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Cannock Wood FC 2 Paradise Lounge FC 5

Paradise Lounge in pre-season action

Lichfield side Paradise Lounge recorded their first pre-season victory by beating Cannock Wood thanks to a second-half brace from strikers James Coombes and new signing Pete Burton.

The Lounge dominated the opening 45 minutes in Gentleshaw but could not convert their possession into goals, with Nick Hill and Jack Lowe forcing decent saves from Cannock Wood’s keeper and Ben Hartshorne blasting over when it looked easier to score.

Paradise did deservedly break the deadlock five minutes after the interval when right-back James Wilkinson’s ball into the box was perfect for the head of James Coombes who scored for the second time in as many Sundays.

Maths teacher Coombes, last season’s top marksman with 18 goals, turned provider when his corner was volleyed in by Wilkinson at the near post.

Burton then got his name on the scoresheet with a placed long-range strike which Steven Gerrard would have been proud of, before Coombes added his second of the match and Paradise’s fourth with a low drive.

Cannock Wood replied with two goals in quick succession. The first was a drilled finish from captain Dan Jennings which beat Paul Webb at his near post and the second coming from the penalty spot after Lee Rafter was adjudged to have handballed.

In stoppage time Burton – who joined the squad this summer along with defender Rafter after both graduating from Nottingham Trent University – made it five for the visitors from close range to cap an impressive display up front.

Player-boss Dale Harley, who is managing Paradise this season with team-mates Sam Owen and Graham Welsh, was pleased with the outcome of the friendly. He said:

“It was a good win and a very encouraging performance, which gives us a solid base to build on. There were some great passages of play and our off-the-ball movement was excellent. It took us a while to find the net, but once we did there was only one way the game was going to go.”

Paradise: Paul Webb, Lee Rafter, Paul Hill, Ben Lowe, James Wilkinson, Sam Owen, Nick Hill, Graham Welsh, Jack Lowe, Ben Hartshorne, Pete Burton. Subs: Steve Spencer, Mark Morris, James Coombes, Jay Tomkins.

Click here to join the Paradise Lounge FC group on Facebook.

A volunteer wrote this. Say thanks with a coffee.

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