Brocton 1 Littleton 4
BROCTON’s unbeaten league run in the Midland Combination premier finally came to an end at home to Littleton on Saturday.
The Badgers suffered an early setback when Littleton’s first attack ended with Stuart Hall heading in a cross from close range. The visitors could have doubled their lead but a brilliant last-ditch tackle from Dave Ablewhite denied Will Gayton and enabled keeper Adam Whitehouse to gather easily.
Brocton were guilty of hitting the ball too long in their early attacks, but a good passing move, twice involving Andy Bourne, ended with Dave Berks laying the ball back to Paul McMahon on the edge of the box but his side-footed effort went over the bar.
The home side’s next goal attempt was a Gary Fife free kick but although he got it over the wall the shot lacked the pace to seriously trouble keeper Haydn Whitecombe.
Badgers left back Jamie Evans was then booked for dissent after referee Ciaran Hanna failed to spot a foul on him. Jamie Evans then hit a short back pass but Whitehouse saved him from embarrassment with a fine save at the feet of Stuart Hall.
At the other end, Brocton went close to an equaliser but Whitecombe managed to fingertip McMahon’s lob onto a post and a defender blocked Berks’s follow up at the expense of a corner. A foul on Dan Lomas saw Fife bend another free kick over the wall but once again Whitecombe had an easy catch under his bar.
Overall though Brocton could have no complaints about being a goal down at half time and as well as sending on Charlie Jones for Bourne at the start of the second period they reshuffled the back line with Ablewhite switching full back berths to allow Jamie Evans to push forward and Richard Allen dropping to right back.
However, before the Badgers had chance to settle Littleton blitzed them with three goals in the first eight minutes of the second half.
Kyonn Evans made it 2-0 in the 48th minute. He then turned provider as his cross was met on the volley by Stuart Hall to make it 3-0 and Alex Baird struck the fourth on 53 minutes.
Brocton then started to play and could have had a purple patch of their own. First Fife had a goal controversially disallowed by the assistant referee and picked up a booking when he overdid his complaint to the referee.
Then Jamie Evans found McMahon with a crossfield pass and the striker’s quick shot on the turn gave keeper Whitecombe no chance to peg it back to 4-1 on 58 minutes. Shortly afterwards Fife fired in a powerful shot that Whitecombe could not hold but as it trickled goalwards, Adam Guest cleared the spinning ball off the line via the crossbar.
After that, Brocton could not break down the hard working visitors. To complete a miserable afternoon a poor tackle from Fife gave referee Hanna no alternative but to show him a second yellow card in the 90th minute.