Home cup match played on 30 April 2013.
Kicked off at 6:15 PM

30 minutes extra time played. Ridware Oak won the penalty shootout.

Brereton Lion crashed out of the Lichfield Charity Cup Semi Final after a penalty shoot out defeat to local rivals Ridware Oak. A cracking game produced 8 goals and thrilled the capacity crowd but in the end this brave Lion side just lost their way in the tense shootout. 

The Lion kicked off the semi final in confident mood after a run of 6 wins in a row and after beating league winners Magic Lantern easliy. The opposition were also in good spirits though after lifting the Brereton Town Cup on Sunday, beating AFC Jubilee 1-0, carrying on their successful season. 

The Lion were forced into a few changes from the weekend game. Corrigan switched the formation to 4/4/2 with a defence of Matyus, Lezniak, Dutton and Hackett. Midfield was Houston, Crutchley, Simpson and Wright with Cowlishaw and Cunningham up front. Ridware Oak manager Richy Knight, who started himself as a sweeper, surprised The Lion early on by tweaking his usual 3/5/2 formation and almost playing more of a 3/4/3 with Hurley, Lycett and Murphy being the three powerful forwards. Morgan Hurley in particular is a top player when he turns it on and Matyus was working hard to try and stop the Oak dangerman. 

Initially both sides were struggling a little to get the ball down and test each other properly. No real fluent football was produced early on. However it was the The Lion who opened the scoring after only ten minutes . A long throw in from Mark Hackett was flicked on well by Cowlishaw towards the back post. The Lion top scorer Wright picked up the ball but still had a lot of work to do. Wright worked the ball back onto his right foot and smashed the ball powerfully past Simmo to open the scoring. 1-0

The Lion should have sat on this lead for a period but instead The Oak went straight down the filed and scored an equaliser. A set piece was only half cleared and The Oak skipper Jamie Clarke steamed into the box and forced home the loose ball. 1-1

Game on now with the score equal. Both sides were trying to play attacking football with no one taking a backwards step. Simpson was showing flashes of skill in the middle and Cowlishaw was impressing as a front man. The Lion took the lead with a goal of the season contender from Tommy Wright. The forward picked up the ball on the left of the box at a very obtuse angle. The dangerman whipped the ball into the opposite corner with hardly any backlift and the shot sailed over Simmo and brought a loud cheer from the crowd. A tremendous strike. 2-1

Once again, and credit to The Oak players who never stopped attacking, The Lion should have protected their lead better. Instead The Oak equalised again almost straight away. Pitchy went under in the box after Mark Hackett was judged to have fouled him. In my biast view it was a harsh penalty, with Pitchy looking for the foul and throwing his 7stone body to the floor a little easy. Anyway a penalty was given and Clarke stepped up to cooly slot home the ball. 2-2

The Oak took the lead for the first time in the game when The Lion were guilty of poor defending from a set piece. The Oak sent all their big men foward to attack the inswinging corner and their clever movement in the box allowed Lycett a free header from six yards out which he easily slotted away. Poor from The Lion and something they need to work on with another semi final against The Oak coming up soon. 2-3. 

That was how the half finished up,  a breathtaking 45 minutes  flown by. Whilst Lion played the better football, the front 3 of The Oak were a handful and their set pieces brought 3 goals. One change at half time for The Lion with Franklin stepping onto the pitch in place of the injured Lezniak. Franklin was asked to keep a special eye on Murphy. One tackle early on caught Murphy right in the stomach and forced Murphy to gurn like he was back in Ibiza on the happy pills.

A slightly scrappy start to the half with both sides no doubt feeling a bit leggy after both playing big games at the weekend. The Lion were trying to find the energetic Houston and Wright on the wings to use their pace but could not find them early on. About an hour into the game and just as Corrigan was about to make a few changes The Oak looked to have the game wrapped up when dangerman Hurley wriggled away from The Lion defence and hit a cross/shot across the box that hit the back post and found the net. 2-4. 

It was hard to see a way back into the game now for The Lion lads, with the trademark Oak defence now looking like they were going to completely shut the door and not concede any more goals. At this point Corrigan changed the Lion shape to 4-3-3, threw on Stockhall in attacking midfield and went gung ho. Stockhall has been a star player for The Lion this season but has missed too many games and has not turned up on way too many occassions. What a shame and hopefully he is now here for every game as his skill, energy and calm passing game was evident straight away. Stockhall's running from the midfield breathed energy into The Lion attack with Houston seeing more and more of the ball and Cowlishaw linking up superbly with Stocky. It was still looking bleak for the Lion with only 10 minutes to go so Skipper JR went forward and the formation was now a last ditch 3/3/4. The Lion got a lifeline back into the match through a very unusual source! A direct ball into The Oak box looked like being wasted but big Adam Giles headed home towards his keeper Simmo, who had already come racing out of his goal to come and catch the ball. An excellent own goal and one of the best you will see as the ball looped into the net. 3-4

This made The Oak very nervous and amazingly The Lion equalised moments later. A cross was swung into the box from the right flank and Cunningham just nipped in at the front post to toe poke past Simmo. 4-4. What a game! The fans were going wild. 

Still there was time for more late drama. Alex Hosuton had drifted over to the left flank and was being man marked by Toddy. Houston was beating his marker with ease with one Fernando Redondo 1998 style flick out of this world. The directness and energy levels that Houston was showing was too much for the now tiring Oak defence and as Houston ran into the box, Pitchy stuck out a leg to bring him down. Credit to Houston who stayed on his feet but the ref blew for the intent and pointed to the spot. After a long delay, Cunny stepped up to win the game for The Lion. Such a shame but Cunny just put his penalty wide. 4-4 Full Time. 

Extra Time went by with both sides now wary of letting in a killer late goal. The Oak again looked strong from set pieces and The Lion looked good when Houston was running with the ball. Neither side could score though and the game headed to penalties. 

The Lion went first with Wright slotting past Simmo. Hurley then scored for The Oak. 


Stockhall slotted home his penalty. 


The Oak then missed!


Simpson and Cowlishaw then hit weak penaltys for The Lion with Murphy equalising for The Oak. It was now pretty much sudden death. JR hit his shot with nowhere near enough power as he would of liked and Simmo went the correct way for a save. Up stepped Toddy for The Oak, who had been roasted by Houston for most of the night, and he smashed the ball home. 

3-2 The Oak. 


Credit to Ridware for their win and they now face Rugeley United in the final. The second semi final defeat of the season for The Lion after crashing out of The Staffs Cup at the same stage. The Lion now have two more semi finals coming up and MUST win them! This Sunday we face Yates at home in The Cannock Chase trophy semi final. 

Man of The Match: Tommy Wright's goals were class. Cowlishaw once again showed his skill levels and spirit. But the award heads to Alex Houston who did not deserve to be on the losing side with an all action display that was full of running and a quality end product. He so deserves a goal. 

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