SOUTH MIDLANDS LEAGUE RESERVE DIVISION ONE
LONDON LIONS RESERVES 3 KENT ATHLETIC 0
London Lions Reserves built on their excellent display at Oxhey midweek, following it up with a well-deserved but hard fought victory at home against a typically strong Kent Athletic side.
Ben Lampert and David Cohen occupied the full-back roles alongside Frank Hyman and Laurence Judah, while Tomer Sherman retained the goalkeeper's jersey after excelling midweek. A much changed midfield saw a first start since Xmas for Jon Ellis, and he didn't disappoint with a man of the match performance, with Julius and Revivo ably assisting. Green was given another chance at no. 9 as Goodman only returned from the States the morning of the game, with Stock and Bern supporting.
Lions started the faster, but Kent were disciplined, organised and tough in the tackle ensuring Lions had little space in which to operate. With Ellis though winning lots of ball in midfield, Revivo's intelligent late runs created the two best early Lions chances. First of all Revivo latched on to a wicked cross from Stock only to see his shot cannon off the keeper's forehead to safety. He then broke free once more, this time electing to square to Green rather than shoot, but the young striker was unable to get a meaningful shot off.
Lions were defending resolutely, Sherman as such rarely troubled. But when a rare through ball gave one of Kent's lively winger's a sight if his goal he was off his line in a flash to perform a timely smother.
The home side remained in the ascendancy until the break, but as the teams left the pitch the deadlock remained.
The second period started in a similar fashion. Green fashioned an opening for himself but the final shot again failed to trouble the keeper before he latched onto a fine Julius pass. Seemingly clear he went down under the defender's challenge but the referee waved played on.
Shortly after though he did draw a foul, five yards from the corner of the box. Ellis struck the ball goalwards where the keeper got down well but could only parry the ball into the path of Julius who smashed home the rebound to give Lions a deserved lead.
Goodman and Adam Hakimi were introduced, the latter adding a calmness to Lions' defending against the strength of Kent, while Goodman's direct running gave the visitors plenty to worry about. When he cushioned a header back into the centre of the park there seemed no danger at all to Kent, that was until Ellis saw the keeper off his line and from fully 40 yards spanked the ball first time goalwards. Kent's no. 1 backpeddled frantically, but despite getting a touch couldn't keep the ball out of the net.
Goodman fired wide and then forced a decent save before, after a lung-busting run from full-back Cohen, latched onto his fine low cross to spank home an emphatic third.
In the closing stages Kent were reduced to 10 men when their frustrated forward reacted badly to a tackle, but in truth this mattered little to the result.
Missing so many midfielders this was a thoroughly pleasing result for Lions. They visit Kings Langley - last season's champions and this year's Herts County Cup finalists on Thursday night for what will be an extremely tough fixture before a game of equal difficulty follows when they entertain Cockfosters on Saturday at Rowley Lane.
Lions: Tomer Sherman, Ben Lampert, David Cohen, Frank Hyman, Laurence Judah, Jon Ellis, Jeremy Julius (sub: Adam Hakimi), Shai Revivo, Dan Green (sub: Nick Goodman), Matt Stock, Daran Bern
Scorers: Jeremy Julius, Jon Ellis, Nick Goodman