Brocton 2 Studley 2
VISITING Studley are among the chasing pack behind league leaders Brocton and came to Silkmore Lane with the intention of taking all three points to narrow the gap.
They were hot out of the blocks and were attacking in numbers on a well prepared pitch which meant the game was quick and played in ideal conditions.
Richardo Richards was the first to have an opportunity but shot directly at Brocton keeper Adam Whitehouse in the third minute.
Sam Bell was Brocton’s main outlet and with ten minutes gone he found Gary Fife but the forward was unable to get his shot away.
Both teams were prepared to clear the ball well upfield which did not bode for an attractive game and Studley were closing down Brocton with no nonsense tackles and defensive clearances.
Ashley Phillips, David Berks and Gary Fife combined in a rare left wing attack but keeper Richard Taylor saved well at the near post.
Studley however attacked in numbers and were constantly putting the Brocton defence of Dave Ablewhite, Dean Cowley, Rob Tomlinson and Matt Skinner under constant pressure and on 30 minutes Charisma Agbonlahor took a free kick which rebounded to Dan Carter who crossed for Richards but the centre forward missed a clear opportunity to put Studley ahead.
The away side were having a good spell and Brocton’s midfield was working overtime to cope with the constant threat. Brocton however dug in and started to produce some passing moves which allowed them to make some progress and their best chance came on 35 minutes when Fife and Bourne combined but this move only resulted in a corner.
The deadlock was eventually broken through an individual goal by Agbonlahor who carried the ball across field, just outside the penalty area, weaved his way past several of the Brocton defenders and shot to the left of Whitehouse who could only watch the ball go past him on the stroke of half time.
At the start of the second half, Brocton showed a lot more urgency and within three minutes of the restart Paul McMahon collected the ball on the right and crossed for Bell who launched himself for a flying header but missed the connection.
McMahon was close again as he advanced clear on the left but fired his shot into the side netting, however the same player took advantage of a near post corner ball from Fife to fire in from close quarters and gain Brocton’s equaliser on 60 minutes.
This however was short lived as Studley regained the lead again five minutes later from a near post cross from Sam Wills which eluded Brocton’s defenders and keeper and fell for Dan Carter to tap in.
Berks had a free kick on 70 minutes which Taylor could only parry away but Studley defenders were the quickest to react and cleared away.
Brocton were piling on the pressure to produce an equaliser and pushed players forward in an attempt to find that elusive goal and as the game appeared to be slipping away.
Berks cleared a ball up field to Bell in the centre of the Studley penalty area with two defenders around him, for him to rise above them and head over the static keeper for the equaliser on 90 minutes.
Berks had a final opportunity to gain a win with a 25-yard free kick which would have been a terrific finale for the Brocton fight back but the ball was just over the bar.
Overall a share of the points was a fair result as both teams performed at a high tempo, providing an exciting game for the spectators.
Brocton: Whitehouse, Ablewhite, Skinner, Tomlinson, Crowley, Lomas, Berks, Bourne, Phillips, Bell, Fife.
Used subs; McMahon, Jones, Fox.
This Saturday Brocton are away to Earlswood while the reserves won 2-1 at Bolehall Swifts thanks to a brace from Lukas Putka. The reserves are away to Fairfield Villa, both games with a 3pm kick off.