By David Foy
The Orange Army got their Pre-Season campaign underway with a comfortable 5-0 win over Sheffield.
All five goals came in the second half with a hat-trick from Jack Boyle, a trialist striker, plus Eli Hey who both scored also.
In what was a typical first Pre-Season match the first half had little incident with both teams struggling to find a consistency to their games. The first Sheffield ‘keeper James Pollard at every opportunity choosing to try the long ball up to their forward who was marked by the much taller Brighouse Captain Kurt Harris a prime example of the type of play being deployed.
With news prior to kickoff being that both teams were to field seperate squads in each half this also added to the disjointed nature of the match flow.
For the first half myself and Cameron McAlpin (your new Brighouse Town Radio team) gave our Brighouse ‘Man of the First Half’ to Javelle Clarke. The winger causing all sorts of problems for the Sheffield backline starting out first on the left before switching midway through the half to the right. Town’s trialist Left Back playing number three found Clarke on numerous occasions with Joe Jagger always an option for a flick-on from a throw in. Gaining mixed results it was also a Jagger mis-hit that set up one of the best chances of the first half. A ball in from that man Clarke from the right was sliced in the middle of the box from Jagger who inadvertently set up Eddie Church on the left in the box. His shot missed however.
The best chance of the half however fell to Jagger who was through, he went one-on-one with the ‘keeper central to the Sheffield goal. The goalie spread himself just inside the box with the shot hitting him squarely and away.
Sheffield had a half chance that was well over Matt Smith’s crossbar before moments later Eddie Church headed a looping header just over also.
Halftime and with that complete changes to both teams. Mere moments into the second half Eli Hey pounced to make it 1-0 to Brighouse with a tidy finish into the bottom corner of the second Sheffield ‘keeper.
Sheffield then had a solid five minute period of pressure and possession which admittedly never worried the Brighouse goal too much.
The second goal brought an end to this however. Once more a tidy finish from Brighouse. Sheffield subbed goalies for a third time with Jonathan Hedge entering the field of play. Anyone familiar with Non-League football in West Yorkshire will know that Hedge won back-to-back titles with near neighbours Halifax Town back in 2010 and 2011 keeping 44 clean sheets in 98 appearances.
The first meaningful thing he had to do was pick the third Brighouse goal out of his net. The trialist wearing number eleven twisting and turning out wide on the left of the box. He fired hard at Hedge’s near post with him getting both hands to the ball but to no avail. The trialist whilst diminituve doing his chances of earning a contract with the club no harm.
Town added the fourth soon after. Alhassane Keita played a through ball to Boyle who with compusure slotted past Hedge.
Boyle completed the scoring and his hat trick fives minutes later. Receiving it in the book he turned and curled the ball into the bottom corner.
Whilst the temptation was to award the ‘Man of the Second Half’ to Eli Hey who was very busy and effective in the front line, attention was instead turned to Brighouse number two T’nique Fishley who had a fabulous half in nullifying the big and physical Sheffield number eight for that half. The Sheffield man’s only chance a tame shot in his right foot that was well wide of goal.
Brighouse XI First Half: Matt Smith (GK), Joe Wilkinson, Trialist, Trialist, Kurt Harris, Harrison Beeden, Eddie Church, Josh Grant, Joe Jagger, Thomas Haigh, Javelle Clarke.
Brighouse XI Second Half: George Clarke (GK), T’nique Fishley, Trialist, Trialist, Trialist, Harrison Beeden, Alhassane Keita, Eli Hey, Jack Boyle, Trialist.