Away cup match played on 01 September 2013.
Kicked off at 10:30 AM


Brereton Lion continued to show their fine form this season with a potentially tricky first round cup tie against premier division rivals Premier Suite FC. The Lion made the short trip to Hednesford putting in a great hardworking display in which they fully deserved the victory and their place in the hat for the next round. All associated with the Lion will be hoping for a great cup run in the Cannock Chase cup after coming so close last season.


With the Lion now packing a squad full of high quality there appears to be a strong hunger and competition for places within the starting XI. Missing from action this week were Daley (back injury), Crozier (injury), Dan Cushen (work) and Chandler who was on international duty. Returning to the Lion set up was record goalscorer Tommy Wright and Tom Cunningham. Joining the squad for the first time was new signing Bullet Baker who completed his £21.6 million switch from arch rivals Rugeley United, a big welcome to a great player. Dennis Hibbs’ chequebook has taken a battering this summer in bringing in some great quality to add to an already highly talented squad.


Brereton Lion were expecting a tough battle against Premier Suite who having gained promotion from Division 1 last season would no doubt be a test for the Lion. The game got under way and the Lion from the off looked hungry and in a real mood to play football on the narrow pitch of the hosts. Midfielders, Simpson, Stockhall and Cowlishaw were all looking very impressive, getting the ball down and playing through the hosts midfield. Returning to the starting 11 was the highly energetic winger Houston, a player who will be looking to get his fitness and sharpness back after a lengthy summer break. The Premier Suite looked to test the Lion defence with a long ball system, but with each attempt their efforts were met by the ever imperious defensive duo of Cushen and Dutton, who have formed a very strong defensive partnership in recent weeks. In goal was Lion legend Phillips, who stood in for the missing Cushen and was tested early by a defensive error from Franklin who inexplicably flicked a Suite attempt goal bound but Phillips was switched on and had to readjust his feet to make a fine stop and save Franklins blushes. The game was all Lion who looked very sharp all over the pitch, Crutchley was battling well in middle and Matyus was commanding the right flank very well, not letting the nippy winger in behind Lion lines. On 18 minutes Brereton Lion were granted a penalty for a push in the box and up stepped the confident Stockhall who made no mistake and gave the Lion a deserved lead. More chances came and went for the Lion who at times looked brilliant, Simpsons drive down the left was giving the hosts’ defence a real tough time. However on 29 minutes a Premier Suite set piece was blocked by the bear like hands of Dunn and a penalty was awarded. Up stepped the Suite captain whose penalty narrowly beat Phillips to make the tie 1-1. On 32 minutes there was a moment of pure magic from Cowlishaw. The ball fell to Cowlishaw who struck a powerful swerving effort from 25 yards that flew into the top left corner of the net, the travelling Lion fans were delirious with such an exquisite strike and early goal of the season contender.


HALF TIME: Premier Suite FC 1 - 2 Brereton Lion


The half time team talk was heavy on the impetus of keeping up the hard work and resilience shown in the 1st half. No changes were made from the Lion management as the second half got under way and the hosts were immediately put under pressure from the Lion side. A corner was awarded on 47 minutes and was splayed short from Simpson to Cowlishaw who drove into the box and struck a powerful left foot strike that took a slight nick off possibly Crutchley, however the dubious goals panel have granted the goal to Cowlishaw for the hard work and initial certain goal bound effort. At 3-1 the Lion now had full control of the game and the graceful giant Dunn who put in another fine display, full of flicks and tricks that had the hosts defence in knots all morning. Brereton Lion improved their lead with a 4th goal on 55 minutes as a goal kick from Dutton was perfectly flicked onto the running Stockhall who slotted accurately into the bottom corner  to get his second of the game. Manager Corrigan replaced Cowlishaw with midfield battler Carter who returned to the side after a week away and gave the Lion midfield a more defensive look, looking to see out the tie. A flurry of attacks from Premier Suite resulted in a goal from a well directed free kick from the hosts skipper. Was it game on at 4-2??? With 70 minutes on the clock Corrigan gave new signing Baker his Lion debut in a straight swap for Dunn. Baker immediately showed his quality with some nice trickery and hold up play, linking up nicely with Stockhall and Houston. Stockhall put the game to bed on 82 minutes when he closed down the Suite defence and forced a goalkeeper error and was left with the chance to slot home to collect his first hatrick in Lion colours. With the cup tie well and truly over there was still a moment of comedy from the returning Cunningham who was found by a superb run and pass from Baker had the simple task of tapping home into the empty net from 6 yards but some how put his effort wide, much to the applause from spectators of both sides.


FULL TIME: Premier Suite FC 2 – 5 Brereton Lion


A superb display from the Lion who dismantled a good premier league side with skill, hard work and a real showing of togetherness that was evident all over the pitch. Defensively the Lion looked very strong with Cushen, Dutton and Matyus battling brilliantly through out. In midfield, the creativity of Stockhall and Cowlishaw accompanied with the unselfish work of Crutchley gave the Lion a really strong looking middle 3. Wingers Simpson and Houston ran themselves into the ground and worked tirelessly all game. Dunn yet again showed his quality of being not just a target man but a true leader of the Lion attack. The Lion bench when released onto the pitch just showed what quality we have in depth, Baker, Carter and Cunningham all came on and put their immediate stamps on the game. For the subs that didn’t get to feature, please keep your heads up and remember the squad morals and mentality that I truly believe will see us into a season full of success.


MOM = Dan Stockhall. Hatrick hero.


Lion, Lioooon…LIIIOOOONNN!!!!!

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