On Remembrance Sunday the Lion had a game to forget as they entertained Darcys FC in the 2nd round of the highly prestigious Staffs Premier Cup.
A busy Social welcomed Darcys FC and their travelling support, with a highly anticipated game on the cards. In the previous round both sides had overcome strong opposition and both were looking for passage into the quarter finals.
Brereton Lion were dealt late injury news with the recently in-form Cunningham being ruled out with a wrist injury and midfield dynamo Cowlishaw being unavailable. Daley was unavailable for selection also, so the returning Stockhall came into the side. Manager Corrigan gave Keegan Grant his 1st start of the season, very much deserved, a player with a lot of promise indeed.
From the offset the opposition were attempting to stamp their physical presence on the game, but in Lion style the lads were not getting bullied and were more than willing to show their battling qualities.
The Lion went behind early on when the Darcys centre half was able to charge onto the end a corner and power home a header to give the away side the lead. This was a wake up call for the Lion and they replied very shortly after when a corner taken by Stockhall crept in at the near post to level the tie.
Then typical controversy from the man in the middle (Williscroft) as he handed the away side a penalty for an adjudged shirt pull by Carter on the Darcys defender from a corner. Up stepped the Darcys winger who slotted past Cushen to give Darcys the lead once more.
Characteristically the Lion continued to try and play football on the horrendous surface and were looking to get the speedy Grant in behind, but were unable to break through and make that killer pass time and time again. The away side looked dangerous with every attack and the home side were having to soak up Darcys pressure and look to spring on the counter.
HALF TIME: BRERETON LION 1 – 2 DARCYS FC
With the tie poised at 2-1 to Darcys the Lion needed to hit that high tempo and work rate that saw them power past Dresden in the previous round. The away side with the sun in their faces came out of the traps quicker than the hosts and extended their league when a dubious free kick was whipped into the box and powerfully headed home. 3 – 1 Darcys.
Manager Corrigan looking for inspiration, brought on Wright and Dunn and the pair looked to cause havoc on the away defence. Recent star performer Baker was starved of service throughout in an overall frustrating display.
Darcys continued their powerful forward play and furthered their lead when a shot was parried by Cushen only for the winger to smash home. 4 – 1 Darcys.
Despite the score line Brereton continued to play and were pushing for a goal that could give a glimmer of hope on a potential comeback. However disaster for the Lion as midfield battler Carter was sent for an early bath after a heavy late challenge on the visiting defender. Williscroft was yet again the star of the show in the middle and his decisions enraged both sides throughout the fixture. Seemingly a regular theme Mr Williscroft sending off Lion players.
The introduction of Dunn as expected gave the visitors a shock as his power and guile was unmatched by the Darcys defence and Dunn looked dangerous, non more so that when he squared for the prolific Wright who slotted home to spark a potential comeback and to redeem some pride.
Lifted by Wrights goal, chances came and went with Cushen who failed to direct his header goal bound and a great chance for Stockhall to play in Baker who was unmarked and free on goal but opting for a 30 yard pot shot.
Darcys took hold of the game with their one man advantage for the remainder of the game and bossed throughout. The visitors finished the game off when the Darcys striker raced through on goal before slotting passed Cushen to complete a comprehensive rout. Game over.
FULL TIME: BRERETON LION 2 – 5 DARCYS FC
The Staffs Premier Cup is well documented as the Champions League of Sunday morning football and Brereton Lion met a very strong side in Darcys. Unable to continue the hardworking, high tempo mentality seen in previous weeks the Lion were punished. Credit to Darcys who managed to play football on the terrible Social surface, they will test any side in the cup this season. Williscroft yet again proved to be a thorn in the Social side, giving a soft penalty and penalising Social players for ‘nothing’ tackles yet watched the hosts twice raise their hands in aggression without being disciplined.
MOM: JR – Endeavoured throughout the game against very strong forwards.