All square in this first meeting of the season between Brocton and Bolehall Swifts
Swifts take the lead but Sam Garbett taps in before half time for a share of the points.
Brocton v Bolehall Swifts - Saturday 7th April 2018
Bolehallwho are in the relegation zone were prepared to battle and kept Brocton at bay.This was a bottom of the table clash where both teams needed to collect points in an endeavour to avoid the drop. Brocton forced a corner straight from the off but this was well defended and the visitors quickly moved into attack and forced a free kick on 3 minutes but this was defended well by the Brocton rear guard of Ben Douglas and Adam Wood.In these early stages Bolehall were prepared to take the game to Brocton and went forward in numbers. Joe Hartshorne looked lively for the home side and was finding different angles for shooting at goal. Keeper Lee Pantain however was in fine form for the visitors and as the match proceeded he became the deciding factor as to whether the home side would eventually make their hard work tell in the score line. Connor McGoldrick and Joe Kinsella werevery willing runners for Bolehalland McGoldrick worked an opening on 13 minutes and had Connor McCarthy saving at full length.Shortly afterwards Kinsella ran through and fortunately this time the home keeper saved with his legs.The game was very open and end to end and Jack Edwards was stretching the defenders and on 20 minutes Pantaindeflected a full blooded shot and the ball went over for a corner. A cross by Jamie Evans was well blocked by Jordan Longthorpein defence and Bolehall were quick to turn defence into attack asMcGoldrick was again in pursuit and as the Brocton keeper came out he struck his clearance against the centre forward with the ball falling kindly, for the forward to tap home on 25 minutes. Following this Bolehall had their tails up and looked the more assured side with Brocton looking second best as the visitors were quicker to the ball. Brocton attempted to reassert themselves again and forced a couple of corners with Adam Wood featuring in headed attempts but again the visitors were defending well with Daniel Hales very busy in midfield with his robust tackling. As the half was drawing to a close Joe Hartshorne rounded a defender and crossed for Sam Garbett to tap in from 2 yards with keeper Pantain beaten on this occasion. A good time to score for Brocton and a deserved equaliser considering their efforts on goal.
The second half started at a slower pace and you sensed that Bolehall had a plan to defend and hopefully catch Brocton on the break. Bolehall were not void of attacks and forced a corner on 53 minutes which McCarthy gathered using his height with several players around him. Ben Douglas was Brocton’s best player at this stage byusing his defensive and attacking skills, also being called upon to take the right sided corners to great effectbut unfortunately none of the Brocton forwards could make that vital connection. Bolehall were prepared to play very deep and defend in numbers, as Brocton probed right and left with Jamie Evans and Declan Arber forcing play down the left and Edwards and Devoir on the right but again the visitors defence held firm. The tempo of the game ranged from very fast to walking pace as Brocton were trying all angles to break the deadlock. Bolehall had the occasional foray forward and were full of running but were also quick to fall back into their defensive roles. Daniel Hales who had been warned about his enthusiastic and robust challenges committed a succession of fouls and was dismissed 10 minutes from the end. Most supporters would have thought this would signal a clear opportunity for the home side but Bolehall tightened further their defensive screen and held firm. In the dying seconds of the game Ryan Burns worked an opening in the six yard box only for ‘man of the match’ keeper Lee Pantain to thwart his attempt to give Brocton victory. Overall Bolehall deserved a share of the points and were elated with their performance whereas Brocton were rueing the missed chances and the inspired performance of the visiting keeper.
Team: C McCarthy, K Devoir, J Evans, R Clarke, A Wood, B Douglas, D Arber, R Burns, S Garbett, J Hartshorne, J Edwards,
Used Subs: L Osbourne. Unused Subs: J Mills, J Powell, H Phillips, M Skinner.