Brading came away from East Cowes Sports FC, with a hard earned, but well deserved 3 points. With Elliott Day unavailable, Liam Bennett returned to the starting 11 and James Woodhouse returned to the squad, after missing the last 2 games.
The Romans dominated the first half, aided by a strong wind at their backs. They should, and could have won the game in that period. A mixture of good goalkeeping and poor finishing frustrated Brading as they pressed hard. Ranson went close on several occasions from distance and Lawson’s long range strike was pushed away by the home keeper.
ECS struggled to get in the game as Brading continued to press, Caymen Collins excellent run in the box resulted in him being fouled. In a week of shocking penalties!!!! VALE, expertly sent the keeper the wrong way. The Reds continued to press with Ranson, Hitchcox and Lawson dominating the midfield. It should have been two, 5 minutes before half time, Vale’s deflected strike fell to Collins, whose shot was sensationally saved by the keeper, who was going the wrong way but somehow adjusted in mid-air to turn the ball over. Half time 0-1.
The lead was a slender one and against the wind, the second half would prove difficult to protect. Five minutes into the second half the lead was gone, when ECS’s number 7 made a run from the half way line, skipping past 4 challenges, before going down under a challenge from Brose. The side and Brose himself, were amazed when the referee pointed to the spot, as they all felt he won the ball. The number 7 picked himself up and his penalty was equally as good as Vale’s 1-1.
The team responded well and kept going, the back 4 were superb, especially Burford, whose reading of the game is exceptional. Bennett was finding good solace down the right but the final ball was letting him down. Oatley’s work rate down the left was a feature, as was Ranson, who covered the whole park.
Mulholland replaced Collins with 20 mins to go, as he continued his return from injury and made several telling tackles. With 10 minutes to go the Romans regained the lead in bizarre fashion, Woodnutt’s excellent cross was headed past his own keeper by an unchallenged defender. With 5 mins to go, Hitchcox made way for Woodhouse, and it was WOODHOUSE who sealed the victory. After playing a one – two with Vale, he brilliantly chipped the keeper.
Brading never really reached the levels they did at Clanfield…… but this was a huge 3 points today. Always a tough place to play, I was delighted to come away with 3 points. Lots of good performances, particularly Ranson in the first half and Hitchcox and Lawson in general. Knowles turned in his usual solid and unfussy performance.
Man of the Match was Aaron Burford, who is excelling in his current role at the back. His reading of the game is superb and with his ability on the ball, he gives us more options. His desire today to get us back in front, was key to gaining the 3 points. We now look forward to our Hants Cup 1/4 final, knowing we have a tough game ahead, but if the lads can continue playing as they have been, who knows. UTR Lawts
BRADING TOWN RES P vPVectis Nomads Res.
BRADING TOWN “A” 0 v 3 Cowes Sports “A”.
Team: Young Woodburn Bayliss Cooney Biedler Samuel Cant Lancey Seder McIntosh Phillips.
An excellent result. With almost a complete back 4 unavailable, the lads who were played out of position, filled in seamlessly.
On the plus side, great to see Liam Mulholland back, after many weeks out with a nasty knee injury.
A superb, all round team performance saw Brading into the last 8 of the Hants Cup at Clanfield. Clanfield, who at the time, were second in the Hants Premier League and the top scorers in their division.
With several players unavailable. Brading were forced to change formation and also play several players out of position. On the plus side, one of the many injured players, Liam Mulholland, returned from injury to take a placeon the bench.
The pitch was heavy but playable and Brading kicked off defending the slope and also facing the sun, which was very low and caused problems for a good 75 mins of the game. Both sides saw plenty of the ball in the opening exchanges and both defences held firm. Scott Lawson and Aaron Burford were immense in the centre of our defence and hardly gave their impressive forward a sniff.
Brading took the lead midway through the first half, with a quite superb goal. Ranson won the ball in midfield, before sending a superb ball down the right for Vale who in turn put in a brilliant cross which was met on the run by Elliott DAY, whose header flashed past the keeper into the far corner. The lads work rate from back to front was brilliant, as the Romans gave the home side very little chance to settle.
With Collins and Day out wide, giving options down the flanks and with great support from Woodnutt and Knowles, Brading were causing them problems going forward. Clanfield had a good spell just before half time, only a couple of excellent interceptions from Burford prevented them from a goal scoring opportunity.
Just before half time Brose made a brilliant save from a close range strike and then did well to clear from a corner. Half time 1-0.
Brading got off to a fantastic start to the second half, Knowles put the hard working Vale away down the left and for the second time in the game he produced another brilliant cross. This time the very impressive Oatley rose above their centre back to bury his header in the bottom corner.
Before Clanfield had time to recover, it was 0-3! This time Hitchcox won the ball in midfield before releasing Day down the left, he raced away beyond the chasing defenders before finishing in “trademark” Elliott Day style!! The manager then gave Hitchcox a well earned rest, bringing on Bennett. Shortly after the excellent Day made way for the returning Mullholland.
Clanfield changed their formation in an attempt to get back into the game. Brading kept their shape and the back four stood firm.
The pitch was very heavy and it was taking its toll on the players, so Brading made their final change, taking Collins off for Thomas. With 15 minutes to go, Clanfield thought they had found a way back into the game. A ball played into the Romans box was met 7/8 yards out by Clanfield’sstriker, who’s shot was arrowing towards the top corner, somehow Brose managed to tip it over, a sensational save and one that really destroyed any chance of Clanfield getting back in the game.
Brading made it 0-4 with 10 to go. Once again Brading got in behind their defence and Liam Bennett calmly converted from 6 yards. Brading could have added more,first Thomas was tackled just before he was about to finish and then Mullholland almost made a dream return but fired over from 15 yards.
A truly magnificent performance from the whole team. Very difficult to pick out a man of the match, as every single player made telling contributions. I’ve picked out Aaron Burford who was immense at the back, his reading of the game was superb and he made many telling interceptions. Along with him, 16 year old Matty Oatley was magnificent. His range of passing, work rate and decision making, was way beyond his young years. His goal really changed the game in our favour and I don’t think he gave the ball away once!
We now look forward to the draw on Monday, in the hope that we can get a home draw. If we can reproduce this kind of performance on a regular basis, until the end of the season, who knows what could be achieved.
UTR Lawts. ( a very proud manager )
Team: Brose Woodnutt Knowles Burford Lawson Hitchcox Ranson Collins C Vale Day Oatley.
Subs: Bennett Mulholland Thomas. (all used)
Referee: Mr. De Costa 75/100.
Brading Town Man of the Match: Aaron BURFORD / Matt OATLEY.
IW Saturday League, Comb 1.
BRADING TOWN RES P v P Ryde Saints Res.
( Game off, waterlogged )
IW Saturday League, Div 3.
BRADING TOWN “A” 2 v 8 High Park.
( Sam Cant 1 & Harry McIntosh 1 )
Team: Young Woodburn Willis Ruddell Beidler Samuel Cant McIntosh Seder Cook Rowe.