Evergreen 0, London Lions 2
Goals from Ben Lauffer and Guy Morris ensured history was made as London Lions beat Evergreen 2-0 to secure promotion to the South Midlands League for the first time.
Victory at Evergreen in their final Herts Senior County League Premier Division match was achieved courtesy of a dogged and disciplined performance against opponents whose physical tactics failed to knock the Lions out of their stride. Knowing that only a win would suffice, the Lions drafted in brought in Aron Barnes and Alex Levack for Adam Lauffer and Eddie Manson.
The visitors grabbed the game by the scuff of the neck and forged ahead following a sweeping five-man move involving Lee Cash, Ben Lampert, Danny Cole and Adam Stolerman, allowing Ben Lauffer to add an exquisite finish.
The visitors sealed victory when Stolerman’s free-kick was purposefully headed home by man-of-the-match Guy Morris.
The players went for a celebratory drink in the bar waiting nervously for Park Street’s result at home to Standon. As news broke that Standon had won 1-0, the Lions players broke out into a song and dance in the Evergreen bar knowing that promotion had been achieved.
Manager Tony Gold said: “Every season has its ups and downs. We hit a wall in March which was very close to ending any aspirations we had of moving up but the players, each and every one of them deserve an incredible amount of praise for showing unbelievable character and mental strength to recover and deservedly grab that second spot.
“All Steve Grenfell and I have really done this season is continue to drive home the fact that consistency and belief are the key elements. Consistency at training, consistency on the pitch, doing the jobs they have been asked to do and belief that they are good enough as players because the football ability has always been there.
“This team is full of winners and fighters which is why they achieved what they have. It is there in black and white and no one can take that away from them.”
London Lions: Davis, Cole (sub: Ellis), Morris, Myeroff, Glass, Barnes, B. Lauffer (sub: Castle), Levack, Lampert, Cash, Stolerman