On a cold late autumn morning Brereton Lion made the journey to Cannock. Although the Lion had a depleted squad to choose from yet again there was still enough quality within the side to have eased past Bar Sports of Division 2, however it wasn’t to be.
The game started in a frantic manner with little quality shown from either side. A midfield battle ensued with Cole and JR having to work hard picking up midfielders running from deep. Midway through the first half Lion carved open the first chance of the game with Wright latching onto a through ball, rounding the keeper but unable to find the incoming Hackett. Then against the run of play Bar Sports took a surprise lead on 30 minutes, with the Sports left winger causing the Lion defence trouble and with the help of a few deflections the ball fell to the Bar Sports striker who engineered a scuffed effort that went past Cushion and Franklins goal line clearance unfortunately cannoned off the unaware the striker and into the net. Brereton Lion picked up the pace realising they had a game on their hands and on 40 minutes Lion got a deserved equaliser. A quick goal kick from Cushion found Wright who found Hackett with a lovely cross field ball and the tricky winger controlled well before firing past the Sports keeper. Just before half time Lion should have taken the lead with some fine link up play between Phillips and Dutton, with the latter being clean through on goal but unable to apply the required finish. Half time, Bar Sports 1-1 Brereton Social Lion.
Brereton Lion started the second half strongly creating chances from either flank, with Hackett getting through on goal only to be denied by the keeper and Wright spurning a glorious chance from 6 yards. Then on 55 minutes Bar Sports took the lead. A deep free kick was pumped into the box and the unmarked striker was able to loop home a header into the far corner in off the post. After going behind Lion seemingly allowed heads to drop and just couldn’t apply the quality in the final third to break through a prehistoric Bar Sports defence. On 70 minutes a free kick from the left found JR who rose well only to power his header off the post. Another chance fell to Wright who couldn’t get the ball out of his feet and his shot came off the defender. The cup tie became even harder on 80 minutes when Bar Sports grabbed a 3rd. A goal of pure stereotypical Sunday morning quality, a weighty hoof forward from the Sports keeper wasn’t dealt with by the Lion defence and a very hesitant Cushion allowed the Bar Sports skipper to roam from midfield and nip in finishing with a header over the despairing keeper. The final 10 minutes didn’t make for good viewing with Lion players showing little fight when losing the ball.
Overall it has to be said that had Brereton Lion taken their chances they would be in the hat for the next round, however Lion really must get out of this lapsy daisy attitude and start showing some character, graft and determination when the chips are down! Hopefully the Lion boys can pick it up next week when they entertain Brownhills Lions in the Lichfield Charity cup.