Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Brigg Town 3 v Clipstone 2 - NCEL Prem

Toolstation Northern Counties East – Premier Division
Wednesday 27th January 2016
The Hawthorns, Brigg
Brigg Town (2) 3
Charles Fisher 15, Elliott Broughton 19, Luke Anderson 86
Clipstone (0) 2
Nicky Walker 50, Charles Fisher OG
Attendance 135
Brigg Town:
Barton, Gibson, Fisher, Farr (Kelly 87), Hellewell, Bowsley (C), Cotton, Bratton (Grimes 83), Anderson, Broughton, Brooks
Unused subs - Smith Dean, Parker
Frances, Royles, Salt, McGee (C), Randle, Walker, Nelthorpe, Holmes, Wall, Denton, Scully (Ryan 75)
Unused subs - Colliver, Ball (GK)
In a break from tradition, I have published both team's accounts of this game.
Brigg's version was cut and paste from their website and I wrote the other from a Clipstone perspective for them to use.
Both reports are slightly biased, but not too far apart in their overall content.
I've got some good friends at both clubs and try (but sometimes fail) to remain impartial at all times and by way of a coincidence, I actually work in the Brigg area quite often, though not if I can help it ;-)
For the record, both my 'other half' and myself gave the overall man of the match to Brigg's Danny Brooks, but we were split over who had the best game for Clipstone; she went for Liam Nelthorpe, while I thought it was a three way tie between Chris Salt, Nicky Walker and Liam Royles.
Clipstone's match report:
A game of two very different halves for the Cobras. The visitors were disjointed and off the pace for much of the opening 45 minutes, in which they gave themselves a mountain to climb; but they came back after the break looking fluent, assertive and were unlucky not to come away from the Hawthorns with at least a point after the break.
While not wanting to look for excuses, it would be fair to say that Clipstone didn't benefit at all on the night by getting the rub of the green as regards any of the 50/50 decisions and close calls that the referee Andy Dunn had to make, but lets not dwell on that.
With three of Jas Colliver's first picks: Steve Hernandez, James Ashmore and Jahmal Smith all unavailable for selection and only one outfield player on the bench (besides Colliver himself) the visitors manager had to reshuffle his pack against a Brigg side who were bolstered by three dual registered signings from Evo-Stik League side Lincoln United, namely: Danny Brooks, Matt Cotton and Jake Gibson.
In the event, Brooks was pivotal to most of the Zebras build up play and took responsibility for all of their dead balls, while Cotton proved to be a real handful down the left flank and was a real thorn in Clipstone's side all night.
The less said about the first half the better from a Clipstone perspective, as Brigg powered into a two goal lead, when they scored twice within four minutes, having already gone close inside the first quarter of a hour of the game.
Brooks picked out Chaz Fisher with a left wing corner and the Zebras right back opened the scoring with a free header... and the home side doubled their lead shortly afterwards when Elliott Broughton rode a challenge as he cut into the visitors area from the right flank and curled an unstoppable shot into the top left hand corner.
The Cobras, playing into the wind, did make a few tentative advances into the Brigg half without troubling the home side's 'keeper Jody Barford too much, but it was their hosts who looked more likely to score again and if truth be told, the remainder of the first half would have to go down as a 'damage limitation' exercise by Colliver's side,
In fact the nearest that Barford came to being beaten was when one of his own defenders headed the ball back to him a little too firmly from an Alex Denton cross.
The Clipstone manager would've been grateful to hear the half time whistle sound, so he could get his side back into the dressing room and refocus and reorganise them.
HT: Brigg Town 2 v Clipstone 0
Whatever was said in the visitors dressing room seemed to do the trick and from the restart Clipstone looked unrecognisable from the side who had trudged off disconsolately from the pitch at half time.
Liam Royles picked out Josh Scully with a great knock, but Clipstone's recent new signing, who was showing some good touches in spite of a lack of match fitness at the moment, saw his cross headed away to safety.
Play switched quickly and Andy Frances saved well from Brooks to keep his side in the game.
But five minutes into the second half, it was game on, when a great passage of build up play including Royles, Scully and Sam Denton saw Nicky Walker pull a goal back for the visitors from ten yards out.
The referee missed a handball in the middle of the park as Brigg attacked, but Elliott Broughton fired over the bar, so in the event, the officials error wasn't a costly one for the visitors.
Ellis Wall almost drew his side level, but his dipping shot fizzed inches over the bar after Walker had unselfishly laid the ball off to him.
Liam Nelthorpe, playing his first game for a while, was getting to grips with his midfield role and combining well with Scully, the midfield live wire was only inches away from scoring, after Denton and Walker had created an opening in the Brigg defence.
It was Nelthorpe who started the move that led to Clipstone's equaliser, when he won the ball in midfield and slipped it to Scully, who in turn fed it forward to Walker whose cross from the byline across the face of goal only needed a touch, unfortunately for Brigg, it was Fisher who diverted it over his own goal line.
Luke Randle was getting forward down the left flank and causing the home side a few problems and with Magee and Salt shutting up shop at the back and Royles making a good fist of his ongoing battle with Cotton, it looked for all the world that if any team were going to win this game now, it would be Clipstone, especially since Oli Ryan had been sent on to freshen up the visitors attack in place of Scully who'd played well but had run himself to a standstill. He'll prove to be a good signing for the Cobras.
With four minutes remaining, Clipstone were dealt a cruel blow, when a Brooks free kick from out the left, created mayhem in the visitors six yard box and Luke Anderson got the touch that put the ball past Frances.
The Cobras pushed forward in an attempt to rescue a point.
Royle, Holmes, Wall and Walker exchanged a series of quick passes and when Brigg half cleared the ball as far as Ryan his shot deflected wide for a corner. Barford held onto the flag kick under pressure from Ryan.
In the dying moments, Salt nudged the ball forward to Ryan, who slipped it to Denton, but the angle wasn't good for Clipstone's top scorer and the ball got tangled up under Barford's legs, who saved the day for Brigg with an unconventional, but effective save.
FT: Brigg Town 3 v Clipstone 2
In the final analysis, Brigg had held on a bit towards the end and Clipstone were unlucky not to earn at least a point for their second half endeavours.
It could be said that a few pivotal decisions went against the Cobras, but those sort of things balance themselves out over a season. But the damage had already been done in the opening forty five minutes, when Brigg had dominated the game against their lacklustre visitors and it had left Clipstone with just that little bit too much to do.
Brigg Town's match report:
In front of a good crowd of 135 Brigg had 3 debutants in the team for the game against Clipstone all 3 on dual forms from Lincoln United. Jake Gibson filling in at left back for the absent Scott Matthews and a shuffle in formation with Danny Brooks starting in centre midfield and the lively Matt Cotton on the left wing. Brigg dominated early play and created a host of chances with the best chance falling to George Farr who beat a few men before placing the ball wide of the keepers post. 
Brigg took the lead on 15 minutes a lovely delivery from a corner by Brooks was met by Chaz Fisher who headed the ball powerfully past the Clipstone goalkeeper.
Brigg's second of the game came 3 minutes later with Elliot Broughton cutting on from the right and firing a great strike into the top far corner.
Brigg continued to dominate with the winds at there backs and were unlucky to not extend there lead before the break.
Clipstone came out the second half a changed team and put Brigg under pressure from the off although Brigg were still a danger on the counter attack. Clipstone got back into the game on 50 minutes when neat play by Alec Denton cut the ball back from out wide to find Nicky Walker who fired into the bottom corner of Jody Barford's net.
Graffiti en route around the back way into BTFC
Clipstone got back on level terms on 75 minutes when neat play down Clipstone's right wing resulted in the ball being driven across goal only to hit the unfortunate Chaz Fisher's leg and cross over the line.
Clipstone continued to press but it was Brigg who got the all important winner on 85 minutes, a free kick from the right wing by Danny Brooks caused mayhem in the Clipstone box only for the ball to land to Luke Anderson's feet and on the turn fired the ball into the back of the net. The goal being Luke's first for the club and nothing more than he deserved after running his socks off all game as the lone striker.
The win lifts Brigg out of the bottom 3 again and brings more teams into the relegation battle.