Brereton Lion continued their strong cup form by comfortablly disposing of lower league side Pear Tree FC in the quarter finals of the prestigious Jock Corrigan Cup. It is fair to say that this was not a vintage Lion performance but credit to the side for dismissing this potential banana skin and working their way into the final four.
The Lion were forced into some personnel and tactical changes with many absent players, some players shamefully missing the game due to too much boozing the night before, a terrible sin to committ and Corrigan was fuming before the game. For the first time this season a 3-5-2 formation was put into place with Cushen, Lezniak and Dutton at the back , Deeley and Southwell as wing backs, Midfield trio of Crutchley, Cowlishaw and Simpson and a front two of Wright and Dunn.
The Lion opened the scoring after only five minutes when a corner was only cleared out to Cowlishaw who drilled a cross in from the touchline and JR Dutton was lurking for a tap in at the back post.
The Lion never really got their passing game going and goal number two came from a more direct route. A long kick by Dan Cushen was flicked on by Dunn into the path of Wright who took his time before slotting the ball past the keeper.
Goal number three came from a set piece. A deep corner from Cowlishaw was met by Dunn who found Ben Cushen gagging for a close range finish.
Despite the goals flooding in The Lion were not on top form, with the formation looking poor and the team crying out for the wing play of Houston. The Lion gifted the visitors a goal when Lezniak and Dutton comically collided and The Pear Tree forward slotted past Dan Cushen.
Credit to the away side who got stuck in, worked hard and tried to get in behind The Lion defence. A couple of tackles were a bit too much, with Simpson reacting badly to some rough tackling before the half time whistle.
HT 3-1 The Lion were just doing enough to win and were letting themselves down by arguing at times. The Lion switched to a 4-3-3 formation to try and add some width to their attack.
Danger man Dunn got his first of the game when a long throw by Southwell was flicked on by Dunn and after a clever dummy by JR that fooled the keeper the ball found the net.
This was now the worst period of Lion play with too much sloppy play and not enough hard work. Pear Tree found another goal after some sloppy Lion defending again, a close range effort deflecting past Dan Cushen.
The Pear Tree were not helped at this point by one of their players getting sent off for constant dissent and bad tackles.
With fifteen minutes to go The Lion finally decided to make the score a little bigger. A class finish from Dunn made it goal number 5. Dunn leaped acrobatically like an 8 stone ballerina to side volley the ball past the keeper.
The Lion added two more goals to finish the game off. Both goals were made by Simpson who whipped in two expert deliverys. Wright made it goal number 22 for the season with his tap in and Cowlishaw got a goal with a close range header.
Full Time 7-2.
Not the best Lion display but good to progress. Not sure who we got next but it will be out of Ridware, Rugeley and probably Brereton Town. Next game is this tuesday night at home to Ridware in the league. 6;15 ko.
Man of the match: Not exactly a lot of candidates, no one really stood out but once again Crutchley showed how much he adds to the midfiled with superb tackling, talking and passing.