top of page

Shaun Webbley with a Preview of Tomorrow’s FA Vase Trip to Newark & Sherwood United

Recently, the victories that Lichfield City has achieved in the Midland Premier Division has been down to players who have had a point to prove.

Dan Lomas looked to be on his way out of the club. The midfielder tells me after Lichfield's most recent dominant victory over Romulus, he had an offer on the table but he chose to stay.

The midfielder got his head down, worked hard and won his place back under manager Ivor Green and it was his guided header into the top corner from a Joe Haines cross that got the scoring off to a flying start after just two minutes in the rain and completed his renaissance in the side.

Lomas has been deployed as the number six for Ivor Gren's men recently and he looks right at home. During the comfortable victory at the Trade Tyre Community Stadium against Romulus, one voice, specifically a voice with a Cannock drawl, could be heard over everybody else's.

The midfielder was handed the captain's armband and was orchestrating things from the deep-lying midfield position and he looked unbeatable.

Green would be the first to admit that his options in midfield are plentiful but, on current form, it's Lomas' position to lose and he seems to be in top shape for the in-form side of the division.

Lichfield are currently third, four points off the summit of the division, but they have two games in hand on table-topping Congleton Town, Highgate United are also flying with two games in hand in second place.

Another player who looked superb in one of the positions that he would admit isn't his favourite is Luke Childs. The winger hadn't scored for a long time and the barren run was a frustration for Childs, he just couldn't find the back of the net.

However, when Childs picked up the ball from 25 yards out, his driven shot looked destined for the bottom corner and his animated celebration when the ball did hit the back of the net, showed just how much that moment meant to him.

With the injury issues at centre-back, Joe Haines had to move over to the left-sided centre-back role, so Childs filled in at full-back and was energetic and really drove the side on throughout the victory in the rain.

The re-emergence of the pair, who were on the bench weeks prior, is a testament to their character and where the team is currently at.

Well, this weekend will be another huge chance for the Lichfield side, who are proving many people wrong, to go one step further and set themselves up for another run in the FA Vase.

Privately, members of the coaching staff believe they could go deep in the competition and with how the team is currently playing at this moment in time, you wouldn't bet against them.

It will be a difficult test for Green's men, it's the unknown that may well bring caution to the coaching staff as they go through their last-minute preparations before the big clash against Newark & Sherwood United Football Club, a two-hour journey north.

The squad, however, have to be confident. Managers across the Midland Premier Division have consistently stressed that the Midlands Division (step 5), in particular, is one of the toughest to get out of.

It's no wonder that if a club does get out of the division, they tend to do well in step 4, Boldmere StMichaels and Walsall Wood are the big examples of this in full effect.

They have proven consistently that the squad of players assembled by Green and assistant Wayne Chapman can overcome the impossible and can go toe to toe with sides who should be the favourites.

There has to be a burgeoning belief in the squad that they can go far in the competition and potentially make an amazing appearance at Wembley next summer.

For now, though, the priority is getting into the next round of the competition. A win in Nottingham would continue and potentially push the growth within the squad to levels not seen since the superb start to the season of 2021/2022.

In the clubhouse, after the dominant victory over Romulus, Chapman takes a sip of his alcoholic beverage, leans back and thinks - he's just been asked whether there has been a difference between this season and that unbeaten run two years ago.

"We have multiple ways of playing," Chapman said. "That run, as amazing as it was, was always our only way of playing. We would attack teams and not give them an inch, but we didn't have many backup plans.

"This season, however, it seems different." The coaching team have proven that they can be chameleons and they can adapt to their environment. 

Whether that be a tough away trip on a rather turgid pitch or back at the carpet of the Trade Tyre Stadium - they always have a plan and they have the players to carry out this plan.

Winning when not playing well is the mark of a good side. It was Lichfield's resolve when reduced to ten men, due to a sin bin given out to Dan 'Wonder' Smith against Studley Town, that was so impressive.

In season's past, the side may well have wilted in the pressure of an away game, instead, the team came together and got over the line.

The club is pushing in the right direction and these are certainly exciting times for everyone involved.

104 views0 comments


bottom of page