Hendon "devastated" as Gold late show seals Lions win


David Garbacz insists Hendon United Sports Club only have themselvse to blame after their MGBSFL Premier Division title hopes were dealt an almighty blow following a 2-1 defeat against a rejuvenated Maccabi London Lions at Rowley Lane.

A stunning individual effort from Team Maccabi GB star Dovi Fehler had put Hendon in charge, but the Lions rallied superbly with goals from Thomas Priars and James Gold sealing a famous win.

Played on the G3 surface at Rowley Lane, a pre-kick off team-talk from ex-Premier League star and now Lions coach Mikele Leighterwood was all about keeping to the instructions and providing a disciplined performance.

That’s exactly what the Lions delivered down to a man. Ed Bloom in goal made save after save to richly deserve his man of the match accolades.

Lions started well and realised after 10 minutes or so that there was no point in paying Hendon too much respect and got on with the job in hand.

However, a remarkable solo effort from Hendon hot-shot Fehler saw him waltz through the Lions defence to put the visitors ahead.

The Lions drew level around the 30-minute mark when a swirling free-kick delivered by Will Beresford found Thomas Prias who found the net with a well-placed effort.

A few minutes later the highly impressive Zac Rose released a 30-yard bullet shot. It hit the bar and bounced down, did it cross the line? Who knows, it could well have done ...

The Lions found themselves under a storm of Hendon attacks at the start of the second half. Save after exceptional save from Bloom and some heroic defending kept the hosts in it.

With about a quarter of the match left Lions found their stride again and relished that they were a match for their highly-regarded and respected opposition.

Lions managers David Pollock and Johnny Meltzer shuffled their pack as Adam Burchill went off injured to be replaced by Adam Abodi, while Richard Gold who had fought and fought for each ball was replaced by Alex Levack.

With the clock ticking down, a draw seemed the most likely result. But James Gold had other ideas. Who knows how he still had the energy after all the running he’d put in, but he picked up the ball, hit it well, it deflected off the defender and into the net.

Hendon boss David Garbacz told JC Sport; "This was the ultimate smash and grab victory but we have only ourselves to blame.

"We probably played our best football in weeks and totally dominated possession from start to finish but for whatever reason we just aren't getting the breaks this year.

"Once again we gave away a cheap set-piece equaliser and then despite a total bombardment in the second half just could not find the net.

"In the last minute inexplicably we switched off at the back and they nicked a winner to leave us devastated."

"I don't want to take anything away from Lions - they played an excellent intense high-pressing game and are a vastly improved team from last year. They fought really hard and would have been delighted to get a draw, never mind the win.

"They set up to defend deep and to be honest it worked but we should have been out of sight long before the end had we taken any one of a number of second half chances to fall our way.

"We are miles behind now in the league - we know we still have the quality but our recent league results have been nothing short of appalling.

"We won't give up but we need a big change of fortune and we need it fast."

A Lions spokesman told JC Sport: "This team has now taken 10 points out of 12. Are we the best team in this league? Probably not! Does any other team fight and work as hard as us with such a strong team spirit? Definitely!"

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