JC MSFL Division Two: Holy Mount Zion 1 London Maccabi Lions C 2
Lions C came from a goal down to maintain their grip on the Division Two title race.
A well contested game was played at Gibbons Rec on a soggy Sunday morning. The match started brightly with both teams contesting the ball while trying to knock it about with purpose.
The opening goal came early on 12 minutes, and it came in favour of HMZ. The industrious Milkman Eddie helped on a pass to loop the ball forward. As Noel Hunwick ran on to the bouncing ball, the keeper attempted to out jump him, which wasn't really going to happen; and he duly headed the ball home.
At this point a 1-0 lead was a fair reflection of the opening exchanges, the home team keeping the ball well and creating some good moves. But that changed as HMZ failed to capitalise on the advantage gained.
The Lions pushed forward for large parts of the remainder of the first half. Nonetheless, despite a fair amount of territory being conceded the Zionists looked solid. Furthermore they looked dangerous on the break: the Lions keeper making a number of quality saves and the referee turning down an apparently stone cold handball in the box.
LML equalised with a stonking 35-yard drive. A corner was effectively cleared, but only as far as Lions defender Tony Gold who smashed it hard and true and into the home team's net.
The equaliser took the impetus out of the Maccabites forward thrust for the rest of the half, but meant that the teams went in level.
Unchanged, both sides approached the second half in the same good spirit as the first - competitive and respectful. Zion came out more attack-minded determined to press forward - and this they did.
Building good moves from the back, mixed with some clever passing, they created several dangerous opportunities. A harsher critic than I might say they should have scored a few of them...
The winner came when HMZ needlessly lost posession in the middle of the park. The Lions worked it wide to the wing, just inside the Zion half. The quality of the ensuing ball, which was from deep and wide, flummoxed everyone except the grateful LML striker. He leapt high in the box and planted a clinical header beyond the helpless Zion keeper. 2-1 to the Maccabites, and despite a series of inspired substitutions Holy Mount Zion were unable to turn it around.
Overall, while HMZ might feel unfortunate to have lost this game, they'll go to bed knowing that there are better days for them ahead. The future looks bright, the future looks red and white