Kennet helps Lions back from the dead against Hadley Wood

London Lions produced a sensational comeback after being 3-0 down in 50 minutes to draw 3-3 in a game they dominated for large parts.



London Lions produced a sensational comeback after being 3-0 down in 50 minutes to draw 3-3 in a game they dominated for large parts.

Hadley Wood & Wingate came into the match having lost their last three games so left out many of the development squad to include six first team squad players in the line up as losing to London Lions was obviously not on the agenda.

The game started at a frantic pace with both sides working hard to keep possession. After 14 minutes Hadley Wood & Wingate went 1 -0 up after the effective Alfie Bartram was allowed time and space to fire a low shot past Lions keeper Josh Tray. The goal was harsh on Lions who had look comfortable until then.

The next 20 minutes Lions carved out three excellent chances through Josh Kennet, Max Kyte and Charlie Kasler but the impressive Wingate keeper Jack Metcalfe produced some outstanding saves to keep them in front.

Lions had to be on their guard as Wingate’s Joe Sharp was delivering dangerous set pieces all night and nearly scored from a corner which was kept out by Tray.

Lions were dealt a further blow when they went 2-0 down just before half time when an inswinging corner was misjudged and was headed home by Josh Grantham.

Lions started the second half with real intent by pressing Wingate deep into their half but after 50 minutes they were 3-0 down after first-team regular Mark Goodman picked up the ball deep inside his half from the left back area and ran at the Lions midfield and back-line before unleashing a powerful shot from outside the box; a fantastic goal.

The visitors were down but certainly not out, and shortly after they were back in the game after Kasler slid in Max Kyte whose shot was blocked by the excellent Metcalfe but fell nicely to Jake Furman who rifled his shot into the roof of the net, 3-1.

With their tails up, great wing play between Rinsler and Kennet the ball was crossed into the box for Kyte to beat is defender in the air and head the ball against the back of another Wingate player which ricocheted into the net to make it 3-2.

There was only one team that were going score next and five minutes later Lions drew level after a sublime strike by skipper Kennet when he picked the ball up from a Rinsler pass just inside the corner of the Wingate box he bent a shot with the outside of his boot into the top left-hand corner of the net for 3-3.

Wingate were shocked and the remaining 15 minutes saw Lions knock a the door to search for a winner, they had a Kyte goal ruled out for offside and then in the dying moments Tray produced an unbelievable save from a Karl Stevenson strike to keep the scores level. A fantastic spectacle for all who were there.

Lions manager Andy Landesberg said: "I don’t know how we drew that game, I’m not sure how we were even 3-0 down because the amount of chances we had in the first half we should have been 3 or 4 up at half time, but Wingate’s keeper produced a fine string of saves that kept them in front.

"We had a few words at half time and said how well they had played and to keep believing as Steve, Darren and myself were that confident we could go on and win the game.So when we found ourselves 3-0 down early in the second half the job was even tougher.

"The response from the guys was incredible. Every player put in a shift. The experience of Jon Ellis and Ollie Craig led the back line so well, the three boys in Glynne, Furman and Kasler did not stop and the front three of Max, Ben and Josh were a threat all night.

"I was immensely proud of the group and something special is starting to build at this club again."

Lions coach Darren Yarlett said: "For the neutral is was a fantastic game, for a coach a little different but what a great performance. The boys showed another side to their game tonight and deserved all three points, to come back from three goals down you will always take the one on offer.

"Wingate were very good and this was not the same side that had been beaten in their three previous games and you could clearly see that. I said to the boys at the end of the game that they should take it as a compliment as I’m not sure how many games Wingate will field that same 11 in the Herts County again this season.

"I have to give a mention to three players, all are 18 or under but each put in an incredible performance, Zac Rose, Jake Rinsler and Josh Tray - they can be very proud and it shows the good work being done at Lions youth level.

"With Steve and myself coaching the under 16’s and 18’s this season we want to push the best players on and the current crop in both ages excites me."

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