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Loughborough University 1 - 2 Brocton

Midland Football League Premier Division

Last Updated: Mar 30, 2016 09:32pm
Penkside, Stafford
By Pete Russell
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Despite a howling wind and swirling rain, the Badgers left Leicestershire having given Loughborough a harsh lesson in finishing from two learned practitioners in David Berks and Gary Fife.  

Early exchanges were equal between the two sides with Kinsella buzzing around the Loughborough box, but the home side were always on the front foot with drive and intention. Against the run of play, a deep ball from the left hand side found Edwards who flicked it on to Berks. O'Keefe in the Loughborough goal found himself in no-man’s land and Berks had no hesitation in producing an exquisite lob to put the Badgers noses in front. Undeterred, the home side continued to pour forwards finding space on Brocton's left side. With space exploited, all that was missing was the finishing touch but this deserted Dasolu twice with two wasted efforts from 6 yards. Edwards continued to be the main outlet up front for the Badgers, with Rankin and Williams providing blocking tackles. To meet the challenge in the middle of the park, Fife moved forwards as the Badgers adopted a 4-4-2 formation but this didn't stop the Loughborough onslaught. Brocton survived a flurry of chances but finally succumbed as the hosts scored just before half time with Crookes picking up a rebound from Barrett after the Brocton stopper pulled off a magnificent double save initially.  

The second half commenced where the first finished, with Loughborough making headway and only the doggedness of McLeod and Booth stopping the hosts taking a 2-1 lead. On 60 minutes the hosts hit Barrett's post and that seemed to stir the Badgers into action. Within 60 seconds, Brocton regained the lead. A clearance found Berks who took the ball forward quickly and slotted in Fife to beat the off side trap. With the hosts defence static awaiting a offside flag which never came, Fife seized the opportunity and took the ball to the on rushing O'Keefe. The keeper couldn't intimidate the clubs top goal scorer and Fife coolly struck it past him into the top corner for 2-1. The Badgers then weathered the literal and physical storm as Loughborough threw everything at the Badgers for the rest of half, but just couldn't find a way through the resolute and stoic defence. A shot count of 24 to 7 in favour to the hosts explains the game, but the result came from guile, experience and quick lessons in top drawer finishing from two of the County Town’s most lethal finishers over the last 10 years. 


 

Midland Football League Premier Division

 

Brocton 3 Boldmere St Michaels 1

 

 

 

Storm Katie eased off in time for this match to be played in good conditions, even if there was a blustery wind which caused a few problems. The [censored] water on the adjacent pitch seemed to say “see what I could have done? Be grateful”.
Both teams showed good early approach work without really threatening. Boldmere pressed high and with good teamwork, putting the back line of Ed Booth, Danny McLeod and Gary Fife under pressure. But the Brocton trio coped calmly and were able to set up decent moves from the back.
Josh D Wilson provided a neat turn of pace and clever use of both feet to take him within striking distance, winning a corner, which then became two corners as Boldmere struggled to get the ball clear.
At the other end Fife read the attacking intentions well and tidied up as the visitors threatened to outnumber their hosts. There was little goal mouth action though until around the half hour, when a Boldmere corner ran loose and it took a Ben Douglas clearance from his own line to save Brocton from going behind.
Within seconds a short pass back to Booth had him quickly under pressure and as he held off the lively Kieron Clarke, Calum Barrett came off his line to clear the ball.
When Fife advanced from the back just after the half hour, he put in a low ball which gave the alert Paul McMahon a sniff of goal. McMahon used his body strength to ease the defender off the ball and made no mistake from the edge of the box.
Boldmere were still smarting from that strike when Wilson used his skill and strength to similarly head for goal, but he chose to feed in Jack Edwards. Edwards took the ball on and confidently made it 2—0.
Clarke still had time to first hold his run as his right wing man Roland Agbor came from behind him and, on side, got to the long clearance. His cross looked inviting for Clarke to finish, but Fife got in a saving header to clear and end the half.
Boldmere were soon back in contention in the second period as, from a free kick, Barrett stretched to punch clear, under pressure from both attackers and defenders alike. The ball skimmed through and in.
Edwards then had two great runs. The first was into the box, where a finely timed tackle foiled his chance of a shot. The next was on the right. His cross was dangerous and a half clearance fell to Wilson, who fed an overlapping Dave Ablewhite. His deep cross was headed clear and immediately Brocton pressure was turned into a Boldmere break.
Charlie Morris it was who brought a fine save from Barrett and the return low cross beat everyone as it fizzed across the box and away. Moments later a headed goal looked inevitable but Josh Wilson eased the striker under the ball to mass claims for a penalty Dan Lomas won the ball in midfield, putting it into Edwards’ path and McMahon eased the home nerves as he headed home after Edwards’ shot on the run had been blocked. Then, almost at the death, the hard working Charlie Jones did everything but score as he put in a tremendous shot only for Sean Butler to make a fine save down to his right.

 

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