MGBSFL PREMIER DIVISION
MACCABI LONDON LIONS A 4 CAMDEN PARK 1
A deadly double from Jamie Jackson saw Maccabi London Lions A secured their second consecutive win under new managers Will Beresford and Ryan Springer as they over-powered Camden Park 4-1 at Rowley Lane.
This was a contest in which the Lions showed great character to come from a goal down, with James Gershfield and James Gold, who capped his comeback match following a three-month injury layoff, easing Lions into the top four.
After last week’s cup win, Lions set up with an identical 4-2-3-1 formation, with David Kosky returning in goal after an 18-month sabbatical and Cameron Most making his first appearance of the season at right-back. This saw Max Hassell move into a centre-half role alongside Alex Taylor.
Both sides took a while to get into the game, with Lions knocking the ball around nicely in midfield but lacking any real threat in the final third. They were constantly trying to find their talisman Adam Arnold, but Camden sensed the danger and held a tight, compact shape.
Then, after a Lions corner was cleared, Camden hit them quickly on the counter attack, outnumbering the Lions players chasing them back. A quick switch set Saunders clear, with a one-on-one against Kosky, which he took advantage of, cooly stroking the ball into the far corner. This was a big wake-up call and summed up a lethargic first-half display from Lions.
Half-time saw a few changes, with Sam Lewis and James Gold replacing Sam Arghebant and Alex Rose; Gold’s first game after a three-month injury lay-off. But it was Camden who came closest early into the half, with their striker finding himself with only Kosky to beat, before Taylor made a strong, inch perfect recovery tackle from behind in his own penalty box. Camden, will have been kicking themselves and really couldn’t have asked for a clearer opportunity to go two goals ahead.
If Lions were to get anything from this game they needed to act fast with Camden gaining more belief as the half went on. A well-delivered corner from Aviel Schwarz saw Lions big Scotsman, Jamie Jackson bravely rise above two Camden defenders to send a bullet header into the back of the net, game on.
The stage was now set for Jackson to take the game by the scruff of its neck and within five minutes of his equaliser he sure did. Winning the ball off the Camden midfield with a crunching challenge on the halfway line, he marauded his way through the middle of the park before unleashing a 30-yard power driver low and hard which nestled sweetly into the bottom corner. If his fellow Scotsman Andy Gray was commentating he would say something like, "Ohhhh ya beauty, What a hit son, what a hit".
Confidence was now sky high among the Lions players, and it was left to skipper James Gershfield to put the game to bed. A route one drop kick from Kosky landed over the Camden centre half’s head, with the onrushing Gershfield calmly chipping the ball over the keeper for 3-1. A difficult finish made to look easy by the striker.
As the game drew to a close Camden threw themselves at Lions, with James Gold putting in a tireless defensive display at the end as he constantly got back from midfield to help Will Beresford down the left as Camden continued to push everyone forward. Gold’s hard work was soon rewarded, as he finished off a tidy move that saw a strong Lions second half come to a close.
A Lions spokesman commented: "Credit to must be given to all the Lions players and coach Ryan Springer on the touch-line. Their first half display was well below standard, but everyone dug deep and stayed focused to turn the game around in the second half. On to next week."
LIONS: David Kosky, Alex Taylor, Cameron Most, Max Hassell, Will Beresford, Jamie Jackson, Richard Gold, Sam Arghebant, Alex Rose, Adam Arnold, James Gershfield. Subs: James Gold, Aviel Schwarz, Sam Lewis
SCORERS: Jackson (2), Gershfield, Gold