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Brocton 0 - 2 Chelmsley Town

Last Updated: Sep 25, 2016 05:01pm
Penkside, Stafford
By Brian Townsend
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Before the match had commenced Josh Wilson was withdrawn from the starting line- up due to injury in the warm up and this appeared to be an omen for what was to unfold with a serious injury to Matt Skinner and an injury to player manager David Berks reducing the team to effectively ten men for most of the second half. Brocton were playing against the wind in the first half which appeared to give the visitors the initiative and they forced a corner in the first minute but headed over, and at this early stage Brocton were letting play come to them with the defence holding firm and Chelmsley not that effective. The visitors were prepared to use the assistance of the wind and Harry Flowers was constantly clearing the ball with his head as the ball was pumped forward. Chelmsley’s Kieran Fitzgerald was dominant in the centre of the park switching the ball from wing to wing in an endeavour to breech the Brocton back line. In the eleventh minute Chelmsley looked troubled when a back pass was followed in by David Berks and keeper Ryan Conlon had difficulty in clearing. Josh D Wilson playing his midfield attacking game started to get forward and skipped past three defenders only for the final pass to Berks to be intercepted by the reliable Fitzgerald.  Berks had a free kick on seventeen minutes but this was well defended and James Sawyer was playing well against Matt Dean giving little change and smothering any advance on the right. Aidan Stone gave away a corner on twenty two minutes and the resultant kick gave Alex Knight the best chance of the half but he headed well over. A cross from Gary Turner was well saved by Stone who was Brocton’s best player at this stage. The strong wind was giving Brocton trouble but so was their inaccuracy and several advancements up field broke down by the misplaced passing. Brocton’s first real chance in this half came on thirty minutes when Berks floated a curling shot just tipped over by Conlon. 

The next attack saw the visitors take the lead when Karl Douglas worked a position on the bye line and struck a ball across the goal and unfortunately clipped a defender for an own goal on thirty three minutes. Brocton were looking second best and unable to play their fluent passing game when misfortune struck again on thirty eight minutes and central defender Matt Skinner was seriously injured from an innocuous looking tackle which ended with an ambulance being called. Ben Taylor came on as replacement but Chelmsley continued to press and dictate play. In a rare attack by the home side Dominic Dell ran clear on the right and passed to Berks but the player manager was tackled before he could get his shot away.

After half time the home supporters were anticipating Brocton taking advantage of the conditions and manager Berks changed two players at the interval but using all his substitution options. Paul McMahon and Josh Sedgeley came on for Matt Dean and Matt Hardiman in an attempt to put pressure on the visitors, however Berks himself picked up a leg injury early in the half reducing his capacity to be fully effective. The pattern of the game was similar to the first half with Brocton second best and from a mix up at the back Stone saved the day from the advancing Knight and quickly gathered the ball. Chelmsley were rampant and sensed if they could get the next goal it might seal the tie. Brocton started to settle however with the adjustments to the team albeit Berks was only able to play a supporting role. Some of Brocton’s approach play was neat and tidy at this point but Chelmsley defended in numbers and were dogged, and always willing to spring an attack themselves. Brocton had several corners but no clear chances to test the keeper while at the other end Stone had to make another save from the visitor’s centre forward. The game was switching in phases and Chelmsley weathered their storm and started to exert pressure in Brocton’s half, with the home team resorting to long balls to their front men. Wilson however started to reassert influence in mid field again and even had a chance for a header but straight at Conlon. Brocton realised that the last five minutes needed their combined efforts if they were going to salvage anything from this match and Dell just missed getting on the end of a good cross from Lomas. Flowers had a surging run but failed to get the telling cross for the waiting forwards. Chelmsley  realised they need to hang on for a few more minutes and started the traditional time wasting during which Dell and Flanagan were booked for an altercation. Wilson managed a last shot for Brocton but straight at the keeper and when the ball was booted up field Jem Mills was left clear to run on goal and secured the win with the visitor’s second goal with seconds remaining. Chelmsley had given a very enthusiastic account of themselves against a lack lustre Brocton side troubled by the conditions and their misfortune with injuries on the day.

Team: A Stone, M Dockerty, A Robinson, H Flowers, M Skinner, M Hardiman, D Berks, JD Wilson, D Lomas, M Dean, D Dell. Used Subs: B Taylor, J Sedgeley, P McMahon.   


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