Kennet injured as Lions go down fighting

London Lions went down to a narrow victory at home to Broxbourne Borough, but manager Tony Gold was delighted with the level of performance following two heavy defeats.



London Lions went down to a narrow victory at home to Broxbourne Borough, but manager Tony Gold was delighted with the level of performance following two heavy defeats.

What a difference three days make. London Lions buried the nightmare of Saturday's horror show and responded with a resurrection that Jesus of Nazareth would have been proud of. There would be no parting of the waves, gut wrenching horror, shootouts or punch-ups in this Lions performance.

"Yes, Broxbourne Borough left Hemel with all three points and Lions fell to a third straight loss, but it was an extremely harsh outcome given the manner in which Lions pushed a side destined for promotion.

The only goal came in the 89th minute and it was a galling blow, as Lions performance warranted at least a point. The way Broxbourne celebrated the goal one could be forgiven for thinking they had won the FA Cup, but it was testament to the fact they knew they had been in a game and were relieved that the three points kept their promotion push very much alive.

Once again, Lions were forced into changes, but had they not, no-one could have had any complaints following the previous games lack of conviction. Dan Lee, Kyle Bentwood and Jake Rinsler all missed out, with Ross Weinrabe, Adam Myeroff, TJ Keterman and the evergreen Lee Cash returning to the fold. It was great to see the latter back in football and a Lions shirt playing at a level he should have been playing years ago.

The game started frantically with Broxbourne looking to extend a 10-game winning streak and Lions looking to cleanse their souls. Broxbourne resorted to a rather direct approach as they themselves were missing two or three of their normal playmakers. At every opportunity they would look to feed the big man up front who in turn would look to bring in the pacy wingers.

Guy Morris and Adam Myeroff, at the heart of the Lions defence produced massive shifts, winning virtually every header and tackle that presented itself. Lions themselves were bright and lively, especially in central areas, as Charlie Kasler and Josh Kennet's energy and ingenuity kept the visitors rear guard on their toes.

Kasler has become somewhat of an important piece in Lions midfield in recent weeks and it was his inventiveness and cleverness that resulted in the first real chance of the match. The visiting keeper however matched his imagination and ensured the score remained goalless.

Broxbourne continued to probe and Lions always had to be respectful as Ross Weinrabe was called into action on two occasions as the half drew to a close, with the game still there for the taking.

As the second half ticked away, both teams lost intensity. Neither side could continue to maintain the levels of shown in the first 45 minutes. Arguably, the turning point in the game came on 60 minutes when Kennet suffered a nasty injury, resulting in him having to be stretchered off the field of play and be replaced by Sam Shooter.

Kennet's foot seemed to get stuck in the ground and with him moving one way and his knee going the other, he collapsed in agony to the ground. It was a real blow for him and Lions as he has been a shining light for the team all season both as skipper and on the field of play. Everyone at Lions wishes him a speedy recovery.

The cutting edge Lions needed to score that all-important goal just couldn't muster itself. As the game entered the final throws it looked as if each team would leave with a creditable point, but Broxbourne had other ideas and with one final throw of the dice, they reached deep into the back pockets of the Lions team and stole all three, scoring the winner in the 89th minute.

From Lions's perspective and the way they had defended over the previous 89 minutes, it was a goal they will be disappointed in conceding and it was a bitter pill to swallow. However, every cloud has a silver lining, the management team wanted a response and they got one.

Lions boss Tony Gold said: "The result didn't go their way, but the team performance was one the group could be proud of. If Lions continue to show the same tenacity, resolve and desire moving forward over the next 19 games, then they are sure to win far more games than they will lose.

"The players will feel like they were robbed of a point tonight and it certainly feels like a smack in the face, but you have to give credit to Broxbourne. The league table doesn't lie and they are where they are because they have that never-say-die attitude week on week. They smell blood and keep going for the kill. They dug deep and always had that cutting edge which unfortunately we lost once losing Josh to that unfortunate injury.

"Having said that, we can't always rely on the same players to muster up that bit of magic, other players need to start taking their fair share. Small margins, if I have one critique of my players tonight, it was the fact that we were not astute enough when in possession of the ball. We have to be shrewder in certain situations and allow our back four to breathe once in a while.

"We are so close but yet so far in that regard and that is why we are where we are in the league. We now have 16 to 20 players capable of doing really well in this league, but they need to be available three out of every four games to build that momentum, consistency and stability needed to be a real threat in this league.

"This season was and still is all about stability. I believe we have that now. The next phase and this is the biggest challenge, is to build consistency and get the same 16 to 20 players available for every game, moving back to Rowley Lane may just be the catalyst to enable this to happen."

LIONS: Ross Weinrabe, Adam Myeroff, Guy Morris, Zac Rose, Charlie Kasler, Rick Jacobson, Josh Kennet (sub: Sam Shooter), TJ Keterman (sub: Tony Gold), Andy Glynne, Max Kyte, Lee Cash

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