SPARTAN SOUTH MIDLANDS LEAGUE RESERVE DIVISION ONE
LONDON LIONS RESERVES 5 LONDON COLNEY RESERVES 0
Two goals from man-of-the-match Matt Stock inspired London Lions Reserves to a 5-0 demolition of their London Colney counterparts.
Contrary to what the scoreline may suggest, this was no Saturday afternoon stroll for Lions who, having led through two early strikes, were certainly made to battle hard by Colney before three late goals sealed the points.
Despite the wet weather of late the pitch at Rowley Lane was excellent as ever, and it took little time for Lions to get into their stride. George Fierstone, able to seemingly create time for himself at will, was prompting Lions forward, where the pace of Daran Bern and Stock caused Colney no end of trouble.
It was the trio who fashioned the opening goal, thoroughly deserved after dominating the opening 15 minutes. Stock, having come inside, collected Fierstone's pass and drove towards the box before freeing Bern with a defence-splitting pass. Bern dashed passed the full back before driving an inch-perfect low cross that Stock, having continued his run, gleefully tucked home.
Kyle Bentwood and Laurence Judah were calmness personified at the back allowing Myles Beerman and Shai Revivo the freedom to press on from full back. Ben Lauffer and Andy Glynne gave Lions the depth they needed to play their football, and, buoyed by the early goal, play it they did.
The lead was soon doubled, Lauffer this time finding Stock whose cracking strike from the edge of the box was past the keeper before he could move.
It was all Lions - with Fierstone, Nick Goodman and Bern all denied by the keeper. Two strong penalty appeals followed. The first saw Bern beat the keeper to the ball. He got caught, but having got his shot off the referee waved away the appeal; one could see why. Moments later though there was no such sympathy for the decision as Stock knocked the ball through the defender's legs before before hacked down as he was about to shoot - clearly Colney got away with that one.
Lions then, for some reason, decided that having played so well by knocking the ball around it was now time to run with the ball and fire in shots from all angles and distances. All this did was surrender the initiative and, despite a half time dressing down, was not something the side picked up in the second half.
Colney started seeing far more of the ball, and while not creating too many clear openings, they certainly had Lions stretched at the back. Judah, Bentwood and latterly Frank Hyman needed to be on guard to protect their goal, but this they did well.
Adam Hakimi entered the fray to further shore things up for Lions, but at 2-0 the next goal would prove crucial. Colney had the ball in the net, but the referee spotted an obvious push while at the other end Bern and Goodman both came close.
With 15 minutes left the game was finally decided when Lauffer's speculative long ranger was mis-judged by the keeper, finding the net via the post.
A minute later and Lions grabbed a fourth, Glynne's fine strike from the edge of the box finding the net before Goodman sprayed a fine ball that Green took down in his stride before racing clear and applying a classy finish from a tight angle to add a real gloss to the scoreline.
In the dying moments Jordan Davidson ensured it was positives at both ends with an excellent save to preserve his clean sheet.
Lions entertain 61FC Luton next week, KO 2.45pm.
Lions Reserves: Jordan Davidson, Myles Beerman, Kyle Bentwood, Laurence Judah (sub: Frank Hyman), Shai Revivo, Andy Glynne, George Fierstone (sub: Adam Hakimi), Ben Lauffer, Matt Stock, Daran Bern (sub: Dan Green), Nick Goodman
Scorers: Matt Stock (2), Ben Lauffer, Andy Glynne, Dan Green