A spirited second half comeback from Brereton Lion resulted in a convincing away win against a newly promoted Harrisons side. Manager Corrigan made the most of last weeks free week to go on a spying mission to watch Harrisons play Rugeley United. Whilst Harrisons showed spirit to draw the game it was fair to say they had avery shaky and unbalanced defence and Corrigan was confident that the Lion would smash them. However Harrisons had other plans and started very strong against a Lion side that was taking way too long to get used to playing on a small and bumpy pitch. Matty Wood had to withdraw from the game in the morning resulting in Lion veteran defender Ben Cushen going in goals. A mix up with the spare goalie gloves resulted in Cushen playing in his bare hands!
The Lion were struggling to create opportunitys with Perry toiling on his own up front with not enough support. Carter, Cowlishaw and Andrews were working hard to pull the strings in midfield. Franklin and Simpson were always looking to link up but Simpson had his worst ever half for the Lion and looked like he had his boots on the wrong feet for a little spell. Franklin was also suffering after some poor pre match preparation. Andrews looked the nearest to scoring for The Lion with some well worked long range strikes.
Pally (making his first Lion start) and Ainger had their work cut out keeping a dangerous Harrisons frontline quiet. It was powerful work from this frontline that resulted in the opening two goals. Both were close range finishes and scrappy and both were no fault of Ben Cushen who had bravely attempted to pull of superb close range saves for both goals but was not helped out by static defenders. Both goals came in quick succesion and The Lion were looking like losing two away games in a row. 2-0 down and a little shell shocked. A poor start, especially as The Lion were set up to be hard to beat and dogged.
Thankfully Sam Cowlishaw, who struggled for fitness but certainly not skill and vision, picked up his head and lofted athrough ball to Andrews who had timed his run to perfection and finished calmly. 2-1. A lovely strike by Flash.
Half Time was soon upon us and Corrigan made a Jose Mourinho esq triple substitution and formation change. Dunn, Daley and Allen replaced Franklin, Cowlishaw and Carter with the Lion going for an attacking 3-5-2 formation. Dunn was charged with helping out Perry.
Straight from kick off it was obvious that Dunn was going to cause havoc and missed a good chance after being slipped in by Andrews. Harrisons were struggling with the formation change. The ball was close to being a goal and Dunn was unlucky to miss.
The Lion were now making chances and Chandler, Pally and Big Man looked solid at the back. Bad news though in the 2nd half when Chandler broke a bone his hand, making him miss six weeks of football. The equlaiser that The Lion craved came from superb wing back play! Baker skinned the left back and crossed from the byline to Simpson who steadied himself with a touch then drilled a cracking shot into the corne. Great goal. 2-2!
Dunn then scored a superb individual goal, shrugging off two defenders and curling a sweet shot in from the left. What a player he is and he tormented the Harrisons defence all half. 3-2.
There was only ging to be one winner now! Every Lion player was up for battling for the win. Allen & Daley were superb in centre mid, from both an attacking and defensive point of view. The Lion still needed a killer fourth goal and that cam with 15 mins to go. Perry was chopped down by the keeper in the box. Perry had once again covered so many yards for the side that he simply worn the home defence out. Andrews bagged a brace by slotting the penalty away. Strong defensive work from the whole side but in particular Baker & Simpson were always willing to track back and help out.
A good comeback for The Lion with real charactr shown when 2-0 down away from home on a not nice pitch and with an absent keeper! The strength of the bench was a major plus with options everywhere, so a pleasing squad display.
Now into cup action against Bar Sports in the Brereton Town cup.