Willington 1 Brandon United 2 – Ebac Northern League Division Two:

In horse racing parlance the going was heavy.  Very heavy.

The recent bad weather had done the pitch no favours at all, with patches very claggy underfoot, making runs and passes a challenge for the teams.  It wasn’t a night for elegant football.

Willington took an early lead – Kieron Gellatley with a well weighted cross that was met by No. 9 Luke Smithyman who was given all the time and space he needed to choose his spot and plant a header into the Brandon net.

The game then got bogged down into a bit of a scrap until Brandon found an equaliser in the 25th minute at the third time of asking.  The ball was sent into the Willington area where Kobe Bewicke had his first shot blocked.  Team mate Callum Oldfield picked up the rebound and his shot was well saved by keeper Harvey Gunn.  In turn his shot rebounded back to Bewicke and he made no mistake in finding the net to make it 1-1.

The visitors had the upper hand for the rest of the half.  Adam Knowles sent a shot over the bar and then Connor Ward tried to score with an audacious effort – scooping the ball over his head with both feet as he lay on the ground on the six yard line, but it was Wilington sub Jack Evans who came closest to scoring on the stroke of half-time, taking the ball round a defender and keeper Aaron Skelton only to put the ball into the side netting.

It was more of the same in the second half – with Brandon with most of the possession and attacks without testing Gunn in the Willington goal until the 70th minute when they worked the winner.  Knowles broke down the right before passing the ball across to Drew Lake who drilled it past Gunn.

Despite more attacks, the visitors couldn’t find a third.  Willington defender Robert O’Connor slid in with a perfectly timed tackle just as Lake was about to shoot; Gunn pushed away a Scott Oldfield shot; and Aaron Willoughby delivered a couple of crosses but team mates couldn’t convert them.

Mike Snowdon