The top two in the Herts County Premier league London Lions and Codicote played out a 2-2 draw at Rowley Lane but had the Lions returned from their Christmas break with their shooting boots on the result would have been very different.
The pitch was just about playable after a heavy frost the night before and both teams started the game like they had just returned from a long break.
Lions were without one or two key players due to illness and holiday but in the main seemed to field a relatively strong 11. Codicote arrived with a large squad of 15 and were ready for anything the Lions threw at them.
The Lions deservedly took the lead after the first decent move of the match, with good work from Lee Cash being awarded with the covering Codicote defender turning the ball into his own net.
The lead was shortlived however as Codicote hit back with a decent move of their own. With the Lions defence unable to deal with a routine cross and Lions keeper Matt Davis caught between the devil and the deep blue sea, the Codicote forward headed home with the goal at his mercy.
The second-half is where the Lions should have put the game out of sight put poor composure in front of goal meant any mistakes at the other end could prove costly and so it was to prove.
Cash restored the Lions lead with a fabulous individual effort and it looked like game over. Adam Stolerman who in recent weeks has been ruthless in front of goal had three chances to more then kill the game off but uncharacteristically for him he missed all three.
With 10 minutes remaining and Lions seemingly comfortably and in control of the game they were to pay for those missed chances when a lapse of concentration in the Lions penalty box resulted in a Codicote penalty which they gratefully received and converted.
The return fixture is in a couple of weeks and seemingly could prove to be a very interesting game.
Lions: Matt Davis, Adam Lauffer, Guy Helman, Adam Myeroff, Rob Glass, Eddie Manson, Daniel Castle, Ben Lampert, Lee Cash, Adam Stolerman, Dominic Cheniart (sub: Daniel Green). Sub not used: Nick Goodman