Away league match played on 21 September 2014.
Kicked off at 10:00 AM

Brereton Lion just had enough to overcome local rivals Brereton Town in this spectacular el chavico! An eight goal thriller was a great spectacle for a packed Ravenhill Park on a bright and sunny autumn morning. In the end the strength of The Lion squad shone through with star players Fulton, Allison and Houston all making a positive impact off the bench.

The Lion were missing a few key players with goal keeper Matt Wood, Steve Allen, Ashley Andrews and Sam Chandler all unavailable. Gary Phillips worked hard all weekend to convince star keeper Matthew Cottrell (Casper) to get the gloves on and to not worry about being rusty after a year’s absence from football. The Lion again lined up with an attack minded 3-5-2 formation with Carter replacing Andrews in the middle and Perry stepping back into attack in place of star youngster Fulton.

The Brereton derbies are always hard fought affairs, generally starting off at 100mph and with tackles flying in. This was no exception! Brereton Town have improved greatly over the summer, with Chandler senior adding experience and charisma to their management team. Brereton Town now have a lot of ex Brereton Castle players who all battled well for each other and scrapped hard to get a result. It was Brereton Town who opened the scoring after ten minutes with their powerful and pacey forward Reece Joyce getting to the byline and finding the unmarked Radden in the area for a close range header that Casper admitted after the game that he should have saved. 1-0.

This goal finally woke up The Lion who were struggling to get the ball down. Too many balls were being lofted forward with not enough quality or composure. Last week’s star man Jake Daley started to lose his temper and was not happy that the ball was constantly bypassing him in the middle. The Lion equalised through a very well worked goal with LCB Ainger whipping in a Di Maria type cross from the left wing that Dunn met superbly in the area with a very powerful headed finish. 1-1. A very powerful header from Dunn, carrying on his good goal scoring form this season.

Just as it looked like The Lion would now settle into the game Brereton Town hit back with a very well worked goal of their own. Their Welsh playmaker Dale Roberts, once a target for Craig Corrigan’s cheque book, evaded ill timed challenges from Dunn and Cowlishaw to slot a through ball to a Brereton Town winger in the area who finished coolly into the corner. 2-1. A well worked goal from the home side but poor defensively from The Lion with both Dunn and Cowlishaw guilty of jumping into challenges a little too quickly instead of just blocking the space.

Brereton Town were now on the up and The Lion needed their star players to step up and produce. Up stepped Sammy Cowlishaw, who after spending the first 30 minutes in a more defensive position marking Radden was pushed forward behind the strikers. Cowlishaw controlled a through ball superbly and evaded one defender and then shaped to shoot in the box to avoid a desperate lunge before slotting the ball past Towle. 2-2. A splendid individual goal from a player who has been a target of the social media hate mob but who is a big player for The Lion.

Corrigan was now begging for The Lion to be solid and get a platform to build from but same again, in this see saw match Brereton Town came back strong. Jake Daley was forced to make a strong aerial tackle in the box to stop the Brereton forward scoring a free header. The referee decided too much force was used by Daley and Dale Roberts slotted the ball into the corner past Casper despite Casper producing some Tim Kruhl style mind games. 3-2.

This crazy first half was still not over with Brereton Lion then granted a chance to equalise just before half time with a deserved penalty. Bullet Baker stepped up but hit his penalty too straight and Towle made a save.

HT 3-2.

The Lion had dropped their heads a little but were asked to keep going and to try and get on the ball and move it quicker. Substitute Simon Allison predicted that The Lion would still win comfortably.

The second half started at a frantic pace but you could just feel that The Lion were starting to gain greater control of the ball. Carter, Daley and Cowlishaw stepped up the work in the middle and started to boss the game. The Lion grabbed their third equaliser of the game with a superb team goal on 50 minutes. Cushen took a quick free kick short to Cowlishaw who turned and ran at the home defence before slotting a perfect through ball towards a well timed Perry run in behind. Perry showed great composure to round the keeper with his first touch and slotting into an empty goal with his second. A great team goal. 3-3.

This goal seemed to knock the stuffing out of Brereton Town and The Lion sniffed blood. Stuey Simpson, who was running late for the match and had the Lion players worrying that with No Simpson There is No Party, grabbed himself two wonderful assists with some well flighted deliveries. The first assist was from a free kick that Carter met bravely and powerfully in the six yard for a headed goal. 4-3 and Carter was now starting to simply be to strong and determined for the opposition.

With twenty minutes to go Simpson then whipped in another lovely ball that the Brereton full back headed into his own net. Beckham Fulton was unlucky not to score a goal and his pace, skill and trickery was a nightmare for the tiring Brereton defence. At least twice Fulton whipped across dangerous balls that Perry was very unlucky not to score from. Simpson also nearly added another wonder strike to his collection. Pally stepped off the bench to fill a defensive midfield role and he was superb in helping the defence shut out the game. Cushen, Dutton and Ainger all battled superbly and kept on organising until the final minute. Baker and Simpson again produced very hard working displays on the wings.

It was great to also see Alex Houston back in a Lion strip and he spent the last ten minutes of the match running around like crazy and falling over on numerous occasions! It’s like nothing’s changed!!

A great win against a very spirited Brereton Town side in a very hectic and eventful derby.

Man of the match: Sam Cowlishaw for an all action and determined display. Great to have Sam free from work and playing regular.

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