Table-toppers Brockenhurst march on with win over Blackfield in Wessex League
Wessex League Premier
Blackfield & Langley FC 1
Brockenhurst FC 4
PREMIER division leaders Brockenhurst marched on with an impressive 4-1 victory over Blackfield & Langley at the Gang Warily Recreation Centre.
The goals came from Silvano Obeng, Lyle Simpson and a Christie Ward brace as the Badgers preserved their six-point gap over their closest challengers, Horndean.
The Watersiders' solitary strike came from Sam Woodward, who found the back of the net on his debut.
The hosts started the match looking to get in behind the Blackfield back-line. However, a couple of tight offside calls went against them.
After 12 minutes, Lyle Simpson was played in, held his nerve and came out on top in a one-on-one with Amadeusz Skrzyniarz. A few spectators felt Obeng was offside in the build-up, but referee Chloe-Ann Anderson awarded the goal nonetheless.
Blackfield grew into the game for a brief spell, but a superbly organised Brock defence dealt with any counter-attacks that came their way.
Christie Ward doubled the advantage in the 20th minute when right-back Connor Ings played in a brilliant cross for the 17-year-old to head into the top corner.
Blackfield had a decent spell with the ball, and after half an hour new boy Woodward pulled one back. Unfortunately for the Watersiders, this spurred Patrick McManus' side into action, and it was primarily one-way traffic from then on out.
Blackfield's top-scorer Rafa Ramos had a glorious chance to level the match from 15 yards, but his effort ballooned over the bar.
Obeng, who had missed the club's last two matches, announced his return with a bang. Despite being dragged back by the defender, he calmly slotted the under the keeper to make it 3-1
The goal took the prolific striker's tally to 19, seven ahead of second-placed Connor Duffin of Horndean.
The Badgers effectively won the match in the 70th minute with a bullet header from Ward, the brother of former AFC Bournemouth keeper Callum Ward, off a beautiful Brad Magookin free-kick.
Brockenhurst's James Mayo then produced a remarkable double save that left all corners of the ground applauding as the New Forest-based side managed the game out to secure all three points.
Brockenhurst: J. Mayo, C. Ings, P. Wilson, R. Moore, J. Smith, B. Magookin, J. Shorey, S. Yang, S. Obeng, C. Ward, L. Simpson. Subs: J. Broad, L. Carbayo-Borges, M. Sheedy, M. Taylor, J. Nwachukwu.
Blackfield & Langley: A. Skrzyniarz, J. Woods, J. Francis, H. Bertrand, J. Barton, H. Cooper, L. Gray, D. Panesar-Dower, A. Zintany, S. Woodward, R. Ramos. Subs B. Gale, R. Macey, A. Pattison, T. Rutten, C. Khider.