A brace from winger Jamie Greenwood within the first twenty minutes earned a depleted Badgers a hard fought 2-0 victory against a Salts team who inflicted the hosts’ first defeat of the season two weeks ago.
With many absentees, manager Stewart Kinnear was forced to reshuffle his team before kick off. Matthew Wilson and Aaron Whitaker both returned to centre half and Greenwood was placed on the left wing while Gary Earle was rewarded for his back to back man of the matches with the reserves to join captain Mark Hardman in midfield.
A quick start from Broomhill was almost rewarded when, following great work to beat two defenders to a loose ball, striker Andy Tanner shot narrowly wide from a difficult angle.
This served as a precursor when Greenwood tapped home from six yards following a squared ball from Jake Ward.
With Salts only playing a lone striker, the entire Broomhill defence was enjoying plenty of possession and it was through this that the second goal came. Right back Chris Reynolds carried the ball unchallenged into the Salts half and played a one-two with Joe Slater. On receiving the return pass, he whipped a perfect low ball across the six yard box for the on rushing Greenwood to tap in at the back post for his second.
The lack of players available for selection for Broomhill this week was then brought to the forefront as the impressive Wilson pulled up injured on the half hour mark.
This enforced the whites to use their only substitute and rejig the entire formation.
Patrick King was brought into midfield and Greenwood was brought to right back, resorting to a 4-5-1 formation.
Broomhill weathered the next fifteen minutes of increased pressure as Salts smelled a way back into the game but ultimately the makeshift defence held out until half time.
The second half was a rather dull affair with Broomhill content to see the game out while Salts offered no threat going forward, outside of a few half chances towards the end.
Tanner had a few chances to seal the win – one a superb effort from 25 yards which hit the crossbar and another which was smartly saved by the keeper – while Slater went close on a few occasions.
However, with the midfield three of Hardman, King and man of the match Earle keeping disciplined and compact, Salts were effectively stopped at their source and the Badgers saw out the game to earn the valuable three points to remain third in the table.
Next week sees the Badgers travel to top of the table Carleton in the Plant Hire trophy with the momentum of this victory and the return of a number of key players to boost their chances in what will surely be their most difficult test of the season so far.
Report by Aaron Whitaker