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JC MSFL Prem Div: LM Lions B 0 NW Neasden A 5
Defending champions Neasden A flexed their muscles with an emphatic victory at Rowley Lane.
Playing on the fantastic surface of the main pitch in beautiful footballing conditions, the home side started in a determined, dogged fashion, closing the opposition down quickly and denying Neasden time to settle.
The defensive line of Danny Piler, Raanan Firmin, Nick Astaire and debutant Adam Kosky were solid with Hadley Silver and Danny Reuben working hard ahead of them to thwart the threat of Ricky Kennet, Danny Daggers, Matt Sofier, Lee Cash et al.
Lions, whilst defending well for the majority of the first half, created a few chances with Guy Marks, Will Beresford and James Stanley showing glimpses of their talent.
The best chance came when Reuben intercepted a Kennet pass and played a defence-spiltting 30 yard ball through to the exuberent Jimmy Lester who perhaps could have done better but was thwarted by a challenge from the excellent Jon Ellis.
For 42 minutes Lions were in the game but then Sofier was brought down on the edge of the box and the resulting free-kick was superbly curled into the top left-hand corner by Jake Gottlieb eluding the excellent David Kosky in goal.
A further three minutes later a good Neasden attack saw Daggers break down the left and his pull - back found Cash who finished well just inside the left hand post to put Neasden 2-0 in front going in to half time.
Gavin Stollar got into his side during the break reminding them that the next goal was going to be crucial.
Reuben who picked up a hamstring injury just before half time, having tweaked it on his Wii a few weeks ago, was replaced by another debutant David Silverman.
However within a minute of the restart it was Neasden who looked more likely to run away with the game when their sub Matt Stock broke down the left and fired in a great cross which found Cash who blazed his shot over the bar.
Five minutes later Stock again down the left broke through a few rash tackles and then coolly slotted into the corner of the Lions net to make it 3-0.
Clearly the game was now over as a contest, the superior Neasden team who turned up with an 18-man squad (how do Messrs Cole and Fox keep them all happy!?) now looked like they could go on the rampage.
However Kosky was again on song making a string of inspired saves and really tried to keep his team in it and the goal tally down. His performance was immense.
Neasden scored two further well taken goals through Lions old boy Ricky Kennet, but the hosts showed enough quality to suggest that if they apply the same effort as shown in the first half especially they will be hard to beat by most teams this season.
Neasden joint-manager Jamie Cole told JC Sport: "At times, the football we played was like watching Brazil, but we need to perform over 90 minutes for us to be successful this season."
Lions manager Gavin Stollar said: "We have much to work on from our side but I tip NWN for the title. We were the better team in the first half but a 30-yard free-kick in the top corner after 42 minutes and a great move on half time meant we went in 2-0 down.
"The second half was all Neasden and we struggled to cope with their movement on and off the ball. We're all looking forward to RJC next week, a team we beat pre-season."
Neasden: Bloom, Levene, Gottlieb, J. Ellis, Gottlieb, Shindler, Sofier (sub: TJ), Daggers, Kennet (sub: Greene 70), Levenfiche, Ross (sub: Stock 45), Cash
Lions: D. Kosky, Piler, Reuben (sub: D. Silverman), Firmin, Lester, Marks, Silver, Beresford, A. Kosky (sub: Carr), Astaire, Stanley