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The late, late show as Badgers go top

Updated: Sep 17, 2023

Saturday 16th September

North West Counties Football League First Division South

Brocton 2 Sandbach United 0

Brocton made four changes from the side that made it six wins on the trot at Alsager Town last weekend. Into the starting line-up came Dan Evans, Tom Vaughan, Lucas Green-Birch, and Declan Arber with Matty Bestall, Kenny Devoir, Charlie King and Reg Smith missing out. Sandbach, beaten in the play-off final last season, had started the season slowly but recent results had lifted them to mid table.

Brocton started quickly, Inside the first minute a cross from Evans was volleyed wide by Green-Birch. In the 4th minute, a volley from Sandbach skipper Robbie Hatton was high over the bar. Sandbach had the better of the early play with Oliver McDonough a threat down the left. A cross come shot from Will Whieldon cleared the bar in the 17th with keeper Sebastian Jensen back pedalling. Two minutes later, Niall Cope blasted a free-kick way over the bar. Another Sandbach attack saw McDonough beat Charlie Marshall down the left, with his cross turned behind for a corner by Vaughan. Jensen did well to race off his line to clear from Morgan Payne following a threaded ball through the Sandbach defence. Brocton went close to opening the scoring on the half hour mark. A shot from Whieldon beat Jensen but rebounded off the top of the bar. There was a short delay in the game as fox excrement was removed from the pitch, Sandbach centre-back Tom Morris doing the honours. As half-time approached, a Hatton free kick cannoned off the Brocton wall. On the stroke of half time, Kieran O’Connell, inside the 6-yard box, forced a fine save from Tony Allsopp.

Half-time: Brocton 0 Sandbach United 0

Brocton went close just two minutes into the second half, Whieldon’s drive flashing across goal and inches wide of the far post. Brocton had certainly reacted to the words of the manager at half-time, and Green-Birch headed goalwards from a superb cross from Whieldon, Jensen making a comfortable save. In the 52nd minute, a wonderful run from Vaughan, surging past four defenders, ended with a shot that was brilliantly tipped over by the excellent Sandbach keeper. From the corner, a cross from Payne was volleyed wide by Arber. Jensen again kept the scores level saving from Whieldon who was clean through. On the hour mark, the young keeper again thwarted Brocton, making an excellent save to deny Green-Birch. In the 78th minute, McDonough did well to create an opening, but he screwed his effort wide. Brocton were reduced to ten men in the 79th minute when Christian Blanchette was sent to the sin bin. Sandbach sensed their opportunity, and they powered forward looking for the goal. In the 86th minute, Owen Beamon had a great chance but headed over the bar. Into stoppage time, Kieran Alley whipped a cross in from the right and Josh Oultram headed over the bar. Beamon had another chance for Sandbach, but he headed wide when he should have hit the target. In the third minute of time added on, Blanchette, now restored to the game, found space in the area, but his shot was into the side netting. Brocton broke the deadlock in the 8th minute of time added on. An interchange between Whieldon, Green-Birch and Blanchette on the edge of the are sent the latter into the box and he finished superbly past Jensen. Three minutes later, Brocton put the game to bed. A cross from Alex Curtis was left by Blanchette and there was Green-Birch to tap home unmarked. A dramatic finish to the game and Brocton made it seven wins on the bounce with another clean sheet to boot.

Full-Time: Brocton 2 Sandbach United 0 Attendance:151

Brocton: Tony Allsopp, Charlie Marshall (Adam Weldon 57), Dan Evans (Alex Curtis 89), Henry Smith (Ben Haddaway 66), Lucas Green-Birch, Will Whieldon, Jake Thomas, Declan Arber (Christian Blanchette 66), Connor Haddaway (Charlie King 63), Morgan Payne

Sandbach United: Sebastian Jensen, Callum Chapman, Kieran O’Connell, Owen Beamon, Tom Morris, Niall Cope, Kieran Alley, Stanley Tatters, George Kattah (Josh Oultram 63), Robbie Hatton (Mark Holdridge 61), Oliver McDonough. Subs (Not Used): Jordan Stafford, Vanancio Monteiro, Harry Payne

Sin Bin: Blanchette (Brocton)

Yellow Cards: Marshall (Brocton); Cope, Tatters, Hatton (Sandbach)


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