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Castle Vale JKS 1 Brocton 1

St Mary’s Hospice Midland Combination Premier Division

Last Updated: Jan 27, 2014 08:00pm
Penkside, Stafford
By Pete Russell
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League leaders Brocton travelled to face bottom side Castle Vale JKS on Saturday. Moments before the scheduled kick off the sky went black, thunder rolled and lightening flashed.

A hail storm swept across the ground, sending anyone foolish enough to have been slow from warm up scurrying into the dressing rooms. Within seconds there were pools of water [censored] all down the central areas of the pitch. It couldn’t be played. Could it?

The teams appeared and play was soon underway, with the ball stopping in the pools and skidding away from the harder slicker areas. Both teams tried to play passes but the conditions were getting the better of them.

The fatal error took only five minutes to arrive. With seemingly time to play the ball short Adam Whitehouse slipped the ball to Rob Tomlinson inside his area. Tomlinson was facing goal and so short of conceding a corner, he could not simply put this foot through it to clear so a return five yard pass came back to Whitheouse. It never arrived. Stopped by the wet conditions and anticipated by the alert Aaron Evans, Vale took the gift gratefully and went ahead.

The hail had turned to rain and fortunately the severe wind did let up, but with all of the recent rain, there was simply nowhere for what landed on the pitch to go and so puddles remained. Both teams attempted to keep the ball going to the wide dryer areas, but like a magnet, those puddles drew the ball to them.

It took a free kick, lifted over the Vale back line and thumped home by Gary Fife, to draw Brocton level and the referee, with honours even, called the captains to him and offered then the chance to have the game called off. Both decided to continue.

Whitehouse did have to punch clear from corners whenever Vale swung one into the box, but it was the Vale keeper Jordan Ellis who proved to be the home side’s man of the match with a string of fine saves and alert sweeping behind his back four.

A swerving shot from distance from the boot of Dave Berks caused him some discomfort, but he got well behind it and in the second half, particularly as the game drew to a close, he saved at point blank from Berks, from Fife and again from Fife.

Meanwhile on the one occasion when Ellis could not hold the ball and he was drawn out from his goal, Paul McMahon chipped the ball over his head and Damien Charie, on for Sam Bell and about to get his first touch of the ball, stretched to head at an empty goal. It just wasn’t Brocton’s day as he had to lean backwards for the effort and could only hit it over the bar.

In a manic last few minutes Fife had a penalty claim waved away and Vale broke from the chance and almost scored at the other end, before Fife did get the ball past Ellis only for it to run all along the muddy goal line and hold up to be cleared. Finally it seemed that the entire home team packed the area and threw bodies at the ball as Brocton could not get the ball into the net and had to settle for a point which allowed 2nd place Nuneaton Griff to close the gap to 3points after a 3-0 win over Racing Club Warwick in the only other Premier Division fixture to survive the weather.

 

Brocton: Adam Whitehouse, Richard Allen, Dave Ablewhite, Rob Tomlinson,

Levi Bailey, Sam Bell, Dan Lomas, Dave Berks, Charlie Jones, Paul McMahon,

Gary Fife.

 

Used Substitutes: Damien Charie, Andy Bourne, Ashley Phillips.

 

This Saturday Brocton travel to Atherstone Town where they will look to continue their defence of the Les James Challenge Cup. Meanwhile Brocton Reserves fresh from a 2-0 win over Continental Star Reserves will look to repeat the success when the face Castle Vale JKS Reserves at Silkmore Lane. Both games kick off at 3pm

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