JO REA struck twice as Uttoxeter came from a goal down to beat promotion rivals Lichfield and maintain their five-point advantage at the top of Midlands Feeder West.
In wet and windy conditions Uttoxeter got off to a sluggish start as they struggled to shake off the cobwebs following a lengthy winter break – and also come to terms with the bouncy and slippy pitch.
Lichfield were by far the stronger side in the opening half, keeping Uttoxeter pegged back inside their own half.
The breakthrough came in the final minutes of the first period, when a Lichfield penalty corner was drilled into the Uttoxeter goal.
At the start of the second half there was a clear shift in momentum.
The visitors were suddenly winning all the tackles – giving Lichfield no time on the ball.
It was not long before Uttoxeter’s determined approach was rewarded.
Lisa Lilley charged towards the D and found Loz Davenport.
She fed Rea who turned her defender before smashing the ball across goal and into the bottom left hand corner.
The visitors’ confidence was up and Uttoxeter continued to pile on the pressure.
Minutes later a near identical goal was scored by Rea for 2-1 in Uttoxeter’s favour.
In a fraught final 10 minutes Lichfield battled to get something from the game, but Uttoxeter held on for a deserved three points.
Lichfield are now eight points behind Uttoxeter following last weekend’s result.
Warwick are the first team’s nearest challengers, and remain five points behind after beating Telford and Wrekin 3-2. Stone are a further point behind in the title race.
Uttoxeter host Bridgnorth at Thomas Alleyne’s this weekend. Saturday’s push-back is 11.30am.
Uttoxeter 1XI players’ player: Lisa lilley.