Brocton 3 Meir KA 3

Tuesday 4th November 2008
Brocton 3 Meir KA 3
Midland Combination Premier Division
At: The Old Police Sports Ground, Silkmore Lane
Kick-off: 7-45 pm
Admission: £4; Programme: £1
Attendance: 52
Weather: mild, drizzle
Duration: first-half: 46:42; second-half: 48:14

One of the plus points for me in going to the Old Police Sports Ground was the fact that the ground is within comfortable walking distance (about 20 or so minutes) and downhill for the outward journey.

Walking down Radford Bank and over the river bridge, I could see the lights on to my left which confirmed, what I had already guessed, that the match was on. To my right in the distance, I could also see the white glow of the Stafford Rangers lights and thought before this season that Marston Road would have been my destination (Rangers were at home to Southport in the Setanta Shield).

Programmes were once again sold (£1) at the pay box at the end of the drive which leads from Silkmore Lane to the ground itself. The chap on the gate told me there were several groundhoppers present including a car load from London. So I walked round to the changing rooms/tea bar area and met several familiar faces including the ‘Tram’.

Teams were once again displayed at the window of the hospitality room. Meir’s line-up showed a few of the FA Cup heroes missing including striker Ryan Mizkiel and Mark Philcock, both of whom were suspended I think. Brocton had David Berks on the bench and Matt Sargeant (former Stafford Rangers youth) in goal.

I was looking forward to this game especially as the first meeting at Meir finished 4-3 in favour of the home side. Would goals be again on the agenda or would the ‘Tram’ have to make a revisit after a goalless draw?

Once again I took my seat in the stand, looking out in a south-easterly direction over the pitch with the lights of the Wildwood Estate in the distance.

Meir KA (amber shirts with black hoop, black shorts and socks) got the game under way attacking from right to left towards the changing rooms end. Just after the quarter-hour mark, Lee Cropper hit a 20-yard free-kick over the wall which hit the top of the bar and over for a goal kick. But Meir took the lead in the 30th minute. Steve Harrison fed Cropper who beat Sargeant with a 30-yard lob which the young keeper got his hands to – a great start for the visitors and a sigh of relief no doubt from the ‘Tram’. Meir doubled their advantage in the first minute of first-half stoppage time. Adam Coulston got up after being brought down by Sargeant and converted the resulting penalty.

Speaking after the game, Meir joint-manager Gary Woolrich told me that he had expected Brocton (green and white halves, white shorts, green socks) to fight back in the second half and this is what they did. Gary Fife, ex-Stafford, volleyed home at close range in the 55th minute and Jermaine Bowen equalised direct from a free-kick four minutes later. Chris Baker regained the lead for Meir in the 66th minute, only for Fife to convert a penalty 66 seconds later to level things up again. In the closing stages, Adam McMahon almost won it for Brocton when he fired against the underside of the bar.

At the final whistle, time for a quick quote from Meir’s very approachable Gary Woolrich before setting off on the uphill walk back home.

Brocton (green and white halves / white / green): 1. Matt Sargeant, 2. Ben Harrison, 3. Matt Skinner, 4. Andy Chandler, 5. Dean Crowley, 6. Karl McLeod, 7. Adam mcMahon, 8. Danny McLeod, 9. Lee Scott, 10. Gary Fife, 11. Jermaine Bowen. Subs: 12. Danny Baker (not used), 14. David Berks (for Bowen, 75), 15. Mick Fox (for Scott, 53).

Meir KA (amber / black / black): 1. Richie Amison, 2. Aaron Kelter, 3. Mark Howell, 4. Steve Harrison, 5. Aaron Protaszczak, 6. Darren Reaney (capt), 7. Adam Coulston, 8. Chris Baker, 9. Lee Cropper, 10. Nathan Chin-Shaw, 11. Mick Wright. Subs: 12. Stuart Hannah (for Kelter, 62), 14. Jordan Heath (not used), 15. Nkonds Katongo (not used), 16. Scott Reaney (not used).

Referee: Mr Sutton.

0-1 Lee Cropper (30)
0-2 Adam Coulston (45+1 pen)
1-2 Gary Fife (55)
2-2 Jermaine Bowen (58)
2-3 Chris Baker (66)
3-3 Gary Fife (67 pen)

Brocton: Dean Crowley (YC, 16), David Berks (YC, 89)
Meir KA: Aaron Protaszczak (YC, 58)