Home league match played on 23 September 2012.
Kicked off at 10:30 AM

Once again Brereton Lion can count themselves unlucky not to get at least a point in a battling display in the Premier League. Reigning champions Belt Road were the opposition for the first league game of the season at Armitage Lane. Manager Craig Corrigan was again struggling to find eleven players to don the red and white shirt, with a crippling injury list resulting in Cowlishaw, Salt, Houston, Southwell all missing alongside Crozier, Cunningham, Hackett (Matty and Mark) and Dan Stockhall. A lot of players missing, and some quality players who would of helped make The Lion even more competitive in this tricky fixture. 


The Lion had two new players making their debuts, young winger Jay Robertson being chucked in at the deep end, making his first start in men's football after impressing in training. Right winger Sam Deeley was the second debutant, who impressed with his composure on the ball but needs to add match fitness after missing pre-season. A swift attacking move by forwards Wright and Dunn straight from kick off resulted in Dunn forcing a powerful save from Belt Road keeper Francis. Francis continued to thwart the Lion attack, making some outstanding saves, with one spectaluar save in the first half stopping an own goal.

Simpson and Daley were partners in the engine room again, impressing once more with neat footwork, sharp passing and clever movement. The Lion defence of Matyus, Cushen, Dutton and Cockayne were organised, commited and quick to close down the dangerous Belt forward line. The Lion were guilty of wasting some decent chances, however as half time neared it was the Lion that were seeing more of the ball with debutant winger Robertson impresing by showing a nice first touch. Dan Cushen in the home nets was his usual steady self, always reassuring his defence by oozing calmness.


HT 0-0         The Lion were proving more than a match for their illustrious opponents and really should have come in leading. Belt Road's 3-5-2 formation and quick passing was causing minor problems, with forward Wright being forced into a more defensive position.


The second half kicked off at a quick tempo, with both sides trying hard to find the first goal. On fifty five minutes it was the visitors who scored the games only goal, with a superb twenty yard first time volley dropping into the net and leaving Dan Cushen with no chance. It took a wonder goal to get past the excellent home defence. 

This goal changed the whole emphasis of the match into The Belt's favour. They never had to chase the game, and they brought on three strong subs who all helped them keep posssession well and defend in numbers. The Lion were crying out for some fresh legs around the hour mark, however The Lion simply never had the options on the bench. Frustrating. The Lion huffed and puffed but could not find an equaliser. Francis in goals showed excellent handling late on when The Lion went more direct in search off Dunn to try and snatch a goal. 


Never nice to lose but plenty of positives. A tremendous attitude shown by all, good workrate and chances were created. Just a little bit of magic in the final third was missing at times.


MOM= Stu Simpson. Pushed close by another superb JR Dutton performance the little magician ran his socks off to try and grab a goal. A jewel in the Lion crown, this player will be key to the Lion's future sucess. 

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