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Rocester v Brocton

Midland Football League Premier Division

Last Updated: Mar 14, 2016 06:50pm
Penkside, Stafford
By Pete Russell
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This was always going to be a close affair as both teams have been making good progress in mid table over the recent weeks, but a top performance from stand in keeper Aiden Stone kept Brocton in the game, following some crucial and timely saves from the lively Rocester forward line. The pitch was playable but several players from both sides found the grip on the tacky surface unreliable at times particularly in the centre of the park. Rocester  dominated the early play and had a free kick as early as the second minute but the Brocton wall did its job, however in the next attack Callum Riddell found some space and fired a shot just wide of the Brocton goal post. Riddell was looking sharp on the tricky surface and found Oliver Roome who had space and time but fired his shot straight at Stone who did well to parry the ball away. Brocton were defending in numbers and were keen to get the ball away but the ball was coming straight back to them, and when Jack Edwards lost the ball in midfield it took a tremendous clearing tackle by Matt Dockerty to avoid the first goal being registered on eighteen minutes. Roome was the most effective forward for Rocester and his sure footed play was giving Brocton defenders a worrying time and Stone was called into action again and the visitors were lucky with another shot from centre forward Liam Shaw which skimmed across the goal area. Rocester were looking confident and it took Brocton up to the twenty sixth minute before they had a real shot on goal from midfielder Shaun Kinsella. Brocton appeared to have weathered the early storm and started to mount some passing moves which resulted in a free kick for the visitors on thirty three minutes, followed by a move which gave Gary Fife a clear sight of goal but his header was fired over. Brocton had another free kick on thirty six minutes which was defended, followed by a header from Jack Edwards but this was wide. Shaun Kinsella battled for the ball and went out to the right touch line and centred a ball for the on rushing Booth who challenged for the ball with keeper Richard Froggatt but both missed and the ball hit the far post and rebounded into the net. There were a few protests but referee Jade Prince saw no contact and the goal stood on thirty nine minutes. The lead however lasted all of two minutes as Rocester were awarded a free kick and the high ball fell for Roome to tap home from close quarters. The first half ended with a corner at both ends but both defences were at hand to clear the danger.

The second half started with Rocester pressing and Riddell had a shot which was close but over the bar. This was followed by a corner but on this occasion Brocton defended well. At this early stage in the second period Rocester were pushing for the lead and this came when the home side won a free kick on the left side of the penalty area and the resultant dead ball kick found Roome and the inform striker dispatched his header past Stone for his and Rocester’s second goal. The  goal meant that Brocton needed to up their tempo, which they did and won a succession of corners which were dangerous but well defended by the home side. Rocester were prepared to defend their lead and launch counter attacks which troubled the Brocton defence who were pushing well up, and on fifty seven minutes Stone made one of several saves in this half that earned him man of the match for the visitors. Rob Richie-Smith and Tom Brown went close but the keeper was inspired. Several changes ensued by both teams in an effort to change the course of the game as Charlie Jones and Paul McMahon got quickly into their stride to assist Brocton’s cause in recovering the deficit. Dan Lomas was working hard in midfield and wing backs Dave Ablewhite and Josh Wilson were pushing down the wings. Rocester were happy to get the ball away and gave several throw ins to the visitors and it was from one of those positions that Berks worked an opening and lobbed a ball over towards the goal and Ed Booth found himself unmarked and side footed in the equaliser for Brocton with ten minutes left. Both teams were now seeking that final opportunity to claim the winner and Troy Carty introduced late on in the game for the home side, bought out the best save of the match from Brocton’s young keeper with a shot at low level from ten yards which was firmly held. This entertaining game came to an end with a share of the spoils for both teams which the neutral observer would agree as a fair result. 

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