Saturday 8th January 2022 | Toolstation Northern Counties East League Division One
Words by Bob Taylor | Images by Melv Chudley
Despite the heavy rainfall in the last few days, the pitch was in relatively good condition when Brigg travelled to the outskirts of Mansfield hoping to maintain their pressure on the league leaders. Scott Phillips was unavailable but Josh Batty led the attacking line-up, ably supported by Alfie Usher and Dayle Hutson.
Brigg began the game brightly with a long clearance by David Birch setting up an attack on the left-wing from which the ball was transferred inside for Josh Batty to strike a shot past the upright. Another attack down the right wing was halted by the home keeper blocking Josh Batty’s effort and then repeating his resistance by tipping a shot over the cross bar. Looking really confident after such a positive start Brigg continued to press with Dayle Hutson prominent in setting up attacking moves. Clipstone were forced into making an early substitution in their back line and Brigg worked well to get the ball into the back of the net but disallowed for offside. From a free kick thirty yards out, Martin Pembleton’s strike was inches over the bar and then a second effort was well saved by the home ‘keeper.
The first goal was scored on the half-hour mark with a well-worked opening which allowed Dayle Hutson the chance to chip the ball from the right-wing across the face of the goal for Alfie Usher to drive it into the bottom of the net. The immediate response resulted in two successive corner kicks having to be defended but Alfie Usher grabbed a second goal after thirty four minutes after more good work from Dayle Hutson set him free down the left-wing. Three minutes later, Dayle Hutson was on the score sheet himself after a direct run straight through the home team’s defence and then Josh Batty missed out on a golden chance to open his scoring account from twelve yards out with an open goal ahead of him. Two minutes from the break Dayle Hutson scored again after a good passing sequence left him free to pick his spot, giving the team a four goal lead to defend in the second half and the opportunity to use the substitutes. In the last action of the first half, David Birch was called upon to make a diving save at the foot of his goal post.
Within three minutes of the re-start, Brigg scored again and effectively sealed the winning outcome of the game. After being caught offside in their first attack, Joshua Batty completed a right-wing move by finding the back of the net with a firm strike. The home team worked well to keep the eager Brigg forwards marked tighter but conceded a penalty kick in the seventieth minute from which Joshua Batty scored his second goal. Wayne Graves ventured forward to set up the opportunity for Alfie Usher to add to his goal tally but his shot went wide of the target. However, he wasn’t to be denied a hat trick after a lovely inter-passing movement left him that opportunity, which he took seven minutes from the final whistle, giving the team a comprehensive win on the day with three more important points to consolidate their league position.
Next Saturday afternoon, Brigg face Teversal (Mansfield area) at home in a league fixture and anticipate a supportive crowd of spectators.