Lions Under 16s win five-goal thriller
Red Division - Muswell Hill 2 -London Lions 3
Goals from Charlie Cohen, Charlie Ruben and Max Wegoda sent the Lions 11 points clear after beating title rivals Muswell Hill in the Watford Friendly League.
Co-Manager Nicky Bloom described the result as “the best ever that this side has achieved, and done so on the basis of an excellent performance and superb second half especially”.
Playing at hard and uneven surface at Barnet Copthall, the Lions set up with a 4-5-1 formation.
Muswell Hill started well and were quickly showing themselves to be the most technical and physically strongest side we had faced this season.
Their right winger was excellent as was their strong centre forward and from early on our defence was under pressure. The pressure paid off as Hill went ahead.
Lions did not let their head drop with the midfield working hard to release Charlie Cohen. His pace would normally lead him to out running the opposing defenders, however Muswell Hill had a colossus of a player in the centre of the park that we were finding difficult to get in behind of.
The Lions were continuing to absorb the pressure until an under hit back pass left the Lions keeper stranded as they fell further behind before the break.
Following a rousing half time talk to the boys, the Lions went into the second half confident that they could get back in the game.
They started in determined fashion with David Nezri, Jordan Nathan and Dan Green increasingly influential. With the team closing down the space in the middle of the park, the Lions were now starting to take control and looking increasingly more dangerous going forward.
The comeback started with 20 minutes remaining. Cohen produced a piece of magic that Eduardo would have been proud of and flicked the ball into the corner of the net.
With the bit between their teeth, the Lions pressed for an equaliser with Charlie Rubin going close with a couple of trademark free kicks.
A period of concerted pressure resulted in the Lions forging level after the ref blew for a penalty for handball. Wegoda, who was having a superb game, stepped up to take responsibility and sent the keeper the wrong way 2-2.
Muswell Hill still looked dangerous when they had the ball at their feet but it was the Lions who settled it when Cohen’s penetrating run was crudely ended on the edge of the box.Up stepped Rubin and he floated another precision delivery into the top corner to win it.
Only 30 seconds remained from the re-start and there were joyous scenes as the boys saw out the victory.
Lions joint-manager Nicky Bloom said: “It was a brilliant performance from the boys today. The result really puts the icing on a superb season for the squad and shows just how far they have come this season.”