Lions start season in style

By Danny Caro, August 18, 2008

London Lions put on a scintillating show of attacking football in the first half of their opening Herts Senior County League Premier Division fixture, running out 4-1 winners against Sandridge Rovers at Rowley Lane on Saturday.

Tony Gold's Lions came flying out of the blocks with an impressive opening to the game. His exciting line - up saw Ben Lauffer return to the side, after a spell at Wingate, he along with the effervescent Aviel Schwarz began to pull the strings in the centre of the park with the ever combative captain Rob Glass providing the defensive ying to their attacking yang.

The electric pair of Dominique Cheniart and Lee Cash provided the width and guile as part of the three man attack with Adam Stollerman at the spearhead.

Defensively "the running man" Adam Lauffer offered great pace and energy at right back, with Adam Myeroff and Guy Morris looking comfortable at centre half and the versatile Eddie Manson strong at left back after an excellent midweek game in the centre. Behind them Rob Abrahams in goal imposed himself on the game both physically and vocally.

Lions mounted a number of attacks through the first half but it was a five minute spell which put the game out of reach of the visitors. Firstly a fine move saw Cheniart upended in the box and the awarded penalty was dispatched with ease by Stollerman. The home team's tails were now up and they sensed the vulnerability of Sandridge - pushing hard for a second Lee Cash was found out wide on the right, he beat his full back for pace and drove a fine low cross into the path of the onrushing Cheniart who's first time effort smashed into the back of the net to make it 2 - 0.

Within a further two minutes it was 3 - 0 when Stollerman latched on to a long through ball from Guy Morris and with the keeper to beat he finished with aplomb firing into the roof of the net from ten yards out for his second of the game.

A fine half of football, dominated in particular by Cheniart, Lauffer and Cash saw the latter get on the score sheet with a worthy goal when he found himself in a one - on one situation with the keeper and hammered home inside the right hand post to make it 4 - 0 at halftime.

The second half was always going to be a different affair, whilst Lions were encouraged by Gold to continue in the same vein as they finished the first half, Sandridge could only play better and their ears must have been ringing from a presumed lambasting from their manager during the break.

The away team upped the tempo, were tighter to their opposing Lion's men and playing with the wind pressed the home side. Lions were still mounting their own attacks, but they were more direct than the first half with longer balls rather than the multi - man moves that had previously yielded success.

Adam Stollerman had a strong penalty claim dismissed and within five minutes at the other end the opposing team had their own claim, which was upheld by the excellent referee.

The following penalty was well struck to Rob Abraham's right to make it 4 -1. In the 70th minute a Sandridge set piece was not cleared by the home side's defence and was met by an onrushing attacker who made it 4 -2. However the valiant attempt at a comeback by Sandridge did not fully develop momentum.

Substitutions by Tony Gold, with one eye on their forthcoming three fixtures in five days, saw Sam Reeves replace Schwarz, Nick Goodman coming on for two goal Stollerman and Guy Hellman slotting in at left back for the tiring Manson.

The final whistle came and ensured that London Lions came away with the three points in the opening game of the 2008/2009 campaign, playing at times some exhilarating football.

Lions: Abrahams, Manson (sub: Helman), Myeroff, A. Lauffer, Manson, B. Lauffer, Schwarz (sub: Reeves), Glass, Cash, Cheniart, Stolerman (sub: Goodman)

Last updated: 12:55pm, August 18 2008