Pershore Town 3 Brocton 4
TWO late goals including a stoppage time winner saw Brocton come from behind to pull off a dramatic victory by the odd goal in seven on Saturday and now they are on the brink of lifting the championship trophy.
Title rivals in the Midland Combination Premier, Bromsgrove Sporting, who has been awarded team of the month for March, suffered their second defeat of the week going down 3-2 at home to Studley.
That outcome leaves the Badgers needing just two points from their remaining four games to lift the Premier title and they could be celebrating on Tuesday night when they visit Coventry Copsewood.
Prior to the kick off at Pershore, visiting keeper Adam Whitehouse was withdrawn due to a bruised hand so Ashley Lunn was installed for his first senior game.
Lunn was soon into the action and needed to be quick off his line to deny the in-rushing Pershore centre forward when Levi Bailey’s headed back pass lacked pace.
Good play on the right by Paul McMahon and Sam Bell gave an opportunity to Gary Fife but the striker missed out.
Pershore’s attacking threat was mainly through Mark Owen who was becoming a worry to the Brocton central defenders. Bell and McMahon appeared the most effective Brocton forwards and created a chance on 21 minutes but a low cross from Bell eluded all the forwards.
In the next attack Andy Bourne provided a short pass to Seb Hamilton and then onto the lively McMahon who lifted the ball over the advancing Matt Oliver in the Pershore goal, to register Brocton’s first goal on 23 minutes.
At this stage Brocton looked comfortable but as in recent matches they lost concentration and Pershore started to gain confidence.
On 38 minutes Scott Walsh hit a low shot from the edge of the Brocton area to equalise. The spirited Pershore side then grabbed their second goal through the experienced Mark Owen on 42 minutes to send them in 2-1 up at the interval.
The second half started with Brocton slow to react and a mistake by the defence gave Owen an easy opportunity which he took within two minutes of the re-start giving the home side a two goal advantage. This injected more pace and urgency into Brocton’s play and Bell hit the bar on 47 minutes as the away side started to apply pressure which was eventually rewarded by a Bourne goal on 65 minutes to make it 3-2.
The Pershore goal was now under siege with Bailey heading over and Ashley Phillips shooting wide following his introduction for McMahon.
Brocton were now piling on the pressure needed if they were to get anything from the game. Both Fife and Bell had shots deflected in the melee of players packed into the Pershore penalty area.
Brocton’s forwards looked over anxious as the time started to tick away and manager John Berks shuffled his pack by bringing on Charlie Jones and Richard Allen to reshape the side to give a new emphasis on attacking play.
Under extreme pressure Pershore eventually allowed Fife enough space to get a shot on 88 minutes which he hit beyond the Pershore keeper from eight yards. This was followed by a hand ball appeal which was not given but the following attack, now into added time gave Seb Hamilton an opportunity and he coolly slotted the ball past keeper Oliver for a dramatic last gasp winner.
The result leaves Brocton on the brink of winning their first League Championship since 1977-78 when they won the Cannock Chase League for the sixth time.
Brocton: Ashley Lunn, Dave Ablewhite, Levi Bailey, Dean Crowley, Jamie Evans, Sam Bell, Andy Bourne, Gary Fife, Dan Lomas, Paul McMahon, Seb Hamilton.
Used substitutes: Richard Allen, Charlie Jones Ashley Philips.
This Saturday Pilkington XXX are the visitors to Silkmore Lane for Brocton’s last home Premier Division fixture while the reserves are away to Cadbury Athletic where they will look to follow up Saturday's emphatic 3-0 win at Continental Star with another away day success(both games kick off at 3pm.