Brereton Lion made easy work of division one opponents Bar Sports in this 1st round Brereton Town Cup match. What looked like a tricky match on paper in this very winnable cup turned out to be quite literally a stroll in Cannock Park. Brereton were 4-0 up at half time and in truth were on cruise control from the moment that star playmaker Ashley Andrews opened the scoring with a powerful finish inside the box after a corner on 8 minutes.
Manager Corrigan opted for the 3-5-2 formation that worked well in last week’s comeback against Harrisons FC. There was a shuffle at the back with Ben Cushen coming out of goals to be replaced by debutant and Chasetown Scholar Shane Wood. Aged only 16, Shane produced a comfortable display that was full of calmness. Cushen lined up alongside JR Dutton and Ainger in a very experienced back three. Simpson and Baker were the willing wing backs with Cowlishaw and Andrews joined by Daley in centre mid. Dunn and Fulton were tasked with scoring the goals up front. Once again the strength of the Lion squad was evident with skipper Franklin joined on the bench by Perry, Allen and Carter. The lads on the bench were all desperate to get on. You can guarantee that the WHOLE squad will be used this season and people will have to fight hard in training to get hold of a starting spot and keep it. Chandler and Houston were ruled out with injuries and Allison was an absentee after a night on the ale.
Bar Sports looked a decent passing team but struggled to cope with The Lions formation and attacking verve and energy. Daley was outstanding in middle, constantly showing composure on the ball and always looking to get forward and get The Lion playing simple balls to feet. Daley also showed great maturity by not arguing with a referee who winds players up with his attitude at times.
The Lion made it two nil after twenty minutes when star youngster Beckham Fulton, back in the side after not featuring at all last week, picked up the ball on the left wing, drove at two defenders and wrong footed the keeper with an excellent low range finish. 2-0. A great finish from a class act. JR Dutton added goal number 3, showing the predator instincts in the box that once attracted big money bids for him in his Lichfield City FC days. The sweeper swept home a flick on in the box from a corner for his first of the season. JR Dutton was another key Lion player not to feature last week but showed a determined attitude in training and was very deserving of a starting shirt.
Bar Sports were begging for mercy at this point. Their overworked keeper was pulling off save after save from The Lion attackers. The Lion looked solid in defence and this allowed Simpson and Baker the chance to impress constantly down the flanks. Just as Bar Sports were begging for the half time whistle The Lion added goal number 4. Simpson went on a very skilful mazy run, and just as it looked like he might be running out of space he produced a very clever nutmeg assist for Beckham to run onto and add his second goal. 4-0.
Half Time seen a very happy Corrigan ask for more goals and to not get sloppy at the back.
Once again The Lion started strong with Dunn grabbing a goal that all his hard work deserved. An excellent cross from out wide was met by Dunn in the six yard box who forced the ball home. 5-0. Bar Sports will not be the last team this season to struggle to cope with the sheer size and skilfulness of Gary Dunn!
The Lion were really turning it on now with some great free flowing football played at times. Opposition manager Simon Davies could not get his troops back in the game. Simpson made it six goals for the away side just before the hour mark with the goal of the game. Again Simpson beat defenders before unleashing a powerful and accurate strike that hit both posts before nestling into the net. Credit to Stuey, who has been asked to do more positive work in the oppositions area, for adding a goal to last week’s crucial strike at Harrisons.
Allen, Carter and Perry were all introduced on the hour mark and all three were keen to impress. Perry in particular was unlucky not to grab a goal. Carter dominated the aerial battle and Allen once again showed what a superb two touch footballer he is. Headaches for Corrigan with so many quality players attached to The Lion this season.
Only great work by the Bar Sports keeper kept the score as low as six. It was fair to say that the lion could and should have had 10!! However The Lion will not get carried away though with some big games coming up. This Sunday see's The Lion travel down the road to face eternal enemies Brereton Town in a league match. Brereton have improved greatly over the summer, and despite an embarrassing cup defeat to a division two side on Sunday, will be looking to beat The Lion.
MOM: A few candidates with Baker and Simpson again showing their stamina and skill. Andrews once again pulled the strings and always looks a handful for opposition defenders. But the award heads to Jake Daley for an assured all action display that even included a 30 minute cameo as a Sergio Ramos style marauding centre half. If Jake can learn not to gob off at referee's he will surely be a massive player for The Lion this season.
Well done lads now lets smash Brereton Town!.