Young guns inspires four-midable Lions
London Lions produced a second win on the bounce beating Sun Postal Sports 4-0 at home.
Spartan South Midlands League Division One
London Lions 4 Sun Postal Sports 0
Goals from Paul Hakim, Steve Summers and youngsters Jordan Marks and Nicky Lewis earned their team another three valuable points.
The empathetic scoreline did not tell the whole story but Lions were impressive in a second half showing that arguably was their best of the season so far.
Sun Postal Sports were outclassed in the second period in every area. Lions' starting XI showed eight changes from the previous weekend’s success over Stony Stratford Town – Harry Hatchwell replaced Myles Beerman and David Soutar replaced Paul Linger. Declan Green, Jordan Marks, Steve Summers and Paul Hakim made up the other changes with Ben Joseph and Nicky Lewis making up the Lions bench.
Manager Tony Gold reverted to a 4-4-2 formation given the personnel he had at his disposal. From the first whistle it was Lions who found themselves on the back foot, all the efforts early on were at the net of Lions goalkeeper Green. Dan Fielding twice went close with shots, whilst Ben Poulton fizzed wide with his right foot.
As the half progressed, Lions settled and chances began to arise. Firstly, Marks went close followed by Hakim whose shot was held by Sun keeper Sam Bridges.
On 30 minutes the visitors finally conceded. A tidy move began with a neat Soutar flick and then Daniel Stanton’s quick pass, which picked out Marks. The winger cut inside slipped the ball to Summers, who found Hakim who in turn stabbed home from close range.
There was still time for an effort each before the break. Sun’s free-kick was punched away by Green and at the other end, a long-range strike from Nyman whistled over the bar.
Lions came out rejuvenated after the break, showing a quicker tempo and a greater urgency. After 15 minutes of pressure Gold's men were rewarded with a second goal.
Marks, who was having a tremendous game on the left, was scored a goal his performance deserved. Showing a calmness belying his tender years he expertly slammed the ball home following a great run having beaten his full back for pace.
Lions scored the crucial third goal 10 minutes later. Once again, Marks powered past the full-back and threaded an inch-perfect pass to Summers who timed his run to perfection and coolly slotted the ball home past the hapless Bridges.
Gold used the cushion to introduce Joseph and Lewis for scorers Hakim and Summers respectively.
Lewis found space and time after a lovely pass from Lampert to burst through the Sun’s defence and dispatch his first time finish clinically into the goal after 80 minutes.
With time almost up, referee George managed to gift Sun a soft penalty and it was Green’s turn to take centre stage. Diving bravely to his right he managed to get a great hand to the spot kick and ensure Lions finished with a clean sheet.
Highly satisfied with his team's performance, Gold said: "We still have a lot of work to do but when you come in after a 4-0 victory you can’t have too much to complain about without being picky.
"Apart from a dodgy 20 minute period in the first half it was a good all-round display from us tonight and for once we scored goals at crucial times.
"The attitude of the players tonight, especially the younger lads, was superb.
"When you look at our forward line for the final 25 minutes, and you see one player barely 18, and the other barely 17, it shows the strength coming through the club at the junior levels.
"Added with that a 19-year-old in goal, and a 19-year-old at centre-half, it makes tonight’s win that bit more special."
Lions: Declan Green, Danny Berg, Adam Myeroff, David Soutar, Harry Hatchwell, Daniel Stanton, Ben Lampert, Steve Summers (sub: Nicky Lewis), Jordan Marks, Paul Hakim (sub: Ben Joseph), Dean Nyman