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Lichfield City produce a shock to reach quarter finals of the Staffs Vase

Lichfield City progressed to the quarter finals of the Staffs Vase with an excellent victory over Midland Combination Premier Division leaders Walsall Wood.

Danny Thurstance heads home Lichfield City's opener

Danny Thurstance heads home Lichfield City’s opener

In a match that saw chances at a premium, the hosts stuck to their game plan in a untested formation that saw them play three at the back, Jonathan Huckfield drafted back in after injury and Kyle Minto making his full debut after his transfer from Walsall Wood three weeks earlier.

Lichfield started well, good work from Minto saw his cross go agonisingly close to finding the head of strike partner Jacob Snape as the ball flashed across the six yard box, while a Lee Ashmore cross also failed to find the head of Snape as the home side made their intentions known.

The midfield grip of Danny Worrall, Liam Holt and Danny Thurstance scrapping for every ball made it difficult for the visitors to get a foothold in the game.

Richard Deavall was marauding down the right hand side and his run and cross saw Liam Holt head narrowly over as the hosts looked the more likely to break the deadlock.

The opening goal did eventually come on 43 minutes when a run down the left flank by Minto resulted in Ashmore floating in a cross for Thurstance to get his first senior goal with an excellent header.

This brought the visitors to life and they almost responded straight away, a Lewis Taylor-Boyce cross saw former City man Tom Evans arrive at the back post, but his bullet headed was superbly tipped over the bar by keeper Craig Johnson to keep Lichfield’s lead intact going into the interval.

Lichfield City's players rise highest in the battle for the ball

Lichfield City’s players rise highest in the battle for the ball

Walsall Wood came out strongly in the second half and for the second week running City were pegged back straight after the break. This time a Taylor-Boyce free kick was eventually bundled over the line by Drew Alton after Lichfield failed to clear their lines.

But City never let their heads drop as the visitors tried to take charge of the game without really troubling keeper Johnson. Central defensive trio Perry, Geffen and Huckfield were impressive as they repelled all of Walsall Wood’s attacking efforts.

Lichfield retook the lead on the hour when a Johnson goal kick was flicked on by Minto and bounced into the path of the impressive Thurstance who looked up and smashed a thirty yard volley that flew past the helpless keeper.

Walsall Wood huffed and puffed in the final third of the game, City restricting the visitors to a few long range efforts that rarely troubled keeper Johnson.

But the game ended on a sour note when Huckfield was shown a second yellow for a foul throw which reduced the home side to ten men for the final minute, but they held on to book their quarter final place away to Hanley Town.

Click below to see more pictures from the game:

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