Wingate late show stifles Lions
Wingate & Finchley continued their preparations for the new season with a 4-2 victory over London Lions.
The Lions stepped up the intensity of their pre-season, with the visit of Ryman Premier Division side Wingate & Finchley on Thursday evening. Given the gulf in the two side's positions on the football pyramid, Lions acquitted themselves impeccably.
The game was played in good spirits with both sides implementing high tempos to their games. Wingate & Finchley adapted a more direct approach to their play, looking to free former Lions hero Adam Bolle and David Knight with long balls out of their defence.
Lions's centre-half pairing of Alex Lee and Nicky Landesberg were in formidable form and dealt with everything that came their way.
Lions settled quickly into their passing game and showed no fear in taking the game to their higher league opponents. Josh Kennet who had a memorable season at Wingate last season, was a constant thorn in his previous employers side.
Adam Hakimi, Andy Glynne and Rafi Soccariello gave Lions midfield energy, creativity and a real workman like platform, making it difficult for the visitors to play through the Lions rear guard.
Lions were eventually awarded for their endeavour when following great work from Glynne and Kennet, the hard working and impressive Max Kyte worked some space in the box and calmly slotted the ball home to give Lions the lead.
Wingate equalised with two minutes of the half remaining. A ball in from Wingate's left evaded everyone in the Lions box, and the onrushing Daniel Nielsen headed home from two yards.
Lions went in at the break extremely happy with their 45 minutes work. Wingate then made several changes for the start of the second-half giving them fresh legs and new impetus. Lions started where they left off at the end of the first half, continuing to press their opponents and force them into uncharacteristic errors.
Lions regained the lead with arguably goal of the game after 62 minutes. Landesberg found Gold in space who in turn fed Charlie Rubin a sweet ball into space, the latter spotted Kyte's run and not needing a second invitation the front man finished with aplomb.
Tiredness, fatigue and changes eventually caught up with Lions and in the final 20 minutes, Wingate & Finchley's experience, depth and strength saw them score three late goals to win the game 4-2.
Lions joint-manager Tony Gold said: "All in all this was another positive step forward for the team, with some eye-catching performances noticeably from Josh Kennet, Mario Cenolli, Alex Lee and Max Kyte."