Abbots Bromley fall foul to Bulls Head Marchington for a third time.
Bulls head returned to league action this weekend with a home fixture to Abbots
Bromley, just a week after knocking them out of the cup. The conditions
couldn't have been anymore different from the previous week with glorious
sunshine for the much anticipated game as the visitors looked to avenge the two
previous fixtures this season.
The Bulls head were forced into one change from the previous
week as Chris Rhead came back into the starting line-up for the absent Ashley
Young. Abbots Bromley on the other hand were missing key player and
Bromley Captain Ollie Crooks, but had the returning Jonathan Pearson and Gareth
Thomas to bolster their squad. Like the previous week Abbots Bromley
started the best side and the home side appeared to be slow out of the blocks
with James Stevenson running the opening passage of play. Greg Peters was
playing a more advanced role in midfield and it was the combination of Peters
and Stevenson that set the returning Marchington captain Gareth Thomas free of
the Marchington defence. The alert Adam Johnson spotted the danger
quickly and made a brave claim at the feet of the striker. Something that
was clear for all to see particularly when Bromley were enjoying possession was
the increased resilience with Michael Skelham at the heart of the Marchington
defence and his understanding with Wayne Salmon.
Marchington seemed comfortable soaking up the Bromley attacks
and looked to exploit their eagerness for the opener, on the break. The
Bulls head did this through Petr Severa and Chris Rhead and with Max Kiddle
always looking to get forward to support the counter attacks.
Marchington opened the scoring after a beautifully delivered free Kick from
Rory Maxwell, curled in behind the defence onto the diving head of Michael
Skelham for his second of the season. The home side then had a good spell
of possession with Chris Richards dictating proceedings. The away side restored
parity though when Gareth Thomas was allowed to turn firing a shot from the
edge of the area which cannoned back off the post into the stride of Peters who
made no mistake from 6 yards. If possession was an indicator of the first
half the away side clearly dominated without making any real chances, but it
would be the home side that went to the interval with the ascendancy.
Chris Richards scored a trade mark wonder goal with a 30 yard bullet into the
top corner of the net past the despairing Mike Sweeting.
Marchington started the second half well, and once again the
wide players Severa and Rhead were causing problems and with Alex Langridge
starting to come into the game the home side had hopes of a third. Rory
Maxwell dropped back into Centre Midfield allowing Max Kiddle to get further
forward. Maxwell and Richards started passing the ball around well and
their understanding and movement allowed them to bring others into the game and
break quickly. It was the away side that were still having the lion's
share of the ball and for all of their possession Adam Johnson only had two
saves to make in the second half both from distance. The Bulls head on
the other hand had two very good chances to put the game to bed and should have
done, it just wasn't Alex Langridge's day in front of goal. the end
the second half turned into somewhat of a stalemate with both sides equalling
each other out, with Skelham's marshalled defence standing strong to protect
their lead. The work rate of both sides was terrific and was another
great game for the supporters.
Marchington Manager Rik Kiddle was delighted after the game and
described his team's performance as 'tremendous'. Chris Richards picked up the
Wilkins and Thompson man of the match award but it was the performance of
Michael Skelham that the manager singled out for praise after such a terrific
display. Kiddle continued saying "taking six points of Bromley and
knocking them out of the cup is just superb". Marchington buoyed by their
recent success have back to back fixtures against league leaders Fulford and
Tean next week and must continue their performances to stand a chance of