London Lions reached the semi-finals of the Herts Centenary Trophy after beating Wormley Rovers 4-1 on penalties but the HSCL leaders made heavy weather of a game they should have put to bed in normal time.
The officiating throughout was pedantic and at times over-zealous, and given that the game was played in a fantastically competitive manner, with not one bad tackle in the entire 120 minutes, the referee still managed to book eight players and send one off.
It was the Lions who finished with 10 men after Lee Cash was sent off for showing his frustrations after having what looked like a perfectly good goal disallowed for apparent offside.
Keeper Matt Davis pulled off a fantastic one-handed save to keep the Lions in the game in the second half.
Unable to convert one of several golden chances created in normal time, Lions had to rely on the calm and composed heads of the penalty takers to put them through and Ben Lampert, Guy Helman, Adam Myeroff and Dan Green all held their nerve to set up a tasty semi-final against South Midlands outfit Hoddesdon Town.
Lions boss Tony Gold said: “Had it been a league game we would have dropped two points which wouldn’t have been acceptable.”
Lions reserves climbed to fourth in the HSCL Reserve Division One after beating Bovingdon 4-2 courtesy of goals from Bradley Lazarus (2), Josh Newman and Ben Ellis.
Lions: Davis, Lauffer, Helman, Manson (sub: Lauffer), Myeroff, Lampert, Morris, Cash, Glass, Stolerman (sub: Gold), Castle (sub: Green)