So near again at Heather St John's
Brocton go down cruelly to a last gasp first half strike
Tuesday 20th February 2018
Heather St John’s 1 Brocton 0
Brocton showed a spirit and energy in this game which belied their league position. From the start the runs of Jack Edwards, Joe Hartshorne and Declan Arber had the home side under pressure. The combination of Hartshorne and Ryan Burns on the left flank and attempted finish from Arber, taken off his toe at the last minute for a corner came to typify the match. Try as they might and credit for some last ditch defending by the home side, Brocton could not quite convert numerous chances into that elusive goal.
On the quarter hour it was Arber advancing centrally and putting a great pass into the run of Hartshorne on the left. His early shot had home keeper Tom McNulty scrambling, but it beat the far post.
Not to be outdone, Ben Douglas put in a left to right cross field pass and Edwards was on the run. His cross was put out for a corner, which was then volleyed over by Burns.
Heather then had Joshua Sherington free on the right but his cross was high and Conor McCarthy claimed the ball. The keeper’s quick release for Hartshorne was a whisker away from sending him through, but despite running all along the half way line before darting forward, Hartshorne was given off side just inside the half.
Midway through the half with options right and left, Edwards made a great run fully three quarters of the pitch, fighting off attempts to impede his progress only for his cross once again to be nudged out for a corner.
In many ways it was from Brocton’s corners that the visitors looked most vulnerable as the home side beat out the ball and set off in numbers to break quickly. Time and again either Douglas, or the seemingly omnipresent Shaan Stuart intercepted the ball and set Brocton off again. As the half drew to a close the combination of Benn Minshull and Sherrington on the right finally opened up the Brocton defence, but this time it was Shane Benjamin who squandered the chance with a header wide of the mark.
He made up for it with the last open play kick of the half turning to his left and unleashing a shot too powerful for McCarthy to beat away despite getting his hands to it. It was tough on the visitors who certainly did not deserve to be behind.
Surely the goal would lift the home side and deflate the visitors in the second period? But no, it was largely as you were with Brocton putting together most of the constructive moves, although individually the home players showed excellent skills and plenty of know how to keep Brocton both at bay and honest in defence. The introduction of Fraser Mullis at half time gave Heather more penetration and Benjamin was always a threat, but Brocton can count themselves unlucky to have come away with nothing and with Jamie Evans restored at left back and Harry Phillips steadying the midfield, better things must be just round the corner.
Brocton: Conor McCarthy, Kenny Devoir, Jamie Evans, Harry Phillips, Shaan Stuart, Ben Douglas, Jack Edwards, Ryan Burns, Declan Arber, Joe Hartshorne, Tom Vaughan.
Used Substitutes: Sam Garbett, Ellis Liggins, Mark Cooper.