Four-midable Lions Vets march on

Maccabi London Lions rounded off the year in style with a crushing 4-0 triumph over Waltham Forest in the Garston Vets League.




This was far from the convincing victory that the scoreline suggests. With the difficult weather of the last week, both sides were thankful of getting the game played, but the 3G surface robbed Lions of one or two regulars whilst certainly doing little to aid the quality of their football.

Usually assured players were struggling to complete simple passes and with Waltham Forest adapting better they certainly carried a threat.  But Lions, having caused most of their own problems, thankfully managed to solve them, and some last-ditch covering limited Forest to efforts from distance that goalkeeper Rob Abrahams had well covered.

At the other end, when they strung a few passes together, Lions were menacing. Lee Cash served notice that he was to be Lions’ key man when he controlled a deep cross in one before swivelling and executing a most delightful chip, denied a stunning goal only by the crossbar.

But when shortly after he was played in down the right channel by a fine Jon Rayner pass, Cash deceived his man before drilling a low finish in at the near post to give the side a lead they would take into the break.

Again, despite having most of the play, Lions couldn’t find a second, and were almost made to pay when on the break, although seemingly yards offside, Forest’s striker bore down on Abrahams. The Lions stopper managed to force him wide enough to allow Glass the chance to get back to execute an outstanding goal-line clearance. But the incident left Lions with two problems – 10 men for 10 minutes without Rob Glass for something he said and the loss of their keeper with Abrahams injuring his knee, meaning player-manager Dan Jacobs replaced him in between the sticks. The side, however, weathered the storm - in fact it seemed to galvanise them as they played some of their best football of the match.

The breathing space they desired finally came when a great move finally saw Craig Pearl feed Cash whose pinpoint cross to the far post was volleyed in for the sweetest of finishes by Hadley Silver.

And when two minutes later Cash rocketed home from 12 yards from a fine Rayner lay off the points were secured. 

Forest never gave up, and a superb mazy run from half way that evaded four challenges almost led to one of the goals of the season, the final strike though coming back off the post.

And to add insult to injury Lions went up the other end where Silver’s cross was laid on plate for super-sub Mark Wagman to head into the unguarded net from close range to complete the scoring.

Lions end 2017 with a victory and enter 2018 still in the hunt for honours. But with some tough draws in all the cup competitions they’ll need to be at their best to remain so.

LIONS: Rob Abrahams, Matt Kleinman, Jon Rayner, Rob Glass, Tony Gold, Craig Pearl, Alex Levack, Daniel Stanton, Paul Lenchner, Hadley Silver, Lee Cash. Subs: Dan Jacobs, Max Radford, Mark Wagman

SCORERS: Cash 2, Silver, Wagman

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