Lions are back with a bang

London Lions bounced backed from a 4-1 defeat at title favourites London Colney withan 8-1 victory against Sporting London e Benfica.

A hat-trick from James Gershfield plus further efforts from Josh Kennet (2), Guy Morris, TJ Ketterman and Daniel Stanton completed an emphatic South Midlands League Division One victory.

The Lions produced a master-class performance, showing what they are capable when they have a near full fit squad available.

The contrast to Saturday’s lacklustre showing was staggering. Lions played with energy, desire and attitude, cutting their hosts to pieces with eight well taken goals.

Manager Tony Gold made five changes to his side after Saturday’s pounding. Danny Berliner replaced Matt Davis in goal, Morris, Kennet, Gershfield and Keterman started.

With the rain lashing down on a slick surface at Haringay Borough, the conditions suited Lions high tempo passing game and it was not long before Sporting were on the back foot. Unable to deal with the movement and passing, the hosts got deeper and deeper, worried about the pace and trickery of Gershfield and Kennet.

The latter was to open proceedings with a lovely goal, driving the ball low and hard past the keeper.

Five minutes later and Gershfield got in on the goal action, timing his run to perfection to net a bullet header to make it 2-0.

Before Sporting had time to breathe their keeper was picking the ball out of the net again three minutes later as Kennet smacked in number three.

Sporting managed to settle down into some kind of rhythm seeing the half out without conceding further.

With the rain continuing, referee Kevin Moore, who officiated tremendously well in difficult conditions, kept a close eye on the pitch, as certain parts started to look more like a paddling pool.

Gershfield, who was relatively quite in the first half, suddenly sprang into life in the second-half, producing a hat-trick, scoring two of the three in five minutes to put Lions 5-0 up.

Stanton then added a classy sixth sliding in at the far post to guide Kennet’s excellent cross over the line. The hard working Ketterman was eventually rewarded for his efforts with a well taken seventh.

Credit to Sporting though as they kept on driving forward and although it was little consolation they did manage to find the net through Russell Chandler.

With time almost up, Gershfield completed his hat-trick putting him top of the goal-scoring charts in the South Midlands League.

Gold was delighted to see his team bounce back, saying: “I know what this group of players is capable of when everyone is fit and available. Similarly I also know when we have six to eight players unavailable we will find it extremely tough.

“The fact is to date our results reflect our player inconsistency that is just the way it is right now. We still have several players out who will strengthen our all-round core which is obviously encouraging. Tonight the lads thoroughly deserved the accolades for a truly excellent performance in ridiculous weather conditions.”

    Last updated: 4:45pm, August 26 2010