MOLTEN SPARTAN SOUTH MIDLANDS LEAGUE DIVISION ONE
LONDON LIONS 3 STONY STRATFORD 0
On a scorching hot day at Rowley Lane, London Lions scored another three goal salvo beating Stony Stratford Town and keeping a third consecutive clean sheet in the process.
The English summer was well and truly under way as temperatures reached a year high 82 degrees, certainly not weather conducive to playing football but certainly outstanding for people watching it.
The game started lethargically which was no real great surprise given the sweltering hot weather. Manager Tony Gold made several changes to the team that beat Welwyn Garden City in midweek with Kyle Bentwood, Matt Davis, Craig Ellis and Daren Bern all starting.
As the game reached the 25 minute period Lions had spurred several good chances to build a substantial lead. Michael Sacks and Andy Glynne both hit the cross bar and Sam Sloma, Daran Bern and Dean Nyman all shooting wide when well placed.
Lions seemed to lack the cohesion which they have shown in abundance in recent performances but that may have been down to two fundamental elements the weather and the team changes.
Matt Davis in the Lions goal was rarely troubled as the game etched towards half time. Several more chances went begging for Lions as the untidy finishing and irregular passing started to frustrate the Lions faithful.
Then five minutes before the break left-back Jake Gottlieb showed the Lions front line how to do it. Bursting forward following good work from Bern, Gottlieb pounced on the ball and drove an unstoppable shot into the bottom corner of the goal.
Although Lions had been untidy in the first 45 minutes, they were worthy of the lead given the possession they had and the chances created.
The heat seemed to intensify in the second half but Lions came out looking much more like them normal selves. Crisper passing and a little more urgency saw Lions begin to break down their visitors.
With 30 minutes remaining changes were made to freshen up the exhausted Andy Glynne, Dean Nyman and Daran Bern. On came Danny Berg, TJ Keterman and Ben Ellis.
The latter, who is on the top of his game, made an instant impact. Bursting in from the left having left his marker for dead, Ellis drove a clinical cross into the visitors box which the inform Aron Barnes slotted home taking his seasons tally to five goals in three games.
Minutes later Ellis was involved again this time setting up Sloma who burst through with just the keeper to beat dragging the ball round him to slot home into an empty net.
It certainly wasn’t Lions most convincing performance to date but it was job done on a very hot day, another win and a third consecutive clean sheet.
Lions manager Tony Gold said: "Today was one of those games that could have produced a shock. There were contributing factors as to why we were not as fluent as normal, what with the hot weather and numerous team changes.
“In the end I am pleased to say our quality shone through. We always looked solid and showed some versatility which was pleasing and to keep another clean sheet was very satisfying."
Lions: Matt Davis, Jake Gottlieb, Guy Morris (capt), Michael Sacks, Kyle Bentwood, Craig Ellis, Andy Glynne (sub: Danny Berg), Aron Barnes, Sam Sloma, Dean Nyman (sub: TJ Keterman), Daran Bern (sub: Ben Ellis). Sub not used: Ricky Engleman
Scorers: Gottlieb, Barnes, Sloma