League leaders show finishing touches Southam are lacking

Southam manager Ian Ray was not too downhearted by his side's defeat to Lichfield City.
Southam manager Ian Ray was not too downhearted by his side's defeat to Lichfield City.
  • Midland League Division One
  • Lichfield City 5 Southam United 0

Southam manager Ian Ray preferred to focus on the positive despite his side’s winless start to the season extending to six games on Saturday.

Saints matched the new league leaders for long periods and Ray said the rewards will come if his side carry on knuckling down on the training pitch.

“I am really pleased that things we have been working on in training are coming out on the pitch in spells which are getting longer from game to game,” said Ray.

“We do need to be more clinical in the final third though and will be working on this and am confident that we can pull it all together over the coming weeks.”

Saints started brightly and might have taken the lead in the fourth minute when a determined run down the right from Ross Knight set up Khamisi Lightbourne for a first-time shot at the near post which was tipped onto the opposite post by James Fryer in the home goal.

The game ebbed and flowed for the first 20 minutes with Southam bossing possession with debutant Kai Trappett settling in well and Lichfield looking sharp on the counter.

Fryer again denied Saints in the 21st minute when he pushed away Ross Knight’s free-kick and only a few seconds later the hosts took the lead when the ball found its way to Ben Lund whose powerful shot gave Nathan Carro no chance.

The goal gave the hosts more confidence and they doubled their lead in the 32nd minute when a 25-yard drive from Daniel Thurstance skidded past Carro and nestled in the bottom corner.

Lichfield were 4-0 up at the break courtesy of good overlapping play from Jordan Evans, with Kieron Mortiboys tapping in after Lund’s flick-on from the left-back’s cross had come back off the post and Lund himself benefiting from another Evans delivery.

Just before half-time Fryer was again called into action to keep out a finely struck free-kick from Knight.

Southam applied themselves well in the second half and should have got themselves on the scoresheet only for Matt Omari to blaze over an open goal after being set up by fellow substitute Zuhayb Abdirahman and Tommy Weston.

Injuries then began to bite with skipper Ben Nicholson hobbling off to be replaced by Daniel Brierley and Paul Holland also going off, forcing Southam to play the last 20 minutes with only ten men.

Lichfield scored a late fifth on the break through Daniel Griffiths after an assist from Thurstance.

Southam are back in league action on Saturday when they entertain Nuneaton Griff.