Village people inflict Lions' second defeat

February 2, 2009

HSCL Prem Div: London Lions 1 Park Street Village 2

The title race was blown wide open on Saturday as Park Street Village inflicted only the second defeat on London Lions this season.

The 2-1 defeat, the first Lions have suffered at home all season didn’t tell the whole story. With 85 per cent of the game, the Lions failed to convert a number chances which would have more then won them the game.

Two defensive schoolboy errors were to prove costly as Lions lead at the top was cut to just two points as Met Police whooped Bedmond 21-1.

Missing influential players such as Guy Morris, Dominique Cheniart and captain Rob Glass, the Lions just seemed short of that final cutting edge that would have seen them gain something from the fixture.

Lions started the game well and went about their football impressively, passing the ball sharply creating openings, but PSV defended very deep making it almost impossible to find the final killer blow.

As the home side huffed and puffed they just couldn’t find a way through the tight PSV defence. Then against the run of play, the visitors took the lead after slack defending allowed the attacker space and room to finish past a terribly exposed Lions keeper in Matt Davis.

Matters worsened 10 minutes after the first goal as PSV extended their lead with a fine move exposing the Lions defence once again.

PSV then shut up shot for the rest of the first-half limiting the Lions to half chances and nothing more.

Manager Tony Gold then gave the home side 10 minutes into the second half to get themselves back into the game but however much they tried they just simply couldn’t find a way past the tight PSV defence.

Unwilling to wait any longer Gold changed the system to 4-4-2 introducing Aron Barnes and Dan Green. Almost immediately their introductions sparked a mini onslaught with Barnes injecting a much-needed urgency and energy.

Ben Lauffer could have and perhaps should have scored two goals but both chances went begging when they were there for the taking. Lee Cash, Adam Stolerman and even Barnes all had decent chances to score but either the shots lacked conviction or the PSV keeper was in fine form to keep the ball out.

With virtually the last kick of the game, Lions top-scorer Stolerman broke free and after a mix-up in the PSV defence, managed to squeeze the ball home but it was too little too late.

After the game, Gold said: "Unfortunately for us possession doesn’t win football matches. If it did we would have won this league by now.

"The bare facts are we need to be ultra clinical both in front of goal and at the back in defence and apart from one of our last four games we haven’t been anywhere near.

"Obviously any team missing three or four of their senior players is going to find it tough no matter what level your playing at because as a manager you have to compensate in certain positions, but I have no excuses today.

"Park Street turned up with a decent game plan and it worked so credit must go to them.

"The players know the score and they are fully aware of what is at stake. The next four games are absolutely crucial in terms of where our aspirations lie."

Lions: Matt Davis, Adam Lauffer (sub: Daniel Green), Alex Taylor, Adam Myeroff, Eddie Manson, Guy Helman, Danny Castle (sub: aron Barnes), Ben Lauffer, Ben Lampert (sub: Tony Gold), Lee Cash, Adam Stolerman

Last updated: 3:31pm, February 2 2009