Bush Hill v Brockenhurst Pre-season friendly Saturday 8th July 2017

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As the father of sometimes warring siblings I can attest that at times there seems to be no stronger impulse than the desire to get one over your brother, or sister. Perhaps it’s this way too with the McManus Brothers Pat, manager of Wessex Premier side Brockenhurst, and his brother Eugene, who is in charge of reigning Hampshire League champions Bush Hill. If so then it was definitely Pat who got one over Eugene on this occasion as his Brockenhurst side spent an afternoon destroying his brothers team winning emphatically by a 7-0 score line.

In truth there was only ever one side in it as Brocks’ quality told throughout. In Will Tickle and recent signing from Team Solent Matt Sheedy Brock possessed a liveliness up front which Bush Hill struggled to contain whilst their number 11 weighed in with two early goals, the first when despite slipping over the ball he recovered to poke it past the Bush Hill ‘keeper and the second a delightful arcing lob from the left which left the Bush Hill ‘keeper stranded. Similarly Brock controlled the midfield snuffing out any vague hope of a Bush Hill attack whilst their Goliath-like centre back formed an effective last-line of defence along with their number 3 who provided a masterful display in the air, leaving the Bush Hill number 9 totally cut off from any attempts to reach him over the top.

Bush Hill did little to help their cause and Brocks third appeared to be an own goal, a defender turning a low cross into their net under pressure from Tickle. Their fourth came in the second half when Sheedy dispossessed the Bush Hill goalkeeper to slot into an empty net. Equally comic was the fifth as a miss-hit goal kick made it only as far as a Brock player on the edge of the box. It was already clear that it just wasn’t Bush Hill’s day.

Between these goals Bush Hill did manage a few attacks, their number 2 barrelling down Brocks exposed right flank on three separate occasions. On the first he puts a cross in which meets a Bush Hill head, only to be headed over. Taking it into his own hands the second time he blazes wide and on the third he slips over the ball, staying down long after play returns to the other end. Having clearly given it his all the result of these efforts is a back injury which sees him effectively reduced to the role of spectator for the remainder of the game. A Bush Hill player also succeeds in getting a shot on target, but Brocks substitute ‘keeper proves equal to it and makes a good save.

Brock however were not finished and the sixth Brock goal is scored by their number four who neatly flicks in a cross with his feet in whilst their seventh and final goal causes a little confusion to spectators as the shot appears to arrow through a hole in the net. The referee correctly awards it and Bush Hill line up once again for the kick off, straight after which the referee blows for time – probably much to the relief of the Bush Hill players.

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