Mark Rose hat-trick secures historic FA Cup victory for Lichfield City FC

Lichfield City FC put pressure on the Black Country Rangers backline. Pic: Mick Tyler

Lichfield City FC put pressure on the Black Country Rangers backline. Pic: Mick Tyler

Lichfield City FC made history on Saturday as a Mark Rose hat-trick saw them win their first ever FA Cup tie 3-1 at Black Country Rangers.

The victory – the first by a team from the city in the world’s oldest cup competition – sees Lichfield set up a mouthwatering tie at Leek Town in the next round.

But it wasn’t all plain sailing as the visitors, backed by a large vocal support, made a dreadful start. With just six minutes on the clock City conceded a sloppy penalty, Todd Perry getting outpaced and outmuscled leading to keeper Craig Johnson bringing down Sam Agar in the area. Ble Pagne stepped up to send Johnson the wrong way from the spot.

It could and perhaps should have got worse for Lichfield when Agar missed a great chance to double his side’s lead when he headed wide with the goal at his mercy.

This let-off seemed to give the visitors a wake-up call as first a Dan Thurstance shot flew narrowly wide, then keeper Luke Tilt pushed a Liam Holt free kick onto the post.

But the visitors were back on level terms after 25 minutes when, following a succession of corners, a long Thurstance throw was glanced home by Mark Rose, his first for the club since his return from Boldmere St Michaels.

Lichfield were starting to hit their straps and another Rose header was off target before they took the lead on 34 minutes when a clever through ball by Holt released Rose who, despite the attentions of two defenders, showed pace and strength in abundance to hold them off and fire past Tilt.

Lichfield's players celebrate a Mark Rose goal. Pic: Mick Tyler

Lichfield’s players celebrate a Mark Rose goal. Pic: Mick Tyler

A surging run and shot by Holt a minute before the break saw Tilt make an excellent save as City hit their stride.

The second half was a much more scrappy affair as excellent defending by Perry, Dan Mcleod, Nick Harris and Richard Devalle kept the home side at bay. Craig Johnson was never really threatened at the other end.

But Lichfield did look dangerous on the break and it was to tell as Rose picked the ball up and had a run at goal, stepping outside the attention of Leon Miller and smash a rasping drive that flew past Tilt into the top corner to complete his hat-trick.

This gave some needed breathing space as a ever more frustrated home side could not unlock a tight City back line.

Lichfield continued to look dangerous on the break, a confident Rose firing over.

City will now visit Leek Town on August 30 in the next round and are hoping for similar fantastic support and are putting on coaches to the game. To book a seat call the club on 01543 258338.

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Founder of LichfieldLive and editor of the site.