The sky was heavy as M&T Tigers made their return to Broughton village sports club. Was the oppressive nature of the weather responsible for the first half performance or was it the enforced break caused by a waterlogged pitch at Whitchurch the week before? Either way those on the sidelines feared that Tigers would do a Wigan and slump to a heavy defeat as they conceded 4 goals in a disappointing first half for the Tigers. A curling shot from Finley Summerfield playing as lone forward at 2-0 temporarily brought back the roar in the Tigers but overall it was not their best performance.
Within a few minutes of the start of the game, goalkeeper Will Hoggarth had been beaten by Broughton’s first attempt. Poor marking from a corner gave the forward a free header.
Broughton’s second goal came with their second attack of the match, this time the initial shot was saved by Will but the follow up was fired home. Finley’s curled shot restored some pride but Broughton exposed frailties in the Tigers defense again a minute later and the score was 3-1. Every time Broughton surged forward it looked like they would score and when Will Garland was hustled off the ball by strong play by the Broughton forward 4-1 looked inevitable and Broughton had a hat-trick hero.
There were some rays of light in an otherwise dark and dreary first half under sullen skies. Finley’s goal, beautifully executed and the first time strike from Scott Gilmour from a Nick Comer corner that rose just over the bar.
With nothing to lose in the 2nd half, Tigers reverted to a 2-2-2 formation and Adam Firth came on to support Finley upfront. A few words of encouragement to the rest of the team and the team was transformed. The tone was set earlier on when Will H was quick off his line and stood tall to halt Broughton’s progress towards a scoreline shared by Wigan & Ipswich in the premiership. This seemed to galvanize the team and within 5 minutes of the restart Tigers had hit the bar through Nick Comer and pulled a goal back through Adam Firth. Lewis Templeton put through a delightfully weighted pass into Adam who placed his shot into the bottom corner.
From the restart the ball fell to Scott whose shot on target was pushed away by the keeper. This was followed by a frenzied passage of play with Fin, Scott and Adam all having further efforts either saved or cleared. The best chance falling to Scott after the keeper scrambled away the ball from a Firth rocket only for it to bobble up screwing off Scott’s shin and going wide.
Scott’s persistence was rewarded a few minutes later when all three combined again to give him a clear opportunity. Finley robbed the ball of the Broughton midfielder on the left of the pitch, knocking the ball to Adam who seeing Scott in space on the edge of the area,managed to get the ball through the crowd of players around him to the right boot of Scott who’s first time shot rocketed into the bottom corner. 4-3,
The final minutes of the game were tense as Tigers continued to apply pressure to Broughton’s goal and when Scott threaded the ball through to Adam those on the touchline wondered if Tigers could pull the game back, desperately his shot grazed the upright and the final whistle went much to the delight of Broughton and their manager whose relief was audible…. 4-3 final score.
Team Sheet, Goalkeeper Will Hoggath Defense Will Garland Nick Comer Midfield Scott Gilmour Charlie Fawbert Jacob Demain forward Finley Summerfield, subs, Lewis Templeton, Adam Firth, Rob Comer
The second game was a completely different affair, tight and compact. Tigers flourished first and with efforts from Will Hoggarth and James Lemon. Will H & Lewis combined well to create chances for James & Jacob and it was good footwork from Will that created the opportunity for Jacob to steer his left footed shot from a difficult angle onto the right hand post and into the goal. His first goal for the club, celebrated with enthusiasm.
This turned out to be the only goal of the game for Tigers despite further chances including a free kick by James and a goal mouth scramble by Lewis and Will.
Nick Evans and Adam provided the steely determination in the team and Adam showed his prowess in and timing in defence when he was called upon on more than one occasion to provide that last goal saving tackle.
Rob Comer in goal was almost rewarded for his fine goalkeeping with a clean sheet but a free kick from Broughton snug in by the post with 5 minutes to go. The last flurry of the game was in tigers favour but no goal was forthcoming, final score 1-1.