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Brocton 1 - 3 Port Vale

Last Updated: Nov 4, 2015 09:01pm
Penkside, Stafford
By Pete Russell
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Brocton’s scheduled Midland League Premier Division match at Coventry Sphinx on Saturday was postponed as Sphinx were in FA Vase action.

In Mid-week Brocton took on Port Vale in the Staffs Senior Cup. It was the first ever encounter between these two clubs and ended as a neutral would have thought with Vale running out 3-1 winners, but this doesn't tell the tale of a match where the underdog gave the Football League side a real fright. 

With the Badgers faithful just hoping for a clean sheet for the first 45 minutes, the hope barely lasted 45 seconds after a slip from the otherwise imperious Ed Booth led to an easy chance for Turner to steer the ball past Barrett for 1-0. To their credit, Brocton did not allow this to dent their approach to the night and instead, took the game to their opponents with crisp and incisive passing through the midfield. The re-united paring of Charlie Jones and Craig Holland in the middle added much needed strength and from this base, allowed the front three of Dave Berks, Gary Fife and Sean Kinsella to probe the Vale backline. From an in swinging corner Booth found himself with his back to goal and the centre-back showed technique to set himself up for an overhead kick, which struck the bar, the first of three on the night for Brocton. The equaliser came on 24 minutes with good work from Kinsella and Dave Ablewhite on the right leading to a Vale handball in the box. As the Badgers know, Ablewhite doesn’t miss from 12 yards and duly dispatched a deserved equaliser, wrong footing Boot in the Vale goal. The Badgers continued to press with Fife and Berks creating chances, but unable to break the Vale resolve. As good a half of football as the Badgers have produced this season saw them go in 1-1 at half time. 

The second half began as the first half ended with Brocton pushing on and Vale limited to occasional chances. The lively Kapend and Ashton always threatened, but Booth and Dockerty at the back always managed to be in the right place at the right time. The Badgers then squandered the chance of the game, and this would prove to be the turning point in the end. Fife managed to tackle Boot on the edge of this box and find space for the shot, but falling backwards, Fife hit the bar from 20 yards and Ablewhite’s follow up hit the side netting, chance gone. Kinsella was relishing the opportunity against higher league opposition and took the ball on the right, drifted in and again hit the bar for the third time in the match for the home side. With forced substitutions, the influential Holland and Fife were both withdrawn and suddenly the sting from Brocton’s game was gone. Vale started to come into the game more and on 70 minutes they regained the lead. A ball from the left passed through the otherwise resolute defence and Kapend found himself in plenty of space 8 yards out and dispatched coolly past Barrett to break Brocton hearts on the night. Whilst Matt Dean and Ben Farrall continued to try and press, Vale were finding the space they had struggled to find in the first half. Substitute Barton scored a late third on the right hand side, closing the door firmly on the second round for Brocton. An entertaining game on the night saw Ablewhite become only the second Brocton player to score against league opposition in a competitive match, but Brocton were left ruing what might have been if the three strikes against the bar had gone in.

Photo: File pic

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