Brocton 4 Earlswood Town 1
Brocton Badgers extended their lead at the top of the Midland Combination after a 4-1 home triumph against Earlswood Town on Tuesday, writes Marcus Powell.
Brocton, who suffered their first league defeat of the season on Saturday showed no hangover and took the lead after just 29 seconds.
Andy Bourne and David Berks worked a quick free kick into the feet of prolific finisher Gary Fife who saw his effort deflected past Herewood Davis in The Earls net.
It should have been 2-0 after three minutes when Fife nearly turned provider. His corner was met by Dan Lomas who saw his header scrambled off the line.
Berks made it 2-0 after 13 minutes, Earlswood were made to pay for being sloppy in possession when David Ablewhite capitalised on a loose ball before being hacked down on the right hand touchline. Berks’ resulting free kick evaded all heads in the box but managed to find the top corner of Davis’ goal.
A rare venture into the Brocton half should have resulted in a goal for Earlswood. Roy Dunkley rolled his defender and got behind the back four before finding Chris Conway, who blazed his volleyed effort over from six yards.
Fife made it 3-0 after 19 minutes and it will probably be the easiest goal of his career. Lomas and Charie combined to set Charie clear, his shot was parried straight to the feet of Fife who bundled the ball into an empty net from a yard out.
The Badgers were a whisker away from bagging a fourth before the half hour when a Berks free kick glanced off an Earlswood defender and hit the woodwork before going for a corner. A fourth goal would not have flattered a rampant Brocton.
Earlswood started to see more of the ball in the last ten minutes of the half but could not create anything to worry Adam Whitehouse in the Brocton net.
The introduction of John Flanagan for Earlswood gave the visitors more of an attacking threat in the second half and the substitute will feel he should have done better with his shot after 58 minutes which he dragged well wide from the edge of the box.
Chris Conway was also guilty of being wasteful for the visitors, he worked himself an opening just after the hour mark but his shot was high and wide.
Charie should have put the game beyond all doubt after 67 minutes when he pounced upon a poor pass from Paul Martin. The Brocton player cut inside, his shot beat the keeper but could not find the corner of the goal.
Fife completed his hat-trick after 75 minutes when great work again from Charie, to beat Martin on the right wing, found Fife at the back post and he headed home from six yards and put the game out of reach for the away side.
A few rash tackles started to fly in from the dejected away side who saw Conway and Roberts go into the book within in the last ten minutes.
The visitors grabbed a consolation goal four minutes from the end when Fife inadvertently played the dangerous Flanagan in who took his chance well.