Lions end pre-season with narrow defeat
LONDON LIONS 3 BELSTONE 4
There are encouraging signs that Lions striker Max Kyte is poised to hit the goal trail this season with another impressive performance on Saturday against Belstone.
Kyte will enter the new campaign after scoring two goals in each of the last two pre-season contests.
Lions found themselves 1-0 down, then 2-1 down before going in front 3-2 before eventually conceding two late goals to finish 4-3.
With Belstone opening the scoring midway through the first half, Kyte put Lions level with a well-taken goal 10 minutes before the break.
This was Lions last chance to have a look at several players who had missed most of pre-season and a lack of fitness, sharpness and brightness eventually told.
Belstone forged ahead again, to lead 2-1 before Kyte hit a crisp shot, which flew into the net past the visiting keeper. It was the sort of finish you would expect from a striker brimming with confidence and it levelled the scores at 2-2.
Lions then went ahead, the lively Josh Kennet freed Ben Winters who cut inside, composed himself and placed the ball past the onrushing keeper.
In the final 15 minutes, Lions were undone by two further mistakes which Belstone took full advantage of, running out eventual 4-3 winners.
This was Lions fourth, and last, pre-season game and there was the sense that the start of the serious action could not come quick enough for everyone. All the fitness work has virtually been done in the hot July sunshine. Now it is time for Andy Landesberg and Tony Gold to fine tune their team for the clash against Buckingham Athletic next Saturday, which will be far from easy. It will take all of Lions powers of concentration, discipline and endeavour to come away with a positive result.
Landesberg and Gold "did not learn much they did not already know about their players against Belstone. No-one wants to get injured so close to the start of the season so a cautious approach was understandable as was the fact that heavy legs from Thursday's game against Wingate played its part.
"However, all that really mattered was that the Lions players came through the final pre-season friendly unscathed".
Now, they have a week to prepare for the start of what is bound to be another eventful chapter in the long history of London Lions Football Club. Stand by for the ride.
Lions: Davidson (D. Lee), D. Hakimi (Glynne), Gold, Beerman (A. Landesberg), Judah, N. Landesberg, Winters (1), Soccairello, A. Hakimi, Kyte (2), Kennet