A VERY competent, hard working and disciplined display saw Brighouse Town progress in the prestigious FA Vase competition.
Both sides started brightly and on six minutes Town had their first shot when, following a free kick for a foul on Enest Boafo, Town’s wide man Danny Nadiole just cleared the bar with a shot from 18 yards. From the resulting goal kick, Staveley’s keeper, Tom Turner pulled up with a muscle injury to his leg and had to be replaced with substitute ‘keeper Richard Ayres taking his place between the posts.
On 15 minutes a poor challenge by midfielder Fawcus escaped a caution, and from the resulting free kick Boafo saw his back post header hit the side netting.
Staveley started to settle into their passing game and a neat one-two between Ryan Damms and Simon Barraclough saw the latter hit a tame shot which was comfortably gathered by Tom Taylor In Town’s goal.
On 40 minutes Joe Thornton went close for the home side, when the lively wingman cut in from the left and hit a low drive narrowly wide of Taylor’s upright.
Town’s best chance of the game came on 42 minutes when hard working Boafo created his own space, hitting a crisp left foot shot from just inside the box, which produced a good save from Ayres.
In injury time, Staveley’s tricky winger Thornton again caused Town problems but his shot from eight yards was turned over the bar by Taylor.
Just before the half time whistle captain Jordan Eagers brought a big sigh of relief from Town’s bench and supporters, as his rasping drive from 18 yards out clipped the top of Town’s crossbar.
Manager Paul Quinn made a tactical change at half-time with young winger Ryan Hall replacing James Hurtley and Town looked very lively and determined in the opening period of the second half.
On 50 minutes Nadiole hit a great effort from 20 yards which was well saved by Ayres. Town’s elusive winger was causing all sorts of problems with his movement and constant running at defenders and on 58 minutes his good work earned Town a corner which he took himself and the ball fell nicely for Boafo who crashed the ball home from eight yards to give Brighouse the lead.
Andrew Fox was booked for dissent for Staveley as Town celebrated the goal while next in the referee’s book was Brighouse captain Nick Jagger whose heavy mistimed tackle slowed down Staveley’s player.
On 75 minutes Chris Youlden replaced Thornton to give Staveley some much needed fresh legs as the home side were starting to flag.
A minute later, against the run of play, a quickly taken free kick was rolled back to Jordan Eagers whose speculative cross come shot beat Taylor as it nestled in the top right hand corner of the net.
Staveley then had a good five minute spell, but James Sutcliffe, Adam Wilson, Jagger and Tom Brown continued to protect Taylor and deal with the pressure.
Town had a chance to seal the victory when Tom Matthews broke clear of his marker only to see his shot from 15 yards saved by the legs of Ayres.
After two minutes of extra time, Staveley’s midfielder Ben Leonard was finally cautioned for another foul. Joe Mitchell had his effort turned over the bar on 102 minutes as Town turned the screw.
Staveley responded by getting a corner two minutes later, but this threat was superbly dealt with by Wilson.
Matthews hit a good shot just over the bar, but Staveley immediately replied with a good shot from Eagers, which produced a fine save from Taylor.
Town’s fitness was starting to show and on 110 minutes, Ryan Hall broke down the right. The winger’s pace was too much for the Staveley fullback and he whipped in a perfect cross for the ever alert Matthews, who got in front of his marker to fire home from six yards - the striker setting a club record of scoring in 11 consecutive games for Brighouse.
The visitors weren’t finished and Matthews broke clear again and chipped the advancing keeper to make it 3-1.
On 115 minutes Matthews was replaced to raptures of clapping and cheering for the Brighouse striker who had been superb again, with Craig Thompson, and the tireless Boafo was replaced by the versatile Ben Charlesworth. Both players are well over six foot tall which added a more powerful frontline full of running, against a defeated and visibly heartbroken Staveley defence.
Brighouse Town’s management, players, committee and supporters would like to dedicate the win to Luke Gibson, as the young winger comes to terms with the sad loss of his mum last weekend.
Staveley Miners Welfare 1
Brighouse Town 3
FA Vase round two