Away cup match played on 14 October 2012.
Kicked off at 11:00 AM

Another week and another superb cup win for this talented young Lion side. The Lion made it three wins out of three cup games so far this season by beating Smethwick Premier League leaders Sporting Khalsa F.C. 3-1 in a victory that was a superb team display, capped off by some fine individual displays. 


The Lion were handed an early boost with Colwishaw, Franklin and Matty Hackett all being available for selection for the first time this season. They joined defender Jamie Southwell on a very strong subs bench. Missing for the day were two players who were so important last week, Deeley and Dunn. However the Lion now look like the squad is back to full strength , with the lads on the bench all desperate to get on and play a part this season. As it was the first round of the Staffs Cup manager Corrigan was allowed to use roll on- roll off substitues, a system that was very helpful with players returning after long absences from football. The game was played in Willenhall. 


Sporting Khalsa started strong, using a big pitch well by knocking the ball around. It was easy too see why they had not even been behind in their last 15 games. A small black guy up front was wriggling into space and always looking to run at left back Matt Cockayne. The rest of the Lion defence, Mark Hackett, Ben Cushen and Jimmy Matyus were working overtime to try and give the Lion the solid start they needed. 


Skipper Stuey Simpson started to pull the strings in his free role, and it soon became clear that Sporting Khalsa were not the best defenders on the turn. Cunningham, Wright and Crozier all took it in turns to run at the home defence, Sporting Khalsa were starting to panic whenever this pacey trio ran at them. Once again Daley and Dutton bossed the midfield, never allowing any time for the opposition midfield to turn and play. 

Just before the twenty minute mark The Lion deservedly took the lead when The Pig, Tommy Wright, fresh from hitting a double last week, pounced on a defensive mix up in the home box to cooly slot past the keeper. 1-0

Not long after some rare bad news for the Lion, with Crozier catching his studs in the turf and badly damaging his ankle. At first the fans thought Crowy was just diving for a free kick, but after hitting the deck with a scream it was obvious that Lip was in trouble. An ambulance was rung and Crozier was carried away on a stretcher. Onto the pitch stepped Sammy Cowlishaw, who after busting a gut by working so hard was replaced by Wing Wizard Matty Hackett. Brillaint to have these two flair players back in action. 

Despite Sporting Khalsa trying their hardest to get back into the game, it was a relatively quiet half for Dan Cushen. Khalsa came close with a direct free kick and threatened with some long range shots. Jimmy Matyus was using his athletic abilty to patrol the back line with his pace. Not long before half time and The Pig struck again. A mazy run across the box took out two or three defenders, and just as it looked like he had over done it The Pig hit a low, acurate shot into the bottom corner. 2-0


HT 2-0  The Lion were in full control, with a happy manager only warning them not to let the home side back in it with a silly goal. The subs were working well and whenever we attacked we looked dangerous.


The second half , especially the first 10 minutes, was the sloppiest the Lion played all game. The Lion sat back too much, resulting long balls being played and a lack of shape. Credit though to the workrate which never ever dropped one bit. Fitness throughout the whole side is now looking good. Khalsa hit the post with a long range shot. Urged on by the need to get a goal Khalsa attacked more and more pushing the Lion deeper and deeper. 

The more Khalsa attacked though the more they left space for The Lion to play on the counter attack. You always felt that the Lion could add another goal or two , with Cunny and Matty Hackett in particular looking dangerous when the ball was at their feet. Goal number Three for The Lion and goal number three for Tommy Wright came on the 78th minute, with the match being put in the bag. A long kick from Dan Cushen was flicked on by the impresive aerial ability of JR Dutton. The pig timed his run perfectly to latch onto the ball and cooly round the keeper for his hat trick goal. 

Onto the pitch stepped Oli Franklin after his summer in Ibize. An unfamiliar attacking right wing slot for the talented left footer, who was simply buzzing to be back with his Lion team mates. The ever reliable Jamie Southwell slotted in at right back. Sporting Khalsa got a late goal when a slight fumble from Dan Cushen resulted in a tap in. Dan Cushen made up for this very rare mistake with a couple of great reflex saves as Khalsa pushed everyone forward to try and get a late goal or two. The Lion seen out the game well, with every single player working hard to keep on closing down. 


MOM= The Pig! Deadly finishing, great attitude and superb work rate. Once again pushed hard by JR and some quitely effective defensive displays. The match ball was taken home by the pig and deservely so. 


Get well soon Phil Crozier!


Next week, the biggest gameof the season so far, Brereton Town at home in the Brereton Town cup round one. A cup that is special to us all and one that would look great on the sideboard!

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