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Lichfield Social FC 2 Paradise Lounge FC 1

Paradise Lounge's Paul Hill sends a free-kick into the Lichfield Social box

Paradise Lounge’s Division 2 debut ended in defeat as they were beaten 2-1 by Lichfield Social in their first league fixture of the season.

It was a brutal baptism of fire for the Lounge who looked dead and buried after only eight minutes at Beacon Park.

Despite winning four of their six pre-season friendlies, Paradise made a horrendous start to the game and were made to pay by their opponents who opened the scoring within 60 seconds of the kick-off.

Lichfield Social doubled their early lead on eight minutes when defender Ben Lowe was beaten to the ball at Paul Webb’s near post.

The hosts then had a third goal ruled out for offside and missed two huge chances to make sure of the three points before half-time.

Paradise were much better after the interval but fortunate to still be in the game when Lichfield Social failed to increase their advantage from the penalty spot.

At the other end, Paradise should have been awarded a penalty of their own when Lichfield Social’s goalkeeper grabbed the legs of substitute Pete Burton which stopped the striker from shooting the ball into an unguarded net.

Sam Owen’s bullet header gave the Lounge a lifeline and the midfielder almost smashed in a late leveller when his fierce shot fizzled inches wide of the post.

Paradise player-manager Dale Harley said at full-time:

“After such a promising pre-season, being 2-0 down with less than 10 minutes on the clock was a massive reality check for us. There were a few words at half-time and we improved as the match went on, deservedly pulling a goal back. After that there was only one team which looked like scoring again and, although we didn’t get the equaliser, it was a positive second-half performance.”

Centre-half Ben Lowe, at fault for both Lichfield Social goals, was shocked by his team’s disastrous start:

“We barely touched the ball in the first 20 minutes – we were being mauled with their passing and movement ripping us apart. I was having an absolute shocker and I blame myself for their goals. We were relieved to hear the half-time whistle, but after the break I played a lot better and in the end I thought we were unlucky not to nick a point.”

Paradise: Paul Webb, Lee Rafter, Paul Hill, Ben Lowe, James Wilkinson, Sam Owen, Steve Spencer (Jack Lowe), Graham Welsh, Nick Hill, Ben Hartshorne (Simon Owen), James Coombes (Pete Burton). Subs not used: Mark Morris, James Warburton, 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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