Bolehall Swifts 1 Brocton 1
BROCTON picked up a point from their visit to fellow title chasers Bolehall Swifts on Tuesday and now need nine more from their remaining six games to be crowned Midland Combination Premier champions.
It was a perfect night for football and both teams were full of attacking intent.
Bolehall made the early running, playing the ball beyond the Brocton back line and pressing high themselves to try to catch Brocton’s attacking players off side should they mount a counter attack.
Adam Whitehouse in Brocton’s goal was the first of the keepers to make a save, beating out a fierce drive from Michael Pollard but his counterpart Tom McNulty was soon in the action making a great save with his legs from Sam Bell when the Brocton player bore in on goal.
Bell was off target on the quarter hour as his drive at goal from a half cleared corner needed a sharp response.
Both defences were coping with their tasks and looking solid, but on the break Bolehall forced a corner. It was hit deep and headed back into the danger area where the first contest for the loose ball was indecisive, the ball running loose. Chris Sturridge-Packer was first to react and he drove the ball home to give the home side the lead.
That seemed to encourage both teams to redouble their efforts in attack. Bolehall were keen to cement their advantage by trying to add to it and Brocton were stung into an all-out attempt to get back in the game.
Just after the half hour a high clearance from Whitehouse was won by Seb Hamilton and his subsequent shot could only be deflected for a corner.
Then Dan Lomas chased for and won the ball deep in opposition territory, taking it to the edge of the box before shooting. McNulty saved but could only push the ball back into play where Dave Berks collected and returned the ball to the area where it was headed wide.
As the half drew to a close Gary Fife got the ball into the net, but found himself to be off side when Hamilton headed on a Whitehouse kick.
If anything, the second half was more frenetic and Bell had another fine effort bravely saved by McNulty before Berks volleyed the loose ball over the bar.
Bell was in full flow by now and he broke beyond the back line, slotting past McNulty with the defence in his wake for the equaliser.
There was plenty of drama to come as Simeon Smith got himself past Rob Tomlinson from a long clearance with only Whitehouse to beat. Tomlinson tried to tackle but fouled Smith and was sent off for his trouble. The free kick was well saved by Whitehouse.
A reshuffle saw Matt Skinner on for the impressive Dan Lomas and soon after Damien Charie for Hamilton and Charlie Jones for Richard Allen.
Bell got through again and was brilliantly tackled and for Bolehall, Joseph Obi got into a shooting position but could not get his effort on target, but an entertaining game finished with honours even.