Away league match played on 24 August 2014.
Kicked off at 10:30 AM


Brereton Lion suffered their first defeat of the season in their first away game after losing a close match 3-1 to Hawkins Sports. Both teams were full of confidence after improving their squads in pre season and comfortable opening day wins. Manager Corrigan was forced into two changes with Andrews unavailable and Stevey Allen injured. In came young Beckham Fulton and the returning Sam Chandler. Again The Lion had a strong bench with Cowlishaw, Allison and Everall all itching to be involved.


The match was a close encounter from the off with the home side trying to feed their dangerous front two at every opportunity. New signing Kieran Northwood from RWB and the tall number 9 were out to unsettle Ainger and Cushen in The Lion defence. Bullet and Beckham were trying their best to get the opening goal and were trying shots from distance. The first half an hour was very cat and mouse with both teams concentrating hard on letting the other team have an advantage. Once again Ross Perry was trying his hardest to create goal scoring opportunities up front on his own. The Hawkins defence, backed by a very experienced keeper were certainly taking no chances and were playing a safety first approach. On a couple of occasions just a real quality ball stopped Simpson and Baker getting in behind. The home side were reliant on a well drilled offside trap to keep The Lion at bay. It was fair to say that the hardworking Hawkins side never really let The Lion get into any kind of passing game and The Lion went route one way too many times, starving the very talented Beckham Fulton the opportunity to dribble at players. Whenever young Beckham did run at the home defence they always had a covering defender there ready to make a tackle. Another new Hawkins signing, midfielder Granty, was starting to pull the strings in midfield. Carter and Chandler did not have their best of games in the middle.


Hawkins opened the scoring on the half hour mark when Northwood shielded the ball well from Ainger and turned in an instant to curl a well placed shot into the bottom corner past Matty Wood. 1-0. This goal certainly shook up the Lion who were guilty of jumping in for tackles way too quickly. Bullet Baker was cautioned by referee Kev Williscroft for constantly reacting to late tackles.


HT 1-0 The Lion were urged to take greater care of the ball and to move quicker into space.


The second half saw only a small improvement from The Lion with not enough composure shown on the ball. Hawkins were happy to sit and protect their lead and play quickly on the break. The Lion had a few half chances but were not really at the races. Credit to Hawkins for battling so well and playing some real nice football at times. The introduction by Hawkins to bring on a flying winger called Sid onto the left hand side certainly played a massive part in the game. His Paolo Wanchope style skills mesmerised the away defence at times with JR having a very tough task trying to keep him at bay. Just as manager Corrigan was eyeing up changes to tactics and shape Hawkins counter attacked well for goal number two. 2-0


The Lion now had a tough task ahead and Allison and Cowlishaw replaced Cushen and Simpson with The Lion going for an all out 3-4-3 attacking formation. Cowlishaw showed a tremendous battling spirit and a quality first touch and will hopefully not be at work too much this season, as alongside fellow absent Asbestos stripper Gary Dunn is a key part of The Lion attack. Allison tried hard to get his head on the ball in both boxes but it’s fair to say after a missed pre season his passing was more like Titus Bramble than Rio Ferdinand.


The all out attack philosophy looked to have paid off for The Lion when substitute left wing back Luke Everall, making his competitive debut, crossed a deep ball back into the box where Ross Perry showed predator instincts to squeeze the ball home in a packed 6 yard box.2-1.


The Lion now threw everything at Hawkins, leaving massive gaps in defence at times, gambling on snatching a point. Allison, Perry and Cowlishaw went close with various efforts with Hawkins defending well to restrict the space. Hawkins were counter attacking well and were harshly not awarded a penalty when JR Dutton was caught the wrong side of an attacker and forced him over. Loud screams for a penalty were met by Kev Williscroft’s whistle, but much to most people’s surprise the ref booked the attacker for diving. However this incident must have still been in his mind when Hawkins scored the killer third goal late in the match. Goalkeeper Wood was incensed and adamant that he had been fouled in the build up to the goal. 3-1.


A bad day for Brereton Lion who must not have many slip ups if they are realistic about going one better than last season’s runner up spot. Manager Corrigan will be back to the drawing board and trying to figure out the most effective tactics and players from his talented squad for the next game.


MOM= Matty Wood. The keeper kept The Lion in the game at times with some brave stops and showed superb kicking and handling throughout.




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