King Kennet takes Lions into cup final
North West Neasden A 0-1 London Maccabi Lions A (AET)
Ricky Kennet slips the ball past Neasden keeper Max Shields as the Lions booked a place in the cup final
A 117th minute strike from supersub Ricky Kennet put the Lions into the JC Cyril Anekstein Cup final after they won the clash of the titans at a windswept Rowley Lane.
Lions manager Eilon Kennet reluctantly threw his son into the action with 10 minutes left as he had no fit players. Kennet snr said that Ricky should not have been playing at all. "I just sent him on to stand there and cause problems but luckily he found space and hit the winner to put us into the final."
Chances were few and far between in a tie where possession was shared. It was the Lions who forged the first opening when winger Joel Ross dispossessed Adam Levene and centred for Michael Pearson but he was unable to poke home from six yards.
With' veteran Aviel Schwarz pulling the strings for the Lions, the visitors, who were playing at their home ground, came close on the stroke of half time when Schwarz's corner was headed wide by Yoav Lebens.
There was little action of note in the second 45 minutes with referee Tony McEvoy waving away a penalty shout when Neasden's Ben Ellis was brushed off the ball by Ollie Leslie.
With both teams tiring, the match went into extra time. James Gershfield came within inches of putting Neasden ahead with five minutes remaining but his header smacked against the bar. With penalties looming, Lebens released Kennet who poked home with his left-foot to spark wild
Kennet snr said: It was always going to be difficult against a good side in Neasden. We have a young team and they never gave up. I'm extremely proud of my boys. I didn't want to play Ricky but I had no choice. In the
end, it proved to be an inspired
NWN joint-manager Jamie Cole commented: "I felt that we had a stonewall penalties which the three officials missed. Good luck to Lions in the final. They are a very organised team. Neasden will come back stronger."
Daniel Fox, Neasden's other manager, cited a lack of cutting edge. "I feel our boys played well but didn't create any chances as to win football matches you need to create more."
Lions: Brahams, Leslie, Lew, Basger, Lebens, Joseph (sub: Kennet), Schwarz, Fieldgrass (sub: Morris), Basger, Ross (sub: Graham), Colman
Neasden: Shields, Cole, Schindler, Levene, J. Ellis, Daggers, Sofier (sub: Ross), Gershfield, Bentwood, Gottlieb Sharpe, B. Ellis