Late controversy frustrates Lions' title challenge

London Lions had to a settle for a 2-2 draw after cruelly being denied victory against the Met Police who will admit that they got out of jail.

Leading 2-1 with 96 minutes up on the clock the referee awarded Met Police a free-kick just outside the Lions box. As Lions boss Tony Gold explained: “What followed can only be described as complete incompetence. With the referee walking the wall back and having given the clear instruction that the free-kick can be taken on his whistle, the kick was taken before the ref had time to blow and the ball curled into the goal with the Lions players still setting up.”

It was a frustrating end to what had been an excellent contest. The Lions, who are chasing the Herts Senior County League Premier Division title, forged ahead with their first serious attack when good work from Ben Lauffer down the left saw him sent in a low cross that was rifled home by top-scorer Adam Stolerman.

Playing into the wind, the Police equalised from another free-kick, with a deep delivery headed back across goal and the resultant free header looping into the corner past Lions keeper Matt Davis.

The second half was played at a higher tempo with the Lions threatening on the break, especially once Dean Nyman had entered the fray.

Having missed a host of gilt-edged chances, the Lions restored their advantage when James Gershfield finished off a stunning move with a far post tap in.

It looked as though the Lions had done enough but there was a final twist as the Police claimed a highly controversial equaliser.

Lions boss Tony Gold said: “The decision to allow the goal to stand was a complete joke and took the shine off what was a good competitive game played in the right spirit.”

Lions coach Darren Yarlett commented: “We felt that we were robbed and the dressing room after was so low but we do not have time to dwell as we have a huge game against Wormley. We dust ourselves of and get on with trying to win the league.

Next up for Lions is a tough match against league leaders Wormley Rovers.

Lions: Matt Davis, Adam Myeroff, Guy Morris, Jonny Ellis (sub: Danny Cole), Tony Gold, Alex Levack, Danny Berg (sub: Dean Nyman), Daniel Stanton, Ben Lauffer, James Gershfield, Adam Stolerman

HSCL Current standings

Wormley Rovers Pl. 23, W. 20, D. 0, L. 3, F. 66, A. 26, Pts. 60
Baldock Town Pl. 24, W. 17, D. 6, L. 1, F. 81, A. 21, Pts. 57
London Lions Pl. 21, W. 17, D. 3, L. 1, F. 52, A. 17, Pts. 54
Met Police Pl. 23, W. 16, D. 2, L. 5, F. 63, A. 39, Pts. 50

    Last updated: 11:18am, April 16 2010