Broomhill striker Andy Tanner scored all four goals to earn the victory against 10 man Polonia in the Badgers opening game of the new season.
Playing an unfamiliar formation, the Badgers were instructed by stand in manager Ghufran Bashir to start quick and press the opposition from the first whistle.
This paid dividends as Broomhill were 1-0 up within a minute of the game. Centre back David Rhodes slid a ball through to Tanner who beat the offside trap and slotted home into the bottom corner.
After taking this lead, the Badgers slowed the pace and allowed Polonia to control the tempo for the next fifteen minutes. Playing on a wet greasy surface, the home side were passing the ball with real pace and eventually played a ball through the three man Broomhill defence. Keeper Jake Yaxley committed himself to the ball but clipped the onrushing winger, conceding the penalty which the Polonia striker fired home.
This was to be Polonia’s only shot on goal in the first half while Broomhill continued to press for another goal. Further chances fell to Tanner who made the keeper work on several occasions and midfielder Aaron Whitaker who also had a chance to give the whites the lead again after great skill taking two players out of the game with a chip over both and subsequent volley.
The Broomhill back three of Rhodes, Chris Holroyd and Matty Wilson were untroubled and were getting plenty of time on the ball. One such time, Holroyd played a ball into man of the match Jake Ward’s feet on the half way line. Ward flicked the ball through with a first time back heel to Tanner who beat the offside trap and passed the ball in for his second of the game.
The Badgers settled after this and the midfield three of Whitaker, Mark Hardman and Patrick King were now able to have more of an impact on the game. A long ball from defence was dummied by Tanner and King – impressive throughout in a more advanced central role – ran onto the through ball, being pulled back in the area and winning a penalty.
Tanner stepped up to score his first hat trick of the season within half an hour.
The second half was a similar scenario for the first fifteen minutes as Tanner bagged his fourth on the hour mark. A cross by Rhodes skidded off the surface and found the striker at the back post to head into the far corner.
Things then turned from bad to worse for Polonia as they had a man sent off for a foul on Ward, who was clear through on goal.
This should’ve been game over but Polonia rallied for the next twenty minutes and brought the score to 4-3 within minutes – first through another penalty conceded by Hardman for a dubious handball and secondly a scuffed shot which rebounded off the post to be tapped home by an unmarked player.
Broomhill upped the tempo again and could’ve had more goals to seal the victory through substitute Joe Slater and another clear Whitaker chance but it wasn’t to be.
This was a difficult game in difficult conditions which the Badgers came through with all the points, setting the benchmark for the season – albeit with a few areas of improvement identified by managers Stewart Kinnear and Bashir.