London Lions in HSCL pole position
A Matt Stock double and one from Daniel Levenfiche gave London Lions a 3-1 win over Hertford Heath to send them clear at the top of the Herts Senior County League.
Lions opened the scoring after 16 seconds and ran out worthy winners to make it 16 from 18 points.
Manager Tony Gold was forced to make several changes, including a new back four, to the starting line-up that had defeated Mill End the week before.
The Rowley Lane club had Danny Berg, Aron Barnes, Michael Sacks and Guy Morris unavailable and the in-form Lee Cash.
Rob Glass and the returning Adam Myeroff filled in at centre half with Danny Cole back in at right back and Josh Newman making his first start of the season at left-back after impressing in the reserves.
But it was the inclusion of Stock for the suspended Cash that had the biggest impact. He was on hand to stab the ball home from close range with just seconds on the clock.
The early goal however did not really do the Lions any favours as they flittered in and out of the game.
Heath offered little in terms of ideas but they posed a constant threat up front.
Lions doubled their lead 20 minutes later with Adam Stolerman, for once turning provider, and gifting Stock his second of the game after a neat finish. As the half drew to a close, Lions looked comfortable without having really got out of second gear.
With Lions unable to build any momentum in the second half, Hertford Heath grew in confidence and after threatening on a couple of breaks were eventually rewarded. Pinned back in their own half Lions paid the penalty for staying too deep as Hertford finished off a good move.
Suddenly it was game on again and moments later Heath threatened but Lions keeper Matt Davis brilliantly finger tipped the ball over the bar after a rasping shot from 20 yards looked destined for the top corner.
That was the wake up call Lions needed and 15 minutes from time Daniel Levenfiche made sure of the points. Chasing a ball he had no right to win, his determination got him there ahead of the Hertford keeper and last defender. As the two collided Levenfiche nicked in between them and took the ball with him, tapping it into the empty net from two yards.
Commenting after the game, Lions coach Darren Yarlett said: “We need to find a better consistency in games in terms of performance but having said that we are still winning matches which is the sign of a good side.
“It’s nice to be up there on top but it’s after 30 games that counts, not after only six,” said manager Gold. “Today conceding a goal is the only thing I’ve got to moan about. Our second half performance wasn’t that bad but it was disappointing to concede the way we did.
“We still need to fine-tune a few aspects of our play and when that finally clicks which will hopefully be when we don’t have to keep making so many player changes every week due to players being away, then the lads can only get better and performances will be more consistent.
“Hertford Heath threw everything at us late on. Matt Davis pulled off one great save at 2-1 to keep us in front and thankfully we repaid him by killing the game off with a third.
“One more game next week before a two-week break which will allow everyone to recharge their batteries after a demanding start.”
Lions: Matt Davis, Danny Cole, Adam Myeroff, Rob Glass, Ben Lauffer, Daniel Stanton, Josh Newman, Ben Lampert (sub: Tony Gold), Daniel Levenfiche (sub: Andy Glynne), Matt Stock, Adam Stolerman
Man-of-the-match: Ben Lauffer