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Badgers bounce back to go five points clear

By Staffordshire Newsletter  |  Posted: January 16, 2014

ON THE RIGHT TRACK . . .Stafford Rangers Reds U10s in their new kit sponsored by Virgin Trains. The team is managed by Nevdesh Gill.

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BROCTON moved five points clear at the top of the Midland Combination Premier after a 4-2 home win over Pershore Town on Saturday.

A cagey first 15 minutes Brocton content to play the ball across their back line and to probe for a route forward.

Their visitors were equally content to keep the hosts at that sort of distance and to try to pick off any mistakes.

And the match could have been completely different had the home side's tactic paid off, which it so nearly did on quarter hour.

A corner was won and the ball, delivered beyond the far post, was headed down by Dan Lomas, but the resultant shot was wide of the mark.

When Pershore won a corner for themselves in the following attack, Mark Owen showed how it should be converted with a neat header in at the near post.

Before Brocton had drawn breath Owen provided his colleague Damien Fearn with a superb pass which took Fearn beyond the Brocton back line and left only Adam Whitheouse to beat, but the Pershore player fired wide.

Owen had the benefit of perseverance in their next foray forward though as an attempt to avoid a back pass was intercepted and Scott Walsh had the straightforward task of slotting the loose ball into the Brocton net.

Brocton manager John Berks reacted by trying to change the shape of Brocton's play and it was the unfortunate Charlie Jones, who had been his usual dynamic self in midfield, who gave way to Sam Bell, giving the home side the width that they had so far missed.

In fact Brocton's first goal came down the opposite flank when Jamie Evans combined with Lomas to set up Dave Berks, albeit some 25 yards from goal. He struck a beauty and Brocton were back in the game.

Dave Berks could have repeated the feat with a ball from Bell on the right after Richard Allen had set Bell on a run, but his shot was well blocked and Pershore could easily have finished the half with another themselves.

Bell had the ball stolen from him and Allen was outpaced, but once again the eventual shot was wide of the target.

Bell's pace took him to the bye line several times in the second period and even if the goals did not arrive the outlet was providing impetus to the rest of the Brocton team and pushing Pershore back.

When a series of shots and blocks failed to provide a goal it looked as if this was not to be Brocton's day and the Pershore keeper pulled off an excellent save to keep out an effort from Damien Charie to reinforce that view.

But the visitors could not hold out as Carl Morris put through Bell and despite Bell having to slide to keep the ball in play, he got up to put in a low cross and Berks finished off with a fine volley.

Paul McMahon put Brocton ahead for the first time in the match on 75 minutes with a glancing header from a free kick, and then Berks completed his hat trick and Brocton's come back with a calm dribble in the box and side foot home.

Brocton: Adam Whitehouse, Richard Allen, Jamie Evans, Rob Tomlinson, Levi Bailey, Dave Berks, Carl Morris, Charlie Jones, Damien Charie, Dan Lomas, Paul McMahon.

Used substitutes, Sam Bell, Dave Ablewhite, Ashley Phillips.

On Saturday, Brocton are away to Alvis Sporting in the league, while Badgers' reserve side face a league match at home to Fairfield Villa reserves, both games kick off at 3pm.

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