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Brocton go five points clear at the top

By Staffordshire Newsletter  |  Posted: January 13, 2014

By Dave McLean

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Brocton 4 Pershore Town 2

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

A cagey first quarter of an hour saw Brocton content to play the ball across their back line and to probe for a route forward, while their visitors Pershore were equally content to keep their hosts at that sort of distance and to try to pick off any mistakes.

The match could have been completely different to that that followed had the home side’s tactic paid off, which it so nearly did on that quarter hour.

A corner was won and the ball, delivered beyond the far post, was headed down by Dan Lomas. The shot was wide of the mark and 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 an excellent pass which took Fearn beyond the Brocton back line and left only Adam Whitheouse to beat, but the shot was struck 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 straight forward task of slotting the loose ball into the 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 from 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.

Pershore could easily have finished the half with another themselves when Bell had the ball pinched 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 on a number of occasions in the second period and although goals did not arrive from this route, the outlet was providing impetus to the rest of the Brocton team and pushing Pershore further back.

When a series of shots and blocks failed to provide a goal it looked as though it would not be the Badgers’ 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 Dave Berks in with a low cross and Berks finished off with a fine volley.

Paul McMahon put Brocton ahead for the first time in the match, half an hour into the second period, with the faintest of headers 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.

This Saturday, Brocton are away to Alvis Sporting in the league, while the reserves are at home to Fairfield Villa Reserves (both 3pm).

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