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Brocton 3 - 2 Heanor Town

Midland Football League

Last Updated: Jan 25, 2017 09:34pm
Penkside, Stafford
By Pete Russell
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Midland Football League

Brocton 3 Heanor Town 2 – Saturday 21st Jan 2017

The Badgers made a terrible start against top six outfit Heanor Town but clawed their way back to chalk up their 6th league win this season  (four of which have come since Christmas)

The game was full of incidents none more than the calamitous back pass from a Brocton defender allowing Jay Cooper  to gather and fire a shot past Aiden Stone after just 3 minutes. Brocton were at sixes and sevens and Heanor were showing their skill and physical strength. The visitors capitalised upon winning a challenge on Fife and Alex Brown put away number two on nine minutes. Brocton had fielded one of their strongest sides for this match with new signing Matt Holland in the starting line- up and Joe Hartshorne on the bench but due to feature later in the game. Following the disastrous start the home side started to get their act together but the Heanor forwards where always prepared to attack in force and Cooper combined with Kieran Debrouwer and provided a tantalising cross which Elliott Reeves just failed to convert. Craig Holland and Matt Holland started to get a grip on the mid-field and Berks attempted to get the ball to the wide players but they were harassed by the Heanor midfield and defenders with their hard running and robust challenges. Shaun Roulston was yellow carded for dissent, which was one of cards that would eventually change the course of the game. 

Brocton were now competing and a cross field ball from Berks to Dave Ablewhite allowed the overlapping full back to advance and send an accurate ball to Sam Bell allowing the forward to hit the ball in his stride and wide of keeper McCormack to peg one back. The Badgers were now well in the game and putting Heanor under pressure which resulted in their physical strength coming to the fore and for a serious foul on Ablewhite referee dismissed Nick Hall. The Heanor bench also got themselves embroiled in arguments with the referee who dismissed the manager from the field of play. With Dave Ablewhite back in action, Brocton now set about taking advantage of their numerical superiority and were close with several attempts including a series of corners but keeper McCormack excelled. Close to half time Matt Holland made advances into the visitor’s penalty area but shot wide. The second period started with a reorganised Heanor formation which showed the visitors determination to avoid losing the lead they had achieved. They did force a corner in the early stages which Brocton defended well. The Badgers were also getting attacks together and Berks hit a shot which unfortunately deflected off a Brocton player and went out wide. Berks took two consecutive corners and from the second cross Nick Wellecomme headed in Brocton’s equaliser on 53 minutes. Brocton brought on Kenny Devoir for Ben Taylor, and shortly afterwards Matt Holland made way for Joe Hartshorne making his debut for the club. Hartshorne was quickly into his stride and Heanor became very aware of his lightning speed and committed several fouls on the young player. The game became stretched and end to end with 10 man Heanor giving everything to regain the advantage, however Berks showed his class with a curling shot from outside the penalty area to put Brocton in front for the first time in the match on 64 minutes. Heanor were not prepared to lie down and surged forward with several attacks but left themselves open for the counter attack which occurred in the 75th minute from the lightning speed of Hartshorne who outpaced the defence only for keeper McCormack to upend the forward outside the penalty area and the referee had no alternative but to show the red card. The free kick was taken by Gary Fife but blocked and deflected away by the Heanor wall. Heanor replaced the keeper with an outfield player, and the nine man team set about gaining something from the days outing. They worked extremely hard in closing down the Brocton advances and were a danger on the counter attack.

Brocton struggled to take any further advantage. Wellecomme had a run late in the game but was forced wide by Roulston and the ball was gathered by the substitute keeper.  Berks was replaced by Wilkinson and Brocton saw out the remaining minutes to collect a valuable three points in their fight against relegation.

Team; A Stone, D Ablewhite, M Hardiman, B Taylor, G Fife, M Dockerty, S Bell, C Holland, N Wellecomme, D Berks, M Holland, 

Subs used; K Devoir, J Hartshorne, B Wilkinson.

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