Brocton 1 Bolehall Swifts 1

Tuesday 15th November 2011
Brocton 1 Bolehall Swifts 1
Athium Midland Combination Premier Division
At: Old Police Sports Ground, Silkmore Lane, Stafford
Kick-off: 7-45 pm
Admission: £4; Programme: £1 (36 pages)
Weather: dry, cold wind
Attendance: 64
Duration: first-half: 49:50; second-half: 49:16

It was good to head down the Old Police Sports Ground especially on an historic occasion for Brocton as StaffordFM broadcast full match commentary of this Athium Midland Combination Premier Division clash. Good friend of mine and 'local legend' Gary Hazlehurst was the man behind the mic and he described an enjoyable contest that finished all-square.

Table-toppers Bolehall Swifts took an early lead through Simeon Smith but the Badgers bounced back to equaliser with an excellent header by Dan Lomas. Both sides played some decent football as they looked for a winner and Brocton survived the late dismissal of captain Matt Skinner to secure a deserved point.

I’ve described the Old Police Sports Ground before. At the game tonight, as well as Gary, were Rev. Jeff Reynolds (my old Minister at Berkswich and now Circuit Superintendant Minister), Peter Baker (wearing a Crewe Alexandra coat and who these days I normally see at Hednesford) and Steve (the WBA fan and football traveller from Chelmsley).

Since their 6-0 victory over Pelsall Villa three weeks ago, Brocton (18 points from 10 games) have won two of their subsequent three league games to move up to sixth position in the table. Visitors Bolehall (30 points from 12 games) are also enjoying a good season and arrived in Stafford at the top of the table some eight points clear of second-placed Castle Vale.

Bolehall (in all yellow) got the game underway attacking the ‘Mallard Avenue End’ and quickly took a third minute lead. Simeon Smith found space on the left inside the area and fired past keeper Adam Whitehouse. Sam Fleming attempted to clear the ball off the line but only succeeded in helping it into the net via the right-hand post.

However, Brocton (in green shirts, white shorts and green socks) levelled things up in the 17th minute. Sam Fleming propelled a long throw into the area straight to Dan Lomas who headed past Darren Acton (previously with Tamworth and Nuneaton).

While Bolehall dominated the opening minutes, play settled down to an even contest and Lomas fired over the visitors bar while David Berks also headed wide.

Swifts wasted a great chance to regain the lead in the 36th minute. Ben Minshull’s corner was cleared and played back into the area to the feet of Michael Swan barely six yards out. The striker tamely sidefooted into the hands of Whitehouse.

Smith tested Whitehouse at start of the second half and the keeper parried a well-struck shot. Another chance fell to Jordan Brown who fired wide of the right-hand post.

Brocton replaced ex-Kidsgrove midfielder Andy Bourne and Joe Pickering with Richard Greaves and Richie Miller, once of Stafford Rangers and AFC Wulfrunians. Whitehouse again excelled as he did well to keep out a swerving shot from Brown in the 79th minute.

Into the last ten minutes and it was the turn of Acton to produce a decent save to keep out a shot from Greaves. The Brocton substitute tried his luck from out on the left with a cross-cum-shot that almost caught out Acton.

Brocton were reduced to ten men in the 87th minute. Matt Skinner, already booked, brought down Smith giving Mr Simpson little choice about showing a second yellow card.

Next up for Brocton and probably me as well is Saturday’s intriguing local derby in the FA Vase at Stafford Town.

Brocton (green/white/green): 1. Adam Whitehouse, 2. Richard Jones, 3. Jamie Evans, 4. Matt Skinner (capt), 5. Sam Fleming, 6. Andy Bourne, 7. Sam Bell, 8. Dan Lomas, 9. Joe Pickering, 10. Dave Berks, 11. Chris Beeston. Subs: 12. Richard Greaves (for Bourne, 71), 14. Sam Hollingsworth (not used), 15. Richard Miller (for Pickering, 76), 16. Andy Chandler (not used).

Bolehall Swifts (yellow/yellow/yellow): 1. Darren Acton, 2. William Holyland, 3. Dave Haywood, 4. Adam Wood, 5. Todd Perry, 6. Daniel Hales, 7. Benn Minshull, 8. Conor Fulwood, 9. Simeon Smith, 10. Michael Swan, 11. Jordan Brown. Subs: 12. Tom Starkey (for Holyland, 87), 14. Lee Millard (not used), 15. Michael Chetwynd (for Minshull, 74), 16. Anthony Juxon (not used), 17. Dominic Colson (not used).

Referee: Scott Simpson.
Assistants: Brian Rowley and Brian Heath.

0-1 Simeon Smith (3)
1-1 Dan Lomas (17)

Brocton: Matt Skinner (YC/RC, 87)