Heanor Town 2 - 2 Brocton

Midland Football League Premier Division

Last Updated: Sep 24, 2015 08:56am
Penkside, Stafford
By Pete Russell
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The match had a late kick off due to traffic problems that delayed the referee and three Brocton players. The official arrived first so Brocton had to shuffle their squad to leave the late comers as substitutes. 

The home side showed a confidence befitting their early high position in the league and Brocton were soon being tested. The visitors were not without a threat of their own however and a good move involving Dan Lomas and Dave Berks put Paul McMahon in good position to find Gary Fife with a sight of goal. Fife was just caught off side. Lomas found Fife directly in Brocton’s next attack and this time Fife was well shepherded by home keeper Scott Whittingham and could only prod wide.

Heanor pressed hard and won most aerial battles, but their visitors gave them no easy chances and stand in keeper Matt Cotterell, pressed into service due to Calum Barrett’s illness was equal to anything which got beyond the centre half pairing of Ed Booth and Dave Ablewhite with full backs Matt Hardiman and Kenny Devoir working hard to prevent dangerous crosses.

When McMahon was bowled over just outside the box, Sean Kinsella hit a tempting free kick into the area and Fife hit a shot which was deflected for a corner. The clearance from the corner was picked up deep in his own half by Jay Cooper and he drove right at the heart of Brocton’s defence, only to shoot wide from the edge of the opposing box.

A short back pass needed Cotterell to be both brave and alert before Brocton pressure at the other end saw the ball recycled into and out of the area before Fife got in a strike. 

Mark Smith then caused a flutter of visiting hearts as he raided down the right flank and pulled his shot wide having done most of the harder work. Then, with half time in sight, Brocton scored. The ball was well worked into striking distance and only a good block from Whittingham kept out an effort from Berks. Fife was on hand though and despite the ball being behind him, he managed to turn onto it and hit it home.

The second half saw Heanor determined to come back and Brocton were put under severe pressure. Cotterell made a string of fine saves and his handling of high balls was exemplary. While Heanor looked particularly powerful in the air and were able to put in accurate crosses from either flank, it began to look as though Brocton would keep them at bay.

It was a corner which finally eluded defensive heads and Smith was able to head it home to bring the scores level. That gave the home side even more of an impetus and almost immediately Cotterell made a diving save on to the post and had the presence of mind to be the first to the rebound.

Then Brocton struck again. Substitute Jon Hodnett got to the bye line and pulled the ball back and Fife grabbed his second. Ironically, with all of their aerial power, it was a low cross met and brilliantly converted by Cooper, which brought the scores level again and although Fife had one last chance to grab a third and victory, this was a hard point well won.

Photo: File pic


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