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Paradise Lounge FC 1 Lichfield Social FC 1

James Wilkinson throws the ball into the Lichfield Social box

Paradise Lounge stopped the rot of five successive defeats by earning a point against promotion-chasers Lichfield Social.

Social made the stronger start at Beacon Park with defender-turned-striker Greg Baldwin unlucky not to add to his hat-trick against Longhorn last week when his shot struck the post.

The Lounge opened the scoring – for the first time since beating Hammerwich Athletic in October – when James Wilkinson’s free-kick was scrambled over the line by Dale Harley for his second goal of the season.

Paradise defended brilliantly to be 1-0 up at the break, but the team’s hard work was undone early in the second-half when forward Danny Smith equalised for Social with a close-range finish.

Frontmen Pete Burton and James Coombes both missed massive chances to win it for the hosts, while Paul Webb’s fine fingertip save from bustling Baldwin denied him a goal his performance deserved.

Paradise player-manager Dale Harley said after the match:

“I thought we showed great character and resilience during the game. We got off to a sluggish start but stuck to our task and took the lead. It was frustrating to concede so soon after half-time, but we kept battling and overall a draw was a fair result and gives us a platform to build on following a disappointing few weeks for PLFC.”

Paradise: Paul Webb, Lee Rafter, Paul Hill, Ben Lowe, James Wilkinson, Dale Harley (Graham Welsh), Sam Owen, Adam Worthington, Jack Lowe (Steve Spencer), James Coombes, Pete Burton. Subs not used: Mark Morris, Stuart Gauntlett.

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