SDFL Division Three
East Allington 2, Meadowbrook Athletic 7
Meadowbrook Athletic travelled to East Allington with hopes of obtaining all three points in order to maintain one of the top positions in the table.
In their first two games since the Christmas break Brook have struggled to regain their previous form and lost both their away fixtures at Chudleigh and Broadmeadow after disappointing performances.
However, last Saturday their excellent showing particularly, in the second half, against bottom-of-the-table Allington, ensured that they not only got the three points but also scored their best tally for a number of years.
At the start of the game both sides came and immediately starting playing with energy and commitment, particularly in midfield.
Gradually Brook started to push forward as Craig Kerswell, James Howrihane and David Shilston consolidated their control of the centre of the pitch.
Thus Brook were somewhat taken by surprise when it was the home team who went ahead after 10 minutes with their first real attacking move of the game.
This set back seemed to motivate Brook to action, with Dan Jones and Jamie Easton making some good runs on the wings. Within a short time Brook had levelled the score when David Topham slid an intelligent pass through to Tom Hingston, who firmly slotted the ball home to score the first of his magnificent four-goal haul.
As the first half continued both sides continued to enthusiastically battle to go into the lead and with Sam Fenegan, as always, energetically marshalling the Brook defences the Allington forwards gradually began to lose their momentum.
Despite the best efforts of both teams, when the referee blew for the break it was Brook, in particular, who knew that they needed to significantly up their performance and play in a more co-ordinated style.
After a convincing half-time discussion, led by joint-manager Phil Collings, Brook emerged and immediately started pushing the game into the Allington half.
Within 10 minutes of the restart an excellent corner by Easton was fiercely headed into the net by Ross Davis and this breakthrough seemed to totally unsettle the home side.
A minute later a desperate defensive lunge by an Allington defender cost them a penalty which was confidently converted by Sam Benjamin-Guest.
Things then started to go from bad to worse for the home team and after only another two minutes it was Hingston who weaved around the defence and past the stranded Allington ‘keeper to score Brook’s fourth goal.
But Allington never capitulated and this lively game took another twist when they started a fight-back and successfully reduced the deficit to a two goal margin when the Brook defence lost their concentration.
Sensing a possible revival by their opponents, any nerves felt by the visiting supporters were immediately dispelled when Topham put the game beyond Allington’s reach when he scored Brook’s fifth goal.
Despite their predicament Allington continued to fight and it took a couple of fine saves by Brook goalie, Adam Baker, to deny them any consolation goals.
The visitors’ second-half dominance – and Hingston’s excellent contribution – was confirmed when he not only completed his hat-trick but also went on to score his fourth goal.
This 7-2 victory gave Brook their biggest winning margin for many years and ensured that despite being a newly promoted club they fully deserve their position as a promotion-chasing team in this very demanding league.