GAME OF THE WEEK
Brocton 1 Heather St Johns 3
Total Motion Midland Football League Division One
Third time lucky. As we pulled out of the back exit of Hilton Park southbound services, illegally I might add, we were making our way to Brocton. Ninety minutes earlier when we had left Manchester the destination had been Walsall Wood. We were not even on the M56/M6 spur bypass thingymajig when news came through the twitter web that the weather had won and a change of plan was required.
Alty were at Stourbridge, I knew it was on as I had seen the hosts tweet something earlier that morning, no problem, Stourbridge v Altrincham it was. After a quick toilet stop for the boy Wilks at Keele, I checked my phone, suddenly Stourbridge was in doubt. They were going to wait for the match referee to make a decision, 1:15, so we pulled into Hilton Park to await the decision. The decision was put back another 30 minutes. Not for us, new plan required.
Wilksy wanted to visit the home of the Badgers, so we headed off to Brocton, breaking laws, dodging traffic and ridiculous potholes on the M6, we made it Silkmore Lane in plenty of time.
Brocton’s home is just off Silkmore Lane and has it’s own driveway, very nice folks. At the entrance you are met by a number of pleasant gentlemen who take your pennies and point you in the direction of where you are to park. Two stands, one seated the other for the standers greet you as you come through the gates, the rest of the ground is open standing. In the North East corner of the ground is the clubhouse, compromising of changing rooms, toilets, hospitality, tea room and bar. A friendly welcome awaits.
There was little sign on the Silkmore Lane pitch of the poor weather that was decimating the fixture lists up and down the country, credit to the groundspeople and volunteers who manage the ground.
Header. It took a little while for the game to get going, both sides threatening until the final ball, that was until the 20th minute when The Saints took the lead. Neat build up in midfield led to a ball out wide to Cobourne, the winger, who gave the Brocton defenders a dizzy afternoon, put in a superb cross to the back post where Yonwin had lost his marker and met the ball to head past McCarthy.
Heather St. Johns controlled pretty much the rest of the game. Brocton tried and had moments, but that was pretty much all they had until late on. The Saints had chances to increase their lead before the interval, Cobourne, Yonwin, Doyle and the skipper Weale all created and went close, the defence and McCarthy managing to keep the visitors at bay until the break.
H-T. Brocton 0 Heather St Johns 1
Following a 15 minute lie-down the team emerged into the freezing afternoon and things started to get a bit feisty, challenges were flying in, the heat was being turned up on the pitch a little. The Saints were denied a blatant penalty as Douglas flattened Cobourne in the area, quite how the officials missed it I do not know, looked nailed on.
Off. As they game flowed from one end to the other and tackles flew in, the odd yellow was being produced, with 15 minutes or so remaining I witnessed my 100th red card, Burns shown a second yellow for a poor challenge on Weale. The referee had no other option.
Bundled. A comeback had looked a task too far for Brocton before they were reduced to 10 men, it became even harder 5 minutes later, Cobourne was once again the architect. Played in on the right hand side his shot across the face of the goal was saved by McCarthy and the bobbling rebound was bundled into the back of the net and just beyond the keepers grasp by Bloore.
Emphatic. In the last minute or two the visitors went 3-0 up, a break on the right hand wing saw a cross played into Weale, he deftly flicked the ball on for Cobourne who was arriving at pace at the far post and he finished emphatically past McCarthy, the rout was complete, surely that was that.
Pounced. Added on time saw two incidents, both at the Heather St Johns end of the field, first of all the Badgers got a goal back, a corner was pounced upon at the far post by Phillips and turned in. Then moments later the hosts broke and a through ball led to a chase between a home sub and Allsop in the away goal, was won by the Badger forward, he dinked it over the keeper, only for the Saints number one to save it with his hands outside the area. It should have been a red card, the visitors stopper can count himself lucky.
F-T. Not that it would have mattered too much as the final whistle went soon after. Brocton 1 Heather St Johns 3. A pretty fair reflection of the afternoon. Myself and Wilks were off into the Staffordshire night, with just one definite destination, and a good day had been had by all. I just now need to make plans to visit Walsall Wood and Stourbridge in the future.
A bit like the week before at Halifax, the midweek was spent watching an FA Trophy game. This time it was a replay and a round further on, and, like the weekend to follow it was not first choice of the day. Weather again decimating the fixture list and leave us needing an alternative to our first choice of Prestwich Heys v St Helens Town.
Off to Edgeley Park for Stockport County v Kidderminster Harriers. Had to be an away win, this was my 4th visit to County’s home, 2 draws and a defeat had been my previous three results for the hosts.
On an awful night I am not too sure the hosts wanted to play this. Could not find a programme for love nor money and the tea bar only opened 5 minutes or so before kick-off. In a pretty even game, the hosts booked their place in the next round. Both sides had chances to take the lead before County managed it in the 25th minute as Turner rifled home from an acute angle.
After the break the snow began to fall, Kidderminster poured forward in search of an equaliser, unfortunately, most of their efforts were limited to around the edge of the box and they had left their shooting boots back in the Midlands.
With 15 minutes remaining County doubled their advantage, McKenna finally getting his shot away, a deflection taking it past Hall in the Harriers goal, 2-0 to Stocky. This was added to in the last minute Pearson brought down Stephenson and Dixon slotted home the resulting spot-kick
Tue: Stockport County 3 Kidderminster Harriers 0
Sat: Brocton 1 Heather St Johns 3
Games since a 0-0: 72
Milestone: 100th Red Card (Ryan Burns, Brocton).
Performance of the Week: Has to be Simeon Cobourne the Heather St Johns winger, tormented this marker all afternoon, created 2 goals and scored the third. Take a bow son.
Random Fact: Heather St Johns are the fourth team I have seen with Saint in their name. The others Greenalls Padgate St Oswalds, Heywood St James and Beeston St Anthony’s being the others.
Definitely Maybe – Oasis