Tuesday 6th March 2018
Heath Hayes 3 Brocton 2
Brocton were the first to threaten goal from an early free kick. The ball was only partially cleared and Declan Arber was able to pick up the loose ball and find Joe Hartshorne, whose cross was comfortably dealt with by home keeper Mark Wiggins.
Hayes came back quickly with the lively Regan Smith getting straight through into Brocton’s box and the ball running to Conor Alderman after a Harry Phillips tackle.
It was the home side who next threatened, after a period where each side cancelled out the other, when a left wing run and cross from James McGrady was hit towards goal by Jack Weldon. Alderman had the initial shot covered but a deflection by Phillips could easily have beaten him. The keeper reacted well and made what was in the end a fine save.
But it was Brocton who then went on to take the lead. Declan Arber made a good run on the right and despite being tackles, collected the loose ball and ran at the box. His cross was met and converted by Ryan Burns.
Jack Edwards collected a diagonal pass on the left, turned and shot with Wiggins dropping onto the ball. But Edwards could have given the visitors a cushion while Hayes were still on the back foot when he made a great run on the left and cut in along the bye line towards goal. He had Arber in the goal mouth but tried to fool the keeper with a shot from a narrow angle. Wiggins read his intentions and smothered the effort.
The home side recovered from their brief wobble and shot narrowly wide.
When Hartshorne then inexplicably carried the ball towards his own goal before needing to be rescued by a Phillips tackle which was deemed a foul, Brocton suddenly looked to be the team at sea. The free kick was in a dangerous position and Brocton did well to keep out the attack.
But the respite was short lived when a pass into the path of Andrew Davis left him with a clear and central path to goal and he made no mistake. Brocton were reeling and unable to hold on for half time as yet another free kick caused mayhem. The loose ball was met by Smith and struck home.
Brocton began well in the second period with a shot from Arber hitting the keeper and Edwards’ follow up being deflected for a corner, but a right wing run from Brad Rolston brought a penalty as he cut into the box and Smith gave the home side that vital breathing space.
Ryan Burns popped up again as the final whistle drew near, to convert after good Brocton pressure and the home side were pleased to hold on in the end, but it was that few minutes of madness which undid the visitors.
Brocton: Conor Alderman, Harry Phillips, Jamie Evans, Ross Clarke, Ben Douglas,Adam Wood, Joe Hartshorne, Ryan Burns, Declan Arber,
Updated 08:36 - 8 Mar 2018 by Adam Checkley
Lee Osborne, Jack Edwards.
Used Substitutes: Declan McMahon, Matt Baker, Ben Harrison.