A second half rally sees Brocton go close
Studley's first half goals take the points despite Hartshorne's strike and the Badgers' efforts.
Brocton v Studley -MFL Division 1 – Saturday 2nd December 2017
Brocton were quick out of the blocks on a soft pitch following light snow showers and occasional drizzle which was threatening to make playing conditions difficult, however in the early stages the playing styles of the two teams were different with Brocton plying the longer ball where as Studley were trying to establish their playing rhythm on the ground. Defenders Dan Dineen and Matt Powers for the visitors looked comfortable against the running of Marley Hamilton and new partner Jasper Johns. Joe Hartshorne was playing wide on the right but not receiving the best of services at this stage of the game and Johns had a shot but was well over. Whilst Brocton had been testing the Studley resilience they were dispossessed in mid field and following the visitors advancement up field, Danny Ludlow rifled a low cross from the left which deluded the Brocton centre backs and Aaron Westwood was on hand to fire in a shot under the advancing keeper for the lead on 18 minutes. Brocton were stunned but continued to play balls in the air and the forwards were finding it difficult to control the ball, to create a threat on the visitor’s goal. Studley were gaining more confidence and playing neat connecting football through the Brocton midfield and it was no surprise that a further goal was engineered by the visitors giving Aaron Westwood his second goal on 25 minutes following him cutting in from the right and firing a left footed shot past Adam Jenkins. At this stage there were signs that the game could go away from the home side, but as the game wore on,Brocton rallied and in the last 10 minutes of the half mounted several attacks pressing the visitors back with them conceding several free kicks which unfortunately the home side were unable to capitalise on the advantage. Both Hartshorne and Johns went close in the dying stages but could not get a break through which was desperately needed and Brocton finished the half two goals down. If Brocton were to get anything from the match they needed a far better performance in the second period. This however became apparent from the start with more vigour and confidence, which showed in the passing movements of the home side and Ryan Burns and Harry Phillips playing in midfield were fully involved in the forward advances together with Johnswho was instrumental in threading a ball for Hartshorne to gather and work around keeper Ryan Young to register Brocton’s goal on 54 minutes. It was now the home side who had the ascendancy and Ben Douglas had a run up field from his defensive duty and was close with a shot across the goal mouth. Manager Sam Norton felt he needed to capitalise on the current sway and bought on Jack Edwards for Hamilton on 60 minutes, and had Edwards fired home the opportunity that came to him following the change, it could have altered the course of the game, but his attempt skewered wide.At this stage it was all Brocton with Edwards pulling the Studley defence sideways and Alex Curtis providing opportunities with cross balls which Burns headed just wide on one occasion. Studley realised they needed to do something to stem the flow and started to hold the ball and pass it around, in an endeavour to hold on to what they had achieved in the first half. Both teams where playing end to end football, with the home side endeavouring to find that cutting edge. Edwards crosses where eluding the Brocton forwards or were being defended and deflected for corners. Studley for their part were good value and defended but were prepared to counter attack, which they did on 82 minutes with Westwood firing another shot but this time just wide. Studley were trying to regain control of the match and play out the time and managed to force a save out of Jenkins on 85minutes.As the time started to run out Brocton’s urgency intensified and Studley were defending in numbers, but as has been the case in the last few games for the home side the margins are fine in this division with the rub of the green not in their favour at present. It was an entertaining game and a game of two halves and a terrific effort by the Brocton players, who will undoubtedly get their reward in the next few matches.
Team: A Jenkins, L Wright, B Douglas, H Phillips, A Robinson, S Stewart, J Hartshorne, R Burns, M Hamilton, J Johns, A Curtis, Used Subs: K Devoir, J Edwards, S Garbett.