Brilliant Barnett inspires five-star Lions Vets
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GARSTON VETS LEAGUE
LONDON LIONS 5 LATYMER 1
A Gideon Barnett double steered the Lions to an impressive victory over Latymer at Rowley Lane.
After a month without a game, the sight of a frozen pitch wasn't in the script. But with sun out and both teams in agreement the match got underway as planned.
Lions adapted quickest to the slippery surface, and with the willing running of Bradley Lazarus and Barnett, had outlets from the off.
At the other end, Danny Schindler and Jonny Rayner, flanked by Levy and Piler, were totally dominant, although a rare misplaced Rayner pass led to the game's first clear cut chance, the forward thankfully unable to get the required purchase on his attempted chip that fell gratefully into the arms of Lions keeper Danny Jacobs.
But that was as good as it got for the visitors, and for the next 20 minutes they were totally penned back. Craig Henry and Andy Miller worked tirelessly to win every loose ball, allowing Danny Reuben and ageless Barry Silkman to dictate the play.
The home side created numerous chances before a fine cross from Lazarus was nudged home with his fourth touch by the slip sliding Barnett.
Two earlier efforts proved just sighters for Reuben as he curled in a delightful second from the edge of the box for Lions soon after before a third was added when Miller crashed home from close range after more excellent work from Lazarus.
Reuben succumed to a calf injury, but this didn't disrput the hosts in the short term as Lazarus and Max Radford both spurned good opportunities. So it came as complete surprise when on the stroke of half time a rare Latymer forray into Lions territory saw a fine pull back and first time finish to reduce the arrears.
The goal must have given the visitors renewed belief as they came out a different side in the second half. Whilst Lions always looked the more threatening it took some excellent defending from Rayner and Schindler, and plenty of effort from the always industrious Henry to keep Latymer at bay.
Searching for that all-important second goal, they forced two excellent saves from Jacobs before he had to leave to be replaced by the hobbling Reuben. Would this prove a turning point? Thankfully for Lions it wasn't, with Reuben, aided by some stout defending, keeping his goal firmly intact.
And the game was put to bed soon after as Lazarus notched his umpteenth goal of the season before the icing was put on the cake when Barnett scored a fine second of his own and Lions' fifth.
The provisional fixture list seems to show another week off for Lions before an away trip to Kingsbury follows on December 16 in their final game of 2012.
Lions Vets: Dan Jacobs (sub: Max Radford), Jon Rayner, Dan Levy, Andy Miller, Danny Schindler, Barry Silkman, Craig Henry, Danny Piler, Danny Reuben, Bradley Lazarus, Gideon Barnett
Scorers: Gideon Barnett (2), Danny Reuben, Bradley Lazarus
Man of the match: Craig Henry