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Brocton 4 - 2 Coventry Sphinx

Midland Football League Premier Division

Last Updated: Jan 11, 2016 08:27pm
Stratford-upon-Avon, Stratford-on-Avon
By Pete Russell
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This was a match of real importance to both sides as they have had disappointing 1st halves to the season although Brocton’s much improved recent form made them favourites. Coventry however started in confident mood and passing the ball around, with centre forward Jacob Dodds testing captain for the day Callum Barrett in Brocton’s goal, but the experienced keeper was well positioned to deny him. David Berks was the first to show for the home side but his lob was well over the bar. Coventry were moving forward with menace and when Lewis Rankin gathered the ball on the edge of the penalty area and started to taunt the defenders who were surrounding him, he audaciously lobbed the ball over them and Barratt who was marginally off his line for the opener on 13 minutes. Brocton were jolted into making forward runs from long balls which is not normally the style of the home side but most were ineffective. Coventry were quick to exploit any open spaces with winger Mitchell Thompson holding the ball well and linking with Rankin and Dodds as the visitors continued to press the Brocton defence. A move splitting the Brocton centre backs allowed Dodds to lob Barrett for Coventry’s second goal on 23 minutes. Brocton realised that they needed to be more effective or the game would be out of their reach and as the half wore on they began to get on top. Jack Edwards back in the Brocton forward line following his recent transfer was in position to meet a tantalising cross from Matt Dean but the striker fired over. Pierce Kiembi worked an opening but the cross was defended well by Mark Albrighton in the centre of the visitor defence. As Brocton started to press Coventry were giving away more fouls in defending and one of Berks specialist free kicks brought an excellent save from keeper Callum Brown. Whilst Brocton were now taking the game to the visitors they were always ready to break out with speed and always looked comfortable on the ball with the pairing of Rankin and Tom Bates in midfield meant that Charlie Jones, Ed Booth and Danny McCleod needed to battle hard to break up the visitors’ advances. The 1st half was drawing to a close and Brocton’s supporters were sensing a goal might be achieved and it was Kiembi who hit a shot which was pushed onto the bar and the resultant corner was finally forced in by veteran Paul McMahon to put the Badgers back in the match on 43 minutes.

After the break the pace of the game did not alter and both sides were looking to gain the advantage and both Thompson and Bates had shots saved by Barrett in the Brocton goal. However it was Brocton who began to look the stronger team and the Badgers’ midfield was now taking over with Berks making his passes tell both left and right bringing into play Kiembi and Edwards who were getting around the Coventry defence and from a slick move McMahon was there to fire in the equaliser on 60 minutes. Brocton brought on Sean Kinsella to add to their midfield strength and this paid dividends and the substitute fired in a low diagonal shot from 25 yards giving keeper Brown no chance and Brocton the lead on 77 minutes. Dan Lomas came on for the hard working Jones who had been booked.  The visitors realised that the game was now slipping away from them and started to mount a series of attacks but Brocton are now more experienced in defending a lead and whilst Barrett was called on to make a save from Bates, they were ready to break out themselves with Edwards and McMahon being the main outlets. Brocton sealed an exciting game on 82 minutes when Kiembi fired in from close following good work by Edwards and Kinsella. The visitors had given all in an excellent game by two teams battling for survival points, but the second half performance of the Badgers side won through to move them upto 14th place in the table.

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