Home victory helps to keep Town’s play-off hopes alive

Brigg Town FC 2-0 Kidsgrove

BRIGG Town FC were at home to the team immediately above them in the Evo-Stik League, First Division South, and were looking to extend their recent successful run of good results to keep their play-off aspirations ongoing.

From the start they were awarded a free kick mid way into their opponents’ half and Lee Cochrane sent a glancing header towards the goal, but Steve Hodgson saved comfortably.

The Kidsgrove keeper was back in action a couple of minutes later to turn an awkward bouncing ball from Danny Barrett’s long free kick over the cross bar.

The first goal was scored after 17 minutes of play and came from a penalty.

After winning a corner kick on the right wing, the ball was crossed to the far post towards Scott Hellewell, who was pushed over from behind by Matt Haddrell. Danny Buttle fired the ball into the corner of the net from the spot kick.

Kidsgrove responded well and Dave Walker struck a fierce shot on target after good work by Matt Haddrell, but Andy Pettinger saved well and then Matt Haddrell headed the ball over the bar from a left wing corner kick.

When Brigg moved the ball quickly out of defence to attack, Ollie Fisher surged forward past two defenders to the goal line down the right wing, but struck his shot across the face of the goal.

Dave Walker and Matt Haddrell continued to be the main threat to Brigg and Andy Pettinger was called upon to make another save.

Then Aiden Matranga found space to get a clear shot at goal, but was caught offside.

The first half closed with Danny Barrett winning possession of a loose ball just over the half way line and he struck a deflected shot past the post.

The visitors made two substitutions early in the second half in an attempt to win more possession in midfield, but Brigg countered this by introducing Alan Lamb for Ollie Fisher, who had worked tirelessly throughout the first half.

Dave Walker was left unmarked down the left wing ten minutes after the break to advance on goal, but pulled his shot past the far post.

More pressure on the Brigg defenders resulted in a back pass falling to substitute Karl Charlton, but he fired his final shot over the bar. Brigg continued to look comfortably in control with Lee Cochrane and Scott Hellewell commanding at the back. 15 minutes from time, the game turned further in the home team’s favour when Dave Walker was sent off for a second caution.

Brigg seized the initiative and were somewhat unlucky when Paul Grimes was pushed over in the penalty area without the decision going in his favour.

However, their gradual pressure brought a second goal eight minutes from time. The ball was played out to Danny Buttle on the left wing and his cross into the goal area was turned into the back of the net by Ollie Chappell.

Soon afterwards goalkeeper Steve Hodgson made a great save to turn a stinging shot from Paul Grimes on to the bar and Alan Lamb raced in to fire the rebound over the top.

In the closing minutes Paul Grimes raced clear again, but was tackled in the penalty area by Nick Ward and was harshly shown a yellow card.

The three points gained keeps Brigg well in contention for a play-off position, but they now travel for another difficult match next Saturday when they face Romulus away on Sutton Coldfield Town’s ground.