TOUCHLINE TUESDAY Millbrook AFC 2 Helston Athletic 0

Western LeaguelogoAll the talk before this game was about the return of former Millbrook favourites Tom Payne and Rikki Shepherd to Jenkins Park for the first time since their summer move to Helston.

Most of the talk afterwards was about two talented Brook youngsters who do not look out of place in Western League premier football.

Striker Josh Johnson broke the deadlock three minutes into the second half and wing back Laurence Murray secured victory five minutes from time.

Johnson showed the instincts of a good striker to be in the right place at the right time while the way Murray took his goal showed maturity beyond his years.

All of which left Millbrook seventh in the table with three valuable points against a good Helston side in conditions which were not conducive to passing football.

Millbrook manager Macca Brown revealed: “It was touch and go a couple of hours before kick-off when a few heavy downpours came in, but I’m obviously delighted the game was able to go ahead.

“I thought the lads played well, we freshened it up a little from Saturday despite a good result against Buckland and I think that helped.

“We were mindful Helston didn’t have a game on Saturday and sometimes we can be a bit leggy on a Tuesday night and it’s an area I’ve not really managed to well in the past.

“We lost Thommo (Sean Thomson) and Knighty (Ryan Knight) on the day of the game so had to reshuffle slightly, but it seemed to actually work in our favour.”

Both teams had to endure a strong wind blowing across the pitch from grandstand to dug out area.

Brown said: “I think the weather had a big impact, which made it tough for both sets of players to find any real quality but the effort was immense.

“Ed Goodman in midfield typified the performance, he was outstanding. In an age where we talk about centre midfielders as number 4s, 6s or 8s, his performance was a throwback to when a centre midfielder just did everything, he was a 4, a 6 and an 8 rolled into one, he was everywhere.”

After a predictably scrappy first half where Helston had the edge, Millbrook swept ahead within three minutes of the restart and Brown said: “It was then a case of working hard, staying focussed and defending well.

“Helston naturally started to have more possession as the rhythm of the game changed and they had moments of quality in our half but didn’t test Chris (Wearing).

“And then Muzza broke play up with 10 minutes to go and drove forward, something we have talked to him about doing more of, and finished brilliantly to wrap it up.

“Payney had a couple of free kicks and we know better than anyone what he can do in that position, but that did seem like the most likely way they were going to hurt us as the game went on.”

Indeed Payne’s final free kick, deep into time added on, struck the bar and earlier he had produced a couple of excellent defence-splitting passes, but generally Millbrook kept him and Shepherd quiet.

Brown added: “Four points in the last couple games is a good return against two good sides, but at home we have to expectations of that.

“We now have a huge test away at Ashton and Backwell on Saturday, so we know it’s time to start delivering on the road as well.”

SWSN Star Ed Goodman

Western League fixtures this weekend


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