North West Counties Division 1 South
Saturday 29th October
Alsager Town 0 Brocton 1
Brocton were missing striker Reg Smith with injury and youngster Sam Scott from the youth team earned his start and the daunting task of replacing the prolific scorer.
Alsager welcomed a new manager and several new players and began with almost a frantic tempo which, amazingly they managed to maintain throughout the match. Their new management team could not help but be encouraged by their efforts.
It was Brocton who carved out the first chance in the opening moments, but it was blocked, and Town hit the ball high and long, where a slip at the back put Max Giani almost through the back line. Jack Bostock covered across but missed his tackle and was lucky to see just a yellow card as he took out the striker.
The end to end action continued at pace and it was Jake Thomas who controlled well and found Morgan Payne. Payne’s effort on goal was once more well blocked. On the ten minute mark it was Tom Vaughan who calmly collected at the back and sent Christian Blanchette free in the left channel. Blanchette whipped a low tempting cross beyond the reach of home keeper Martin Blain but Sam Scott, racing in at the far post was just short of making contact. Blanchette was involved again moments later as a five man passing move through the heart of Alsager’s defence threatened again but was ultimately well defended and Brocton were repelled. However just before the twenty minute mark Thomas was found with a throw and he was able to work free of the close attentions of three defenders before striking an unstoppable shot beyond the reach of Blain to give Brocton the lead. The goal did deflate the home side and for the following quarter of an hour the visitors had chances to make the game safe. Blanchette tried to lob an advancing keeper on 21 minutes but over cooked the shot. Morgan Payne, working all across the front line as well as defending deep when required, played a vital part in Brocton’s best move of the game as he started and almost finished a move passing to Adam Weldon and receiving his return pass before hitting his strike agonisingly wide of the post. But the home side weathered the storm and fought their way back into the game. Jonathan Jones had a golden chance to bring the home side level, but Jack Bostock forced him a little wide and Tony Allsopp made a fine save at his near post.
For Brocton, Jake Thomas continued to probe and was a little unlucky. He killed a long ball in to him and swivelled to gain space, finding Connor Haddaway with a deep cross. Haddaway’s return pass was then well struck but the chance was snuffed out by a massed defence. The half finished with Morgan Payne volleying after an Adam Weldon throw and a Christian Blanchette cross. Brocton were on top, but the single goal may not be enough.
Half Time: Alsager 0 Brocton 1
The second half had little let up in pace and it Was Morgan Payne again coming close in the opening moments as he dragged his shot wide from just outside the box. Moments later it was Payne at the other end of the field defending his goal line from an Alsager attack as the tireless Max Giani chased the ball down. Brocton then put numbers into the Alsager Town penalty box, and it seemed inevitable that they would score their second, but Blain made a great save to keep them at bay. Sam Scott, who had run and chased all afternoon, then showed his ability with his back to goal. He controlled well and found an advancing Jake Thomas and Richard Barnes got in a good block to keep out the shot. On the hour Adam Weldon had to give in to the effects of an earlier tackle and was replaced by Luke Haddaway and it was momentarily feared that Payne too would follow as he went down, but he recovered to continue. Haddaway was soon in action and, in a race with Giani, seemed to have prevented a corner, but the linesman thought differently, and Brocton were soon under pressure form a corner. The corner was cleared, and Connor Haddaway collected and put in a diagonal pass for a clever run by Payne. Payne’s cross was then well anticipated and easily blocked. A spate of substitutions for the visitors followed as Kenny Devoir replaced Jake Triggs, Morgan Payne eventually had to give in, and Will Finlay took his place, Ben Haddaway, who was struggling after a knock, gave way to Henry Smith and Christian Blanchette was replaced by Charlie King. Alsager Town pressed hard for an equaliser, but time ran out for them
Full Time: Alsager Town 0 Brocton 1
Alsager Town: Martin Blain, George Ward, Ewan McGready, Richard Barnes, Joshua Jordan, Tom Brookes, Jonathan Jones, Harlan Rodgers-Morris, Max Guani, Tom Hassall (c) Amaar Hussain.
Brocton: Tony Allsopp, Adam Weldon, Jack Bostock, Tom Vaughan, Ben Haddaway,
Morgan Payne, Jake Thomas, Sam Scott, Connor Haddaway (c) Christian Blanchette.
Used Subs: Kenny Devoir, Luke Haddaway, Henry Smith, Will Finlay, Charlie Smith
Yellow Cards: Brocton: Jack Bostock, Jake Triggs, Luke Haddaway