Thursday, 7 February 2013

Report: Brockenhurst 5-1 Ringwood Tn - Wessex Div One

ON THE UP: Brock maintained their
title tilt against Ringwood Town.

DECLAN Edwards stole the headlines as Brockenhurst's debutant striker grabbed a hat-trick in a one sided yet action packed battering of Ringwood Town.

The Badgers snared the prolific marksman from championship rivals Team Solent where he had plundered 14 goals in 16 matches, but after hitting the ground running on his Grigg Lane debut, Edwards' arrival appears to have swung the Wessex One title race in Brock's favour.

The home side, inspired by veteran Warren Kenna who controlled the game from the middle of the park, bludgeoned their way past their struggling visitors at will as luckless Ringwood conceded two penalties and saw Liam Edgar carried off with a broken foot before Sean Leadbetter was given a straight red card in injury time.

From the moment Edwards found the net on 10 minutes, lashing Darren Ritchie's throughball home on the half volley, the result that saw the home side move up to second in Wessex One was never in doubt.

And when former Romsey full back Edgar, who had been in the thick of the action during a torrid opening 20 minutes, clattered former professional Kenna in the penalty area his evening ended prematurely.

Brock’s elder statesman endured a six minute delay while Edgar was carried off before seeing his fierce spot-kick beaten away by Jon Page, though Edwards was on hand to slam home the rebound.  

In a rare break, plucky Ringwood grabbed a lifeline as substitute Lee Bellows' deflected effort crept into the bottom corner, however, their joy was short lived as another looping ball into the left channel saw Kenna finish with aplomb, atoning for his earlier miss and restoring the two goal cushion.

The Badgers could have added their haul before the interval with winger Will Tickle twice brushing the frame of the goal and having a shot blocked by stand-in full back Liam Taylor while Ritchie and Edwards spurned further openings.

After the break, Brock’s tempo dropped but they continued to create chances with Kenna adding his second and the hosts' fourth, opening up and picking his spot low to Page's right from more than 20 yards.

As the match threatened to peter out substitute Jamie Rogers added impetus to the home side’s attack, chipping wide when well placed and seeing a goal chalked off for offside before drawing the foul that finally saw Edwards claim the match ball.

Tired Ringwood defender Tony Rolls, playing his second ninety minutes of the day after turning out for Brockenhurst College, cut across Rogers to make a spirited yet clumsy challenge and Edwards drilled home from 12 yards to complete the scoring.

To cap off a bad night, former Bournemouth Poppies midfielder Leadbetter challenged the assistant referee over the decision rather too vociferously and was dismissed, earning a three match ban in stoppage time of a match that was already beyond his team.

There could be no complaints over the result, and in Edwards and Kenna the Badgers have two players who could make all the difference in this season’s title tilt with the key showdown coming a week on Saturday when they entertain leaders Cowes Sports.

Cup runs saw the Grigg Lane outfit fade from contention last season, but if they get enough games from their two big hitters it is hard to bet against Brock this time around.

BROCKENHURST: O’Rourke, Young, Maher, Ritchie, Marden, Vinton, Kenna (Landers 73), Barker, Spinney (Rogers 69), Edwards, Tickle (Clarke 69). Unused subs: Morse, Man.

Goals: Edwards 10, 28, 90 (p), Kenna 40, 63.

RINGWOOD TOWN: Page, Edgar (Bellows 28), Osman, Rolls, Pearson, Leadbetter, Taylor, Hancox, Barwood, Steer (Burnett 60), Midson (Nabney 73).

Goal: Bellows 39.

STAR MAN: Warren Kenna (Brockenhurst)

Controlled this game throughout, pinging balls and bombing forward at will, piling pressure on Ringwood relentlessly until they inevitably cracked. His quality will see Brock ease past most teams at this level. Edwards’ hat-trick and Rolls’ never-say-die attitude ran Kenna close for the award, but the veteran unsurprisingly was the key that opened the Ringwood door time and time again.  

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