed up with a shot that was saved by Schofield. The ever elusive Green had an effort just wide for the home side who continued to attack with purpose. In the 61st minute, a shot from Thomas hit Osborne and looped over the bar. The game changed on a moment of controversy in the 62nd minute. Schofield tried to dribble the ball out of his area only to be robbed by Smith. Smith, losing his balance, poked the ball goalwards and with the ball rolling into the net, the referee blowed for a free-kick to Brocton. For the unfortunate Schofield, the awarding of a foul left the referee no alternative but to send off the keeper. The decision was of no consolation to Brocton. With no substitute keeper on the bench, Wrench took over in goal. After a delay of three minutes to sort out the mayhem, the game restarted with a Smith free-kick which again cannoned off the wall. The loss of a player galvanised the home side who got a second wind and began to take the game to Brocton. An excellent run by Cody Johnson, teed up Greenhalgh but his effort was tame and comfortably dealt with by Allsopp. In the 69th minute, Brocton were saved by the woodwork as Dickov’s free-kick rattled the crossbar. Green went on another mazy run, but his finish did not match the approach play. Smith was a constant threat for Brocton, and he was picked out by Connor Haddaway with the header drifting wide. Calligan hit a free-kick over the Brocton bar before Connor Haddaway was off target following good work by Smith. With five minutes of normal time remaining, Aiden Butterworth beat Luke Haddaway and Devoir with his cross blocked for a corner. From the corner, the ball fell invitingly to Dickov, but his half volley was over the bar. Brocton immediately went down the other end, with Smith playing in Thomas but his shot was also blocked for a corner. In stoppage time, Brocton finally managed to test replacement keeper Wrench, but Curtis’ shot was a tame effort an easily gathered. The final whistle signalled a fair result over the 90 minutes but all the comments after the game were of the referee’s decision in the 62nd minute.
Full-Time: Stockport Town 1 Brocton 1 Attendance:114
Stockport Town: Josh Schofield, Jamie Wrench, Will Calligan, Cody Johnson, Geffry Ebhote, Kieran Kennedy, Thomas Beckett (Kai Johnston 65), Leandro Tanswell-Vargas, Max Dickov, Max Greenhalgh (Aiden Butterworth 80), Tobias Green. Subs (Not Used): Wealth Dasilva-Olajide, Harold Essien
Brocton: Tony Allsopp, Luke Haddaway, Alex Curtis, Kenny Devoir, Tom Vaughan, Ben Haddaway, Brad Rolston (Matt Kilkenny 56), Jake Thomas, Reg smith, Connor Haddaway, Cameron Osborne (Cam Jackson 87). Subs (Not Used): Ethan Scutt, Jake Triggs, Corey Mallen
Yellow Cards: Johnson (Stockport Town, Curtis, Thomas, Smith (Brocton)
Red Cards: Schofield (Stockport Town)