FA Cup Preliminary Round
Sutton Coldfield Town 3 Brocton 3
THE HOME side began confidently as their status of some 43 league places above Brocton would warrant and the visitors were under pressure from the start. Tom Turton looked dangerous on the left flank in particular and Justin Richards kept himself on side and had the pace to get beyond Brocton’s rearguard.
That defence of Ed Booth, Matt Skinner and Rob Tomlinson stood firm though and Dave Ablewhite, just ahead of them worked hard to prevent crosses whenever possible. And on the occasions when the penetration got as far as Brocton’s goal Calum Barrett was in fine form, taking anything high with confidence and bravely diving at feet to keep Sutton at bay.
Attacks on the home goal were few and far between in the first half hour, although Sam Bell was on the end of passes from Dave Berks twice and both times he looked to be a threat. The difficulty was that Gary Fife was closely marked and none of his team mates could get up in support quickly enough. Long passes from the back to a lone Fife were Brocton’s only other outlet and whilst Fife did his best, he could only get a couple of fairly tame shots away under pressure.
It was just after an excellent thrust from the home side when twice their influential David Kolonji tricked his way into the box and had shots blocked that Brocton broke in numbers for the first time. Tomlinson passed it out from the back all along the line, the ball slipped inside for Berks to once more find Bell on the right. This time his cross was hard and low and Dan Lomas, up in support, met it and side footed home.
With half time approaching Brocton tried to make it in with their lead still intact, but a deep cross from the dangerous Turton was met with a firm downward header from Kolonji beyond the far post. Barrett got a hand to it but it was too powerful and took the home side in level at the break.
Early in the second half Brocton had their first prolonged period of pressure on the Sutton goal. The home side defended it well and when they broke it put Brocton quickly in danger. Barrett had once more to dive at Richards’ feet and force his shot wide. The game became far more open with both sides trading attacking thrusts, but it was Richards who broke the deadlock when he crossed for Danny O’Callaghan to finally deceive Barrett with a near post header to take the lead.
Brocton’s attacks must have concerned the Sutton players because, when Bell next set off down the line, he skipped past two tackles and could only be blocked for a free kick to prevent him passing a third into open space. It was a thrust through the middle from Dan Lomas that brought Brocton back on terms. He got to the edge of the box and poked the ball forward as he was tackled for substitute Paul McMahon to tuck home.
Sutton struck back again and Barrett, having already saved, followed the ball out and tried to dive on it as it squirmed away, only to slip and give away a penalty. Richards stepped up and put it away.
Still there was drama to come and pressure in the box gave Barrett, up from his goal keeping duties, to assist in the last ditch goal, given to Ed Booth for his last touch.
The replay takes place at 7.30pm on Tuesday.
Brocton: Calum Barrett, Dave Ablewhite, Matt Skinner, Ed Booth, Matt Dockerty,
Rob Tomlinson, Carl Morris, Dave Berks, Sam Bell, Gary Fife, Dan Lomas.
Used Substitutes: Charlie Jones, Matt Hardiman, Paul McMahon