SPARTAN SOUTH MIDLANDS LEAGUE PREMIER DIVISION
LONDON LIONS 2 OXHEY JETS 2
A brace from Josh Kennet earned London Lions a point against Oxhey Jets, but they came away from the game feeling it should have been three points gained rather than just one.
The Lions met the Jets in this Hertfordshire south west side story on Saturday. Both the Lions and Oxhey Jets had a patchy record going into the game, but the Lions, bolstered by their strongest line-up of the season, were straight into their opponents from kick-off.
The forward line of Max Kyte, Josh Kennet and Shai Revivo were playing with verve and flair and their movement created the clearest early chance for Jon Kurrant, but his shot was well saved.
After 25 minutes, and very much against the run of play, the Jets took the lead, a scramble in the Lions area and the distraction of a strong penalty claim leading to space for the Jets’ forward who curled his shot into the top left-hand corner.
In the past the Lions’ heads might have dropped, but their new-found self-confidence was in evidence as Kennet struck back with a fine finish five minutes later and more Lions pressure continued up to the break.
At half-time Lions supremo Andy Landesberg quietly encouraged the team to tighten up at attacking set-pieces and keep up the momentum.
Half time saw the introduction of Ben Winters at left-back, who replaced the injured Charlie Rubin, and the back four, a mixture of the old heads of Guy Morris and David Soutar and the callow youth of Nick Landesberg and Winters, continued to look firm as the Lions battled for possession and created chances.
Ben Weinberger replaced Revivo, and after a strong penalty claim for a foul on Gershfield was waved away, the Jets regained the lead. On 65 minutes a left wing cross fell to the Jets forward after the low winter sun distracted keeper Jordan Davidson and the forward bundled the ball in with a strong suspicion of handball.
But again the Lions roared back and it was Lions man of the match Kennet who showed his class and pace to accelerate past the Jets defence, round the keeper and slot in for the equaliser on 75 minutes.
The Lions were on top, Shooter came on for Gershfield, Ricky Engelman was covering every blade of grass. A brilliant one-two between Kyte and Kennet put Kyte in to coolly slot in the winner after 89 minutes, only to see the goal disallowed for an offside flag that left everyone in the stadium stunned.
Yet again the Lions were denied points by a bizarre decision by the officials in the dying minutes. It was frustrating after all the hard work but the team is progressing every week and that elusive win will come somehow, someday, somewhere.