Brocton 6 Pelsall Villa 0

Tuesday 25th October 2011
Brocton 6 Pelsall Villa 0
Athium Midland Combination Premier Division
At: Old Police Sports Ground, Silkmore Lane, Stafford
Kick-off: 7-45 pm
Admission: £4; Programme: £1 (36 pages)
Attendance: 58
Weather: mild, heavy rain early second half
Duration: first-half: 47:02; second-half: 47:54

A first look at Brocton this season and my fifth visit in total since the former Staffordshire Police Sports Ground on Silkmore Lane was transformed into the ‘Old Police Sports Ground’ three years ago.

Pelsall will no doubt be hoping they don’t have to visit the town of Stafford again this season after losing 6-0 tonight to follow-up their 5-0 defeat at Stafford Town in the FA Vase last month, a game I also saw.

Tonight, Ashley Justin and Dan Lomas both scored twice with Gary Fife and Andy Chandler (officially credited to Joe Pickering) also getting on the scoresheet.

I’ve described the Old Police Sports Ground before – a fully railed-off main pitch with hard-standing all round and a seated stand straddling half-way near the paybox on the Silkmore Lane side. Dugouts were on the opposite side either side of the halfway line.

Brocton (9 points from 6 games) went into this fixture game in 11th position in the table with games in hand on every other side in the 17-team division. Visitors Pelsall Villa (8 points from 9 games) stood three positions below The Badgers.

Brocton (in green shirts, white shorts and green socks) got the game underway attacking the changing rooms (or north-east) end. They survived an early scare when a cross from Dan Halls looped over keeper Adam Whitehouse and struck the far left-hand post.

The opening goal came in the 13th minute. Joe Pickering crossed from the right and captain Gary Fife sent a header into the far left side of the net.

I watched the first half in the company of Andy Bates and saw Halls put the ball in the back of the Brocton net after the being flagged for offside before the home side doubled their lead in the 31st minute. Former player-manager David Berks delivered a perfect corner from the right for Ashley Justin to head home at close range.

Heavy rain started to fall during the interval and failed to dampen Brocton quest for more goals. The Badgers made it 3-0 in the 49th minute. Pickering laid the ball off to Dan Lomas in the inside channel who fired home an angled shot via the far right-hand post.

I decided to watch the second half sat in the stand in the company of Andy from Nantwich on his first visit to the ground.

Fife fired across the face of goal from the right as the Badgers continued to press. Pickering forced an excellent save out of Villa keeper Gavin Jones and then blasted the rebound over the bar when a simple sidefoot would have sufficed. Just before the hour mark, Richard Jones crossed low from the right for Lomas to see his shot superbly kept out by Jones.

Back in March, I saw Pelsall win last season’s corresponding league fixture 2-1. Any chance of a repeat victory became remote when Lomas scored his second goal and Brocton’s fourth of the night in the 63rd minute. Lomas evaded a tackle in the area on the left and, just as he did 14 minutes earlier, fired home another angled shot via the far right-hand post.

The rain had eased and eventually stopped by the 70th minute when Brocton added their fifth goal. Pickering’s shot rebounded off Gavin Jones and he put in the rebound.

Brocton had only scored six league goals prior to this evening and doubled their season’s tally in the 80th minute. Sam Bell exchanged passes as he moved upfield from defence and delivered a low cross from the right which Richard Jones fired at keeper Gavin Jones. Berks delivered the resulting corner from the right which Justin headed home for his second goal of the night.

The win lifted Brocton up a couple of places into ninth position, 15 points behind leaders Bolehall Swifts with four games in hand.

1-0 Gary Fife (13)
2-0 Ashley Justin (31)
3-0 Dan Lomas (49)
4-0 Dan Lomas (63)
5-0 Joe Pickering (70)
6-0 Ashley Justin (80)