Captain Lazarus to the rescue for Lions Vets


Another cracking Garston Vets League game at The Lane on Sunday morning saw London Lions share the spoils with newcomers Rickmansworth Town – having been two down a decent result although again the home side created more than enough chances to win the game.

Lions welcomed back Andy Myers and Alex Levack while there was a first start of the season for Paul Lenchner. On the flip side, aside from the long-term absentees, in-form Craig Pearl’s skills were being put to use running his kid’s birthday party and so missed out.

On a beautiful morning with the pitch in it’s usual splendid shape both teams started at a decent pace. There was a real flow to the game, with the RTFC front-line serving early notice of the threat they carried with some positive running and fine touches.

It was the hosts though who had the two best chances. Firstly, Lenchner shrugged off a challenge to get to a bouncing ball, and as the keeper came out he lobbed the ball over him but inches wide of the far post.

Getting joy in the wide areas it was Max Radford who spurned the next chance, this time through on goal in the right-hand channel his cross come shot ended up being neither.

As has been the way of things lately, having missed two or three excellent chances the opposition seem to score with their first chance. Or half chance. Or, in this case, quarter chance. A break down the right saw the ball crossed in, the RTFC forward quite brilliantly wrapping his foot round the ball as he challenged with Adam Myeroff, catching it as sweet as you like, the volley arrowing into the top corner to give the visitors the lead.

Lions continued to press and passed up more presentable opportunities, twice Lenchner headers didn’t carry enough sting, while both Scott Levy and Saul Conway were off target. And then a mis-placed pass from Myeroff was intercepted and before Lions knew it they were two down, as RTFC broke swiftly, the forward cutting inside Myers’ desperate lunge before squaring un-selfishly for his partner to tap home.

Shortly after it was almost three, another break saw the striker through on goal, keeper Dan Jacobs thankfully able to beat away his rasping effort.

Then right on half time Lions should have got back on terms, but in an almighty scramble that saw the woodwork struck, a block on the line and a brave save the score remained 2-0 at the break.

Playing well the message was to do more of the same. Brad Lazarus came on and Levy took up a more central role, with Dan Piler moving inside to replace the hard-working Dan Reuben. Lions continued to be the side asking the questions, Myers twice heading wide from corners while Radford having done the hard work spooned one over the bar. Radford again had a sight of goal but fired at the keeper.

With the pressure building the breakthrough finally came. Lazarus delivered a peach of a cross that Lenchner rose high to head back over the keeper into the far corner, a really fine goal.

A determined Lions pressed again, Lazarus shooting over and Rayner’s effort blocked by a sliding defender.

The chance to equalise came with 10 minutes on the clock, another Lazarus cross into Conway saw the Lions front man barged over by an over-zealous defender. Skipper Lazarus assumed responsibility and made no mistake from the spot.

Could either team win it? RTFC had a great chance on the break but shot into the side-netting but it was the hosts who came closest, Lazarus again the instigator as his fine ball found Conway with time in the box, but sadly for Lions he again struck the ball too close to the keeper who kicked away the danger.

One final corner was delivered, headed out to Levack, but his shot ballooned over the bar and with it both sides settled for a hard earned draw, Lions though left to reflect again on a performance that failed to yield the goals it deserved.

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