No star treatment for Norstar in Lions’ den
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Three second half goals from Michael Pearson steered London Maccabi Lions A into the second round of the Peter Morrison Trophy, beating Division Four high-flyers UJS Norstar.
The odds were stacked against Norstar from the start as the Lions fielded almost their whole Saturday side which tops the Hertfordshire Senior County Premier Division.
The class divide was evident in the opening exchanges as the Lions stroked the ball around the greasy Rowley Lane surface.
Early on, it appeared that the visitors had not read the script. Houri put Norstar in dreamland as the minnows claimed a shock lead.
The move was instigated by great work from Nick Benson on the left flank. He found Maurice Franks on the edge of the box whose scuffed shot found its way into the path of Houri who rifled home into the bottom corner. Lions hauled themselves back on level terms with just two minutes left in the half. Tony Gold's cross was confidently headed home by Rob Glass.
Lions then stepped up a gear in the second half and forged ahead on 48 minutes. Dominic Cheniart's free-kick struck the post and was helped over the line by skipper Max Fieldgrass. The hosts went goal crazy in the last 20 minutes as they hit the target seven more times. Two quickfire strikes from Michael Pearson killed Norstar off.
Further efforts from David Goldberg, Andy Myers, Dominic Cheniart, Pearson and Glass completed the rout. Lions' joint player-manager Andy Myers said: "We dominated around 90 per cent of the game but full credit to Norstar, they never gave up and worked really hard to take the lead. In the end our quality showed."
Norstar manager Phil Peters said: "Coming to Rowley Lane is like coming to the Old Trafford of Jewish football and taking the lead here is what dreams are made of. I just think in the end Lions' superior fitness was too much for us."