at the Hawthorns, Brigg
Lincolnshire Senior Shield, Semi Final
Brigg Town (1) 2
Paul Ashton 35
Elliott Broughton 70
Bottesford Town (0) 0
Admission £7, Programme £1.50, Attendance 104
Brigg Town just about edged tonight's game against their neighbours Bottesford Town ... and I mean 'just about'. Because, the visitors could probably, justifiably feel that they deserved to get something out of this closely contested encounter.
Minutes before Brigg took the lead, against the run of play, Jake Turner, the Zebras goalkeeper, had been forced into making a great one handed save to push the ball around his right hand post.
But Paul Ashton latched onto a misplaced pass in the 35th minute, some thirty yards out from the Bottesford goal and took matters into his own hands, by sprinting into the Poachers penalty area and thumping the ball past Leigh Herrick.
Herrick has always been entertaining to watch whenever I've seen him play ... and not always because of his attributes as a footballer. But tonight he was quite subdued and I hardly heard a peep out of the usually loudly outspoken goalkeeper.
Bottesford hadn't just come to make the numbers up, far from it, but in spite of them having plenty of possession, they just couldn't find a way of unlocking Brigg in the final third.
HT - BTFC 1 v BTFC 0
The second half continued pretty much in the same manner as the first, but it was slightly more condensed into a midfield battle, than the opening forty five minutes had been.
Liam Dickens came close for Brigg, but his hopeful shot crashed against the crossbar.
On seventy minutes, realising there were very few options on for him in the way of passing opportunities around the visitors goalmouth, Elliot Broughton dribbled across the edge of the 18 yard line, from the right flank, until he spotted the narrowest of spaces to exploit, and planted the ball past Herrick, just inside the right hand upright to double Brigg's lead.
With nothing to lose now, Bottesford pushed forward in the closing stages. The nearest they came to getting back into the game was when Tommy Spall crashed a shot into the side netting.
Deep into injury time, Brigg scrambled away a couple of Bottesford corners that flashed dangerously across the face of their goal and they will have been relieved to have seen a 30 yard effort clear their crossbar in the dying moments.
A two goal margin of victory slightly flattered Brigg, but on the balance of things, they had done what they needed to do, against very lively opposition, who had worked hard and made a real go of things.
FT - Brigg 2 v Bottesford 0
|Left click for enlarged team sheet image|
The other semi final between Grantham Town and Stamford, was postponed, because of a waterlogged pitch, pretty much like every other game in the area had been tonight.
Brigg will face the winners of that rearranged tie, once it is played, at Sincil Bank, the home of another Lincolnshire non league club.
I can only assume that the vastly superior Northolme in Gainsborough isn't available that night.