Five-star Lions reach cup quarters
London Lions returned to winning ways in the Herts Senior Centenary Trophy beating old rivals Baldock Town 5-0.
Goals from TJ Keterman, Daniel Stanton, Aron Barnes and a double from Adam Stolerman set up a tasty quarter-final match against South Midland Division One leaders Kings Langley.
The Lions put last week's disappointment behind them and were back to their best producing an excellent first-half of football that their visitors could just simply not deal with.
Having lacked application, desire and togetherness previous week, manager Tony Gold made several changes to the side that had lost 2-0 to AFC Dunstable.
Reverting to a 4-4-2, Matt Davis was given an opportunity to resume in goal with Danny Berliner resting an injured ankle. Guy Morris, Michael Sacks and Gold himself replaced three of last week's back four with Adam Myeroff completing the quartet. Matt Stock returned after injury, Daniel Stanton, Aron Barnes and David Souter made up the midfield after James Gershfield failed a late fitness test. Adam Stolerman and TJ Keterman made up the front two.
Considering the conditions - which were just above freezing - the Broxbourne pitch was once again in terrific condition. The first 15 minutes of the game saw both sides flexing their muscles but it was clear early on that Lions had the greater quality.
With the Lions back four defending superbly against Baldock's three main threats, it gave the midfield and attack the confidence to take the game to their visitors.
The first Lions goal was a typical well-worked team goal with clinical passing and execution. Morris played a quick free-kick to Gold who beat his man and slipped a clever through ball to Stolerman. Stolerman passed it to Barnes who in turn slipped it back and in one full motion last season's top goal scorer smashed an unstoppable shot into the goal.
It was game on with Lions keen to build on the goal. Lions had clearly brought their A-game this week as they looked unrecognisable from the week before. Playing with a real hunger Lions soon made it 2-0 again after good build-up play Stock worked some lovely space down the right and getting to the byline. He crossed a perfect ball for Barnes to stab home.
Baldock would have loved to have heard the half-time whistle so they could get inside and regroup but there was still 20 minutes left of the half.
The Baldock front three looked dangerous on the break with the two wide men looking exceptionally threatening but Myeroff, Gold, Sacks and Morris stifled everything that came their way.
Keterman added a third to make it 3-0 with a fabulous finish from 18 yards drilling the ball low and hard in off the post.
Stanton made it 4-0 with eight minutes of the half remaining. Finding space, he ghosted into the Baldock box picking up another Stock cross and slotted home comfortably.
With the game virtually over as a contest credit to Baldock for giving it a real go in the second-half. For 10 minutes they put Lions under pressure but just could not find that finish to get on the scoresheet.
The game was all but ended on 65 minutes when Myeroff's surging run into the Baldock box was ended with him being scathed down, leaving the referee having no choice but to award a penalty. Stolerman stepped up and buried the spot kick with real venom.
Lions will now face Kings Langley at home in the quarter-finals in what should be a very interesting game.
Commenting on an excellent team performance, Gold said: "After last week all I was looking for today was a response and the lads delivered. The whole feel of last week was wrong and one thing this squad need to realise is that no one individual player is bigger then the team.
"Our success in recent years has been built on team work and everyone doing their bit and doing it to the best of their abilities and that is something myself and Steve [Grenfell] will never lose sight of."
Lions: Matt Davis, Aron Barnes, Michael Sacks, Tony Gold (sub: James Stanley), Adam Myeroff, Guy Morris, Daniel Stanton, David Souter, Matt Stock (sub: Andy Glynne), Adam Stolerman, TJ Keterman