Brilliant Bloom puts Lions into Challenge Cup final

CHALLENGE CUP SEMI-FINAL
London Lions U18 Alexandra Park

London Lions came from behind to keep their treble dreams alive with a hard fought win over Alexandra Park.

The game was played in perfect conditions at Rowley Lane, with very little to choose between two quality sides who put on an excellent footballing exhibition.

Chances were few and far between with the match largely being battled out in the midfield. Lions' central two of Charlie Rubin and David Nezri must be mentioned for the platform they provided and the amount of work they got through throughout the full 90 minutes.

After a goalless first half, the visitors forged ahead 10 minutes into the second period from the penalty spot.

Benji Weinberger was becoming a more influential figure and it was he who played an excellent ball through to Josh Bloom for him to slot home nicely with an hour gone to bring the Lions level.

Jordan Marks was always a threat down the left and his attacking play was providing chances as the half wore on. From yet another mazy run from him he put a superb cross into the box for Bloom to get there ahead of the keeper and put Lions 2-1 up.

There was still some 10 minutes to go, but rather than sitting back the Lions carried on taking the game to Alexandra Park and we were able to see the game out and make their second final of the season.

Lions joint-manager Nicky Bloom said: ""It was a simply phenomenal performance from the boys today as they came from behind against very tough and determined opposition to make it through to the final.

"The effort and commitment was immense and the culmination of both a season's and 11 years worth of work from the management team.

"Oli had words of inspiration and praise for the boys at the end and it is a tribute to him that he has got the boys to where they now are."

The Lions will take on Leverstock Green in the Challenge Cup final on May 13.

    Last updated: 10:34am, April 2 2012