JC MSFL PREMIER DIVISION
LONDON MACCABI LIONS A 3 NORSTAR A 2
New signing Lee Cash scored a crucial late winner as the 10 men of London Maccabi Lions A ended the resistance of a determined Norstar at Rowley Lane.
Norstar gave a good account of themselves and strikes from Jason Lindsay and Zak McLeod ensured Lions were pushed all the way.
Although Lions started very poorly on a superb dry new Rowley Lane pitch, they went ahead after 15 minutes when centre half Nick Landesberg converted a sweetly-struck volley from a corner.
Norstar's hopes were boosted five minutes later when a rash challenge from Cameron Most left referee Richard Jay with little choice but to show a red card. Lions were down to 10 men and still struggling to get going.
But they doubled the lead from another corner and again it was that man Landesberg who converted, this time with his head.
Norstar were handed a lifeline back into the contest in the 30th minute when Lions' new signing, goalkeeper Max Shields came out for a 50/50 ball which he just clipped first, but carried on through the oncoming player, and a penalty was awarded. Norstar got themselves back in the game and it was 2-1 at half time.
Lions continued to struggle, and eventually a more confident Norstar bundled the ball over the line to make it 2-2 and a 10-man Lions found the tide turning against them.
What actually happened was that it sparked the Lions back into life and twice the newly signed Cash failed to convert what was food and drink normally for him.
With about eight minutes left, the outstanding Landesberg made a long run from back to front, collected the ball, beat two players and laid it on a plate for Cash to convert for a dramatic winner.
Norstar weren't finished though and it needed two remarkable saves from Shields to keep the three points at Rowley Lane.
Norstar's goals came through Jason Lindsay and Zak McLeod.
Lions interim manager Andy Landesberg told JC Sport: "This was a very uncomfortable game for us, although everybody gave 100 per cent for the whole 90 minutes.
Nick Landesberg was brilliant today and new signings Max Shields and Lee Cash won it for us at either end of the pitch.
"James [Gershfield] and I were more than relieved that we managed to edge this game. We didn't play well, but the spirit and commitment today were first-class.
"Now we have a lot of work to do during the week to be ready for Faithfold this Sunday."
Match referee Richard Jaye told JC Sport: "I was extremely impressed by the attitude and conduct of Norstar today. They played their part in an extremely entertaining match and even though they lost in the last few minutes, their heads never dropped. On today's performance they are a credit to the Premier."