SPARTAN SOUTH MIDLANDS LEAGUE DIVISION ONE
LONDON LIONS 3 WINSLOW UNITED 2
With the attendance swelled to 117 thanks to the Junior Fun Day, Lions were cheered on by an enthusiastic young crowd and a fleet of Mascots as the players entered.
They were further encouraged by a strong early start; Adam Burchell was superbly freed down the left and his low cross was diverted in by Lions’ Adam Bolle to give the home side the advantage after 15 minutes.
Soon after, the lively Jack Mattey burst through on goal only to be upended by Winslow’s stand-in keeper. After much deliberation the referee gave him his marching orders as the visitors now also had a numerical disadvantage to contend with.
Lions didn’t really take advantage and Winslow showed why they are also a top-five side with their resolute and organised response.
On 44 minutes, and against the run of play, Winslow carved out a chance of their own and dissected the Lions central defence to leave a one-on-one which they took to equalise.
A matter of two minutes later, the visitors had a chance to turn the game on its head. They won a penalty after a clumsy foul by the Lions defender. Staring down at 40 noisy home fans (aged 10 and under) behind the goal, was probably not the usual spot-kick environment for the Winslow player and he scuffed his effort agonisingly wide to give Lions a reprieve.
After the interval, it would be flattering to say Lions hit anywhere near top gear – especially with the loss of Jordan Marks to injury and then a further injury to his replacement Sam Hamerton – but they did enough to emerge in front.
Firstly, Mattey again broke clear and showed good speed and composure to finish into the back of the net.
He was again charged over in the box, and maybe fortunate to be awarded a spot-kick for what was a determined challenge, but Bolle showed no sympathy with a deadly spot kick into the top corner.
Winslow refused to give up however and a late goal, and further red card for the visitors, ensured the game stayed dramatic and exciting to the death.
A good day for Lions as a club, and despite not hitting top gear in any sustained period, a good result in a tricky week of games.
LIONS: Ross Weinrabe, Jake Rinsler, Jordan Marks, Jack Mattey, Adam Myeroff, Nick Landesberg, Liron Mannie, Jake Furman, Adam Bolle, Adam Burchell, Austin Lipman. Subs: Sam Hamerton, Tyler Smith
SCORERS: Bolle 2, Mattey