Butterworth strike wins it for Blues

First published in Sport

BRENTWOOD TOWN 1 WARE 0 BRENTWOOD Town put last week’s disappointment behind them, with a routine 1-0 victory over league strugglers Ware at the Arena on Saturday.

On the back of a defeat to league leaders Enfield Town, Steve Witherspoon’s men looked to bounce back.

The opening quarter of an hour was dominated by Brentwood.

Dean Green opened the game with a headed effort from just inside the box. A great cross from Lee Blackburn presented the striker with the opportunity, which flew over the Ware crossbar.

Emmanuel Osei showed great persistence on four minutes to keep the ball in play when possession looked lost. The striker then passed the ball to Butterworth, who showed good skill to backheel to Green. Green was again unable to hit the target, firing over the bar from the edge of the area. Brentwood had another opportunity to take the lead on nine minutes, when a Ryan Edgar half-volley failed to hit the target. Blackburn sent a corner into the Ware box, which was cleared only as far as Edgar. The striker struck the ball well, but failed to keep his effort down.

The only goal of the game came on 11 minutes. Danny Dafter played through Butterworth down the left, who showed great awareness to cut in on his right foot, curling his effort past Ware’s Rhys Madden. The Blues were in the ascendance, and thoroughly deserved the game’s opener.

Brentwood would have doubled their lead two minutes later had it not have been for a great save from Madden to deny Osei.

Green squared the ball to his strike partner inside the Ware box, who drilled the ball towards goal. Madden excellently stopped the shot with his legs, in what appeared to be a certain second for Brentwood.

The visitors’ best opportunity of the game came on 16 minutes. After a scrappy piece of defending from Brentwood to clear a Ware corner, the ball landed at the feet of Danny Johnson. The midfielder failed to take advantage of his opportunity, and his effort from just inside the penalty area was saved well by Elliot Justham.

Butterworth was unlucky not to grab his and his side’s second of the game on 23 minutes, in what was a carbon copy of his earlier goal. Edgar this time with the assist – Butterworth cut in from the left, but fired just wide of the far post.

A minute later, Blackburn squandered a great opportunity to double Brentwood’s lead. Osei did well to cut the ball back to the midfielder who stood unmarked in the Ware penalty area – but Blackburn’s side-footed effort flew harmlessly over the bar.

Brentwood’s best chance to take a two-goal advantage came on the half -hour mark. Butterworth crossed the ball from the byline, and with the Ware keeper helpless, Green poked over the bar from five yards.

Brentwood began the second half looking to net the all important second goal. Osei squandered a glaring opportunity to double his side’s lead on 49 minutes, with a headed effort towards an open goal. After Madden did well to block a Butterworth effort, the ball fell to the striker who was unable to guide his header.

Brentwood looked strong at the back, and it took a 35-yard strike from second half substitute Michael Akande deep into stoppage time to try to grab the equaliser. The ball was picked up unchallenged by Akande, whose effort flew agonisingly over Justham’s bar.

Saturday’s win represents a routine three points for Blues. Ware, to their credit, never gave up, and looked to steal a point from The Arena.

Brentwood: Justham, Doyle, Ted Llewellyn, Stokes, Blewitt, Dafter, Butterworth, Blackburn, Green (Espinoza 66), Osei (Dingli 74), Edgar. Unused subs: Rees, O’Rawe, Campbell.

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