SPARTAN SOUTH MIDLANDS LEAGUE DIVISION ONE
LONDON LIONS 2 AMERSHAM TOWN 1
London Lions were made to work extremely hard for their three points on Saturday as Amersham Town pushed them all the way in a 2-1 win.
Playing conditions were treacherous as the wind and rain gathered momentum, but Lions dug deep to eventually claim a hard fought victory.
Defending against the conditions in the first-half, Lions got off to a sluggish start, this was their eighth game in 15 days and they were missing several regulars.
Unable to find any kind of rhythm, Lions were careless in possession and lacked the spark which has seen them win some fantastic games recently. It was no surprise then on 15 minutes when Amersham took the lead and deservedly so.
Lions conceded possession 20 yards from goal and the resulting pass eluded the centre backs and the Amersham forward latched on to the ball and slotted his shot past keeper Mario Cenolli who stuck out his right hand but was unable to keep the ball out.
Amersham fully deserved to be in front. Lions tried hard to muscle themselves back into the game but it just wasn’t happening for them.
The sense of frustration resulted in a bizarre incident minutes later as Cenolli whipped off his top and gloves and threatened to walk off the pitch, only to be restrained by his teammates and eventually play on.
The pitch continued to deteriorate and the rain continued to fall. Lions, backs against the wall, continued to soak up vast amounts of pressure. Then seven minutes before half-time Lions pulled themselves level.
A great ball from player-manager Tony Gold set Ben Ellis clear and his cleverly delivered cross was met perfectly by Sam Sloma who slotted home.
The home side would have been pleased to go in at the break level at 1-1, but they faced a massive test in the following 45 minutes if they were to win the game.
With the conditions now in Lions' favour, they produced a much more clinical performance in the second half and on 60 minutes they forged in front. Dean Nyman beat his marker down the right and delivered a teasing, testing cross which was diverted into the net by an Amersham defender.
Lions dominated the final 30 minutes and to be fair they missed four very good efforts to put the game out of sight.
As it was Amersham were still in the game and in the final minutes had a great chance to level, but a lack of composure at the crucial moment from the no. 10 saw the ball fly over the Lions bar.
Lions assistant-manager Steve Grenfell said: "The conditions made the game a leveller, the pitch was heavy and our lads did tremendously well to turn a game that could have slipped away from them around.
"Eight games in 15 days is crazy, but to get six wins and two draws in that period is a phenomenal achievement at any level. Now we have a day's rest and then travel to Chesham United for another tough and difficult game."
Lions: Mario Cenolli, Adam Myeroff, Michael Sacks, Guy Morris (capt), Tony Gold (sub: Jake Gottlieb), Andy Glynne (sub: Josh Kennet), Sam Sloma, David Soutar, Ben Ellis, Dean Nyman (sub: Bradley Lander), Adam Bolle
Goals: Sam Sloma, Own goal