SPARTAN SOUTH MIDLANDS LEAGUE DIVISION ONE
NEW BRADWELL ST PETER 1 LONDON LIONS 4
A hat-trick from Adam Bolle saw London Lions return to the top of the South Midlands League Division One with an impressive 4-1 win away at New Bradwell St Peter.
The win was impressive because the weather conditions and state of the pitch were bordering on farcical, making the game a real leveller.
Lions had no fewer then eight first team regulars unavailable and several others not fancying the 80-mile round trip to New Bradwell.
However, the 11 Lions players who started the game got to grips with the horrendous weather conditions from the first whistle and arguably scored the quickest goal of the season after just 11 seconds.
Going up the slope and into the howling wind, six passes involving Aron Barnes, Dean Nyman and Daniel Stanton released the clinical Bolle who dug the ball out of the mud and struck a sweet shot into the bottom corner.
It was just the start Lions needed after such a long run of inactivity. Lions then had two great opportunities in the next 15 minutes to virtually kill the game dead but both Bolle and Nyman were wasteful when well placed.
The conditions deteriorated as the game progressed and the poor Bradwell pitch was getting churned up and looked more like a mudbath approaching half time.
Lions doubled their lead just before the interval. Josh Kennet was instrumental down the left and whipped in a delightful cross which the deadly Bolle dispatched with deadly precision.
The message was clear to the Lions team at half-time - keep playing the conditions and take no unnecessary chances.
Bolle completed a deserved hat-trick on 55 minutes. A swirling ball was lofted into the Bradwell box, and after the hosts failed to the clear their lines and Bolle managed to get an important touch on the ball diverting past the homer keeper.
Lions brought on Ben Ellis for Daniel Stanton on 60 minutes and soon after the home side pulled a goal back from a dead ball situation. Lions failed to pick up a late runner gifting him a free header which Dan Lee did his best to save but could not keep out.
With 10 minutes remaining Ellis scored his 12th goal of the season with a terrific composed finish to ensure Lions were leaving with all three important points.
Lions manager Tony Gold said: "We have come unstuck in games like this in the past and with our recent inactivity this was a potential banana skin.
"We showed great maturity and adapted fantastically well given the awful weather and deteriorating state of the pitch.
"It's great to be back on top of the league, but with 20 games still to play we have an incredible amount of work still to do and without question face many trials and tribulations before getting carried away with anything else."
Lions: Dan Lee, Danny Berg, Adam Myeroff, Guy Morris, David Soutar, Aron Barnes, Craig Ellis (sub: Tony Gold), Daniel Stanton (sub: Ben Ellis), Josh Kennet, Dean Nyman, Adam Bolle
Scorers: Bolle (3), Ellis