Tuesday 14 March 2023

Ground #379 - Silkmore Lane

Date: 5th March 2023
Ground: Silkmore Lane
Location: Brocton, Staffordshire

My fourth new ground of 2023 was on Sunday 5th March at Silkmore Lane in Brocton, Staffordshire. The game was Brocton vs. Stockport Georgians in the North West Counties League Division One South.

Silkmore Lane is located in a residential area in the village of Brocton, on the southern edge of Stafford. The ground is bordered by housing to the north, south and west with a line of trees and a river to the east. The venue has two full-size pitches with the club utilising the western one for their games. The ground is 1.5 miles south-east of Stafford railway station and became home to the club around 2008 after it was converted from a Staffordshire Police complex. Prior to this Brocton had experienced a nomadic existence with a number of homes in the preceding years. 

The two stands are on the western side of the ground by the halfway line. On the southern side of the line is an all-seater structure with 100 seats spread across four rows. A few feet from this an identical stand minus the seats with the same capacity of 100 for covered standing. The remainder of the ground is uncovered standing.

The two ends have netting behind the goals providing cover for cars parked in this area. The north-east corner has cabins for dressing rooms, toilets and a clubhouse consisting of a little function room. There is also a little snack bar in this area as well. The eastern side backs onto the adjacent pitch with an unusual situation of dugouts built next to each other facing opposite directions.

The match saw two top-half sides with Brocton securely in the play-offs in 3rd spot and Stockport in 7th within touching distance of said play-offs. A quiet first half saw the closest chance falling the way of Stockport on the half-hour mark when Sam Oliver's dipping 25-yard free-kick went just over the bar. There was little for either keeper to do beyond that in the first period. Into the second half and Brocton's Regan Smith was causing the away defence problems. In the 52nd minute a long ball found him on the right side of the box only for him to spurn it by dragging the ball well wide. Six minutes later Smith dispossessed the visiting keeper on the edge of the box but by the time he'd gathered himself the keeper was back in the goal and able to get down and save his effort. in the 61st minute Smith was given his best opportunity and this time he took it. Christian Blanchette had been tripped on the edge of the box and Smith drilled his free-kick low past the keeper's left into the bottom corner. A few minutes after this Blanchette was in the action again with a low shot in the box well saved by the keeper. This spell in the third quarter of the game proved crucial for Brocton as they ran out 1-0 winners.

Result: Brocton 1-0 Stockport Georgians
Division: North West Counties League Division One South
Attendance: 457

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