The sun was shining on Saturday morning as top of the table Brockham welcomed East Grinstead Town to ‘The Big Field’, East Grinstead had just dropped out of Division B and were struggling to gain points at the foot of Division C. The referee blew for kick off at 9:30.
From the start Brockham were on the front foot and Ben Mackenzie was terrorising the right wing. In the first few minutes Mackenzie make ground and zipped the ball across the box, where James Cliffe, struck for Brockham sending the ball towards the goal but cruelly it ran just wide.
With only three minutes on the clock, East Grinstead conceded a corner, Leo Freeman delivered a great cross; the ball hit the nearest post came out with speed and rebounded off a stunned Grinstead defender to send it sailing back over the line. 1-0 to Brockham.
Brockham’s central defensive duo of Ewan Banks and Ben Austin protected Brockham from the high ball and on five minutes Banks sent a screamer back towards the Grinstead lines. Badgers’ midfield team of Matt Everett, James Cliffe and Tom Ambrose were controlling the central area linking with Finlay Hayes in a more advanced position to keep the majority of play in the Grinstead half.
With eleven minutes on the clock, Brockham’s Banks broke from his normal defensive position and slotted a pass through to Joss Hunt who clinically converted to bring a second goal. 2-0 to Brockham.
Midway through the first half, some excellent football saw Brockham’s Freeman beat three players and cover half the pitch before laying a pass to Hunt; Hunt sidestepped a defender and unselfishly passed to Mackenzie who was in acres of space at the other end of the goal, Mackenzie duly converted. 3-0 to Brockham
Brockham’s Mackenzie was having a great first half as he set up Nathan Myers whose header sailed just over the bar. However on twenty eight minutes a misplaced Badgers pass out of defence found an East Grinstead midfielder whose diagonal ball across goal somehow seemed to roll in slow motion past the entire Brockham defence and into the back of the net; 3-1.
The second half started very strongly for East Grinstead and for the first twenty minutes they were on top; Brockham sensed that even though they were 3-1 up, a Grinstead goal could see the game start to slip away. Brockham’s defensive team were definitely under pressure, Sam Horner was now on the pitch in a central defensive role and battling against a wave of attacks. Alfie Barlow showed some sublime skill as time after time, he took the ball from Brockham’s deep defensive position along the left wing to relieve pressure on his teammates. The next goal was going to decide the match.
On twenty two minutes, Brockham’s Ambrose chipped a ball from midfield to Myers and although the Grinstead keeper had been quick off his line all morning, this time Myers got to the ball first. He skipped round the keeper and struck the ball into the bottom right corner; 4-1 to Brockham.
Five minutes later Hunt was again pressing for Brockham, this time his pace from a deep position outstripped two Grinstead defenders, leaving the keeper stranded he passed to Myers who showed no hesitation in slotting home his second and Brockham’s fifth.
With only nine minutes left in the game, Brockham’s Banks kept his composure in defence to find a pass to Horner. His pass split the Grinstead defence to find a rampant Hunt to provide a well taken strike to the bottom corner; 6-1 to Brockham.
With only a few minutes left, Brockham’s Myers was looking for his hat-trick; from the edge of the penalty area a Badgers attack was initially repelled when the ball ran to Myers, he drifted a floating chip over a crowded box to see the ball drop into the corner of the Grinstead net. Myers had his hat-trick and the game finished 7-1 to Brockham
Thomas Ambrose, Ben Austin, Ewan Banks, Alfie Barlow, James Cliffe, Matt Everett, Leo Freeman, Finlay Hayes, Joss Hunt, Ben Mackenzie (C), Ewan Rose.
Substitutes: Samuel Horner, Nathan Myers
Brockham Scorers: Nathan Myers 3, Joss Hunt 2, Leo Freeman, Ben Mackenzie