Brereton Lion helped ease their relegation worries and made another giant climb to avoid the dreaded drop from the premier league by picking up their third league win in a row. The game was played at the Social and was in doubt for a while with the visiting side Red, White and Blue (RWB) gaining a bit of a bad reputation for not fielding a side for away games. Fair play to them though they, they rocked up with 14 players and were up for the game. I think the fact that Lion were sitting at the bottom of the league helped make up their minds about playing the game!
Once again Corrigan and Phillips had selection headaches with 16 players available for the game. Absent for the night were Dan Cushen, Debo, Daley and Cockayne. The management kept faith with the side that won on the weekend, with top scorer Wright replacing Matty Hackett who was rushing back from work. Its fair to say that its hard work at the moment trying to keep so many talented players happy, but its a lot better to be in this position, winning games with a full squad then like we were at the start of the league season, struggling and barely scraping an 11. Anyway onto the match.
Crozier was handed a centre forward role alongside the skilful Cunningham. Crozier was asked to model his game on Lewandowski and his hard running, all action style soon paid off when he opened the scoring after only 5 minutes. Cunny crossed the ball in from the right flank, and after initially looking like the chance had gone away Crozier superbly got his left foot to the ball and fired home from inside the area.
The Lion were well up for the game and despite playing into a strong wind they passed the ball well and tried to create the better chances. Whenever RWB did attack they found Winter in top form , with the defene of Deeley, Lezniak, Dutton and Mark Hackett determined to earn another clean sheet. As per Crutchley was providing a superb voice and defensive calming presence in midfiled.
Lion pressed and pressed to try and keep RWB in their own half. Alex Houston was showing his stamina again, and one skilful run even seen him shout "Nutmegs!" as he evaded a defender! You could sense that The Lion were going to add some more goals and goal number two came from Wright , building on his brace at the weekend and determined to keep his starting eleven spot. Houston clipped a ball over the top and the pacey Wright opened up his legs, outpaced the defence and calmly slotted the ball past the big keeper.
Crozier was gulity of spurning some good chances after strong link up work and on another night could of have had a hat trick before half time.
Half Time 2-0
The Lion could not add any morre goals before the half. A comfortable and pleasing first half display. One change at half time with Cunningham coming off with an injury and being replced by Matty Hackett.
Another strong start to the half for The Lion, who were now playing downhill and with the wind behind them. Corrigan made a double substitution early on with Simpson and Ben Cushen replacing Crutchley and Dutton. Crozier went down with an injury moments later and had to hobble through the half! Typical!
Simpson stamped his class straight on the game with a goal. Cowlishaw was chopped after a strong run to the opposition box. Simpson stroked the free kick into the top corner to make it 3-0
The Lion now had a period where it went a little scrappy. Despite The Lion bench trying to urge them forward for more goals the play just went a little flat. The Lion threw away their clean sheet and gave RWB a sniff at getting back into the game when The Cat Sam Winter let a weak shot find the net. Gutted for The Cat who had been excellent all night and it was a shame to see his clean sheet dissapear. 3-1
Credit to The Lion, things could have got a bit nervy now but Cowlishaw soon restored the three goal lead with a tidy finish minutes later. After exchanging passes with Crozier on the edge of the box Cowlishaw drilled home into the bottom corner form 18 yards.
This goal wrapped up the match but The Lion wanted five! Sam Deeley soon delivered. After making another attacking surge from right back, and bombing on like a 1995 Ajax version of Micheal Reizinger, Deeley was found by a Cowlishaw cross and got to the ball first and put it past the away keeper.
Just the reward for Sam Deeley, who after being asked to play right back a few games ago has gone from strength to strength and won all his tackles and was calm when passing the ball.
Once again The Lion proved that when they play quick 2 touch football and dont hold on to it they will beat anyone!
The game finished 5-1 and The Lion climbed off the botom of the league. St Matthews and Brereton Town will be gutted that The Lion have finally found some form!
MOM= A few candidates in the pot for this, with Hosuton again being superb, full back Mark Hackett solid as a rock and Wright always full of danger. But the award heads to Sam Deeley who has been impressive for th last few weeks.
This Sunday we play Pear Tree at home in The Jock Corrigan Cup Quarter Final. A special cup for me and one I want to win with The Lion so so so much. Please lets stick together lads, keep strong and keep winning!