Brereton Lion went to the top of the Premier League in a real game of two halves victory over Dynamo Lamb at a muddy Cannock Park.
The hosts who last time out beat local rivals Brereton Town 5-4 would be looking to make it back to back victories against a Lion side who have really began to find a rhythm and playing with high levels of confidence.
Ash Andrews was the only change to starting line up from last week’s demolition job on CK77. Simpson is away on a 2 week afro-Caribbean hair grooming course to tame his exquisite curls.
The game got underway and almost instantly the signs of a weary Lion side were evident, clearly nursing some thick heads after a night of raising some money for the club. On the tight, heavy pitch at Cannock Park the Lion struggled to get into their renowned passing game with the hosts looking much more up for the battle. As poor as the Lion side were in the opening exchanges credit had to go to Dynamo Lamb as their hustling and commitment had the Lion side shook and deservedly took the lead after powerful close ranger strike gave Casper no chance. In usual circumstance falling behind wakes the boys from Brereton up, however this was not the case and fell further behind when a punt forward was not dealt with and the Dynamo winger was able to prod past Casper to give the hosts a 2-0 advantage. With Brereton Lion looking out of ideas and out for the count they showed their talent with some good interchanges down the flanks but not really testing the Western Samoan keeper. Dynamo Lamb looked on course to make it 3-0 but for a fine last ditch tackle from Ainger.
Half Time: Dynamo Lamb FC 2 – 0 Brereton Lion FC
A half time rocket from the gaffer had the Lion side fired up from the whistle and immediately took control of the game, hunting, hustling and hounding the ball. Corrigan opted for a second half change in tactics going for the attacking 4-3-3 formation with a view to leaving the clinical front 3 of Fulton, Dunn & Perry to trouble the hosts. The pressure was heavy on the Lamb and the Lion grabbed a lifeline on 50 minutes when Fulton latched onto an Allen through ball and smashed a shot passed the keeper at his near post. It was game on and Brereton went hunting for the equaliser with a series of attacks that concluded with a goal from veteran defender Cushen, who showed supreme predatory instincts to redirect a Chandler effort into the goal.
It was 2-2 and it was all to play for. With the Lion chasing a third goal the Lamb sprung a counter attack which saw their captain felled in the box for a very soft penalty. Brereton, on the brink of another setback were relieved to see the Dynamo Lamb player fluff his lines and blast the ball wide.
On 65 minutes Corrigan introduced the ever green JR Dutton for Dunn and the returning Everall for skipper Franklin after collecting a dead leg. Brereton Lion sensed a goal on the horizon and the all-important goal came on 70 minutes when Cushen collected his second after poking home from close range. The Lion now had the lead and the bit between their teeth. Goal number 4 came for the visitors on 78 minutes when Andrews released Fulton who outpaced the home defence and superbly chipped the ball over the rushing keeper to give the Lion a two goal cushion going into the final 10 minutes. Fulton was in fine form and comparisons have been made to a young Franck Ribery by the Brereton Lion faithful.
The game was put to bed on 87 minutes when the serial womaniser and party animal Houston powered home a bullet header to make it 5-2 to Brereton Lion FC. Further chances came for the Lion but no more goals were added to the scoreboard as the game fizzled out and 3 points headed back to the Red Lion ground.
Overall a superb showing of character to overcome a terrible first half display. Excellent performances from Ainger who kept the very tricky Dynamo Lamb forward quiet, Perry for his tireless work ethic and the continually improving Fulton. The whole 14 players can be happy with the sides second half showing with everyone rolling up their sleeves and showing the will and determination required to mount a genuine title charge this season.
MOM – Beckham Fulton: 2 excellent goals, 1 assist and a right back still spinning on his head somewhere on Cannock Park.