Late strikes eliminates Lions from FA Vase

London Lions were knocked out of the FA Vase in heartbreaking fashion, going down to a goal in the 85th minute at Leighton Town.




Attempting to make through to the third round of the competition for the first time, Lions delivered a resilient display against Leighton Town – a team challenging for top spot in the division above – in what was a fiery game with both teams keen to progress.

With a good 140-strong crowd at the Bell Close, Lions made a nervy start, with some of the tension coming from the touchline perhaps transmitting to the players as Leighton began brightly and never allowed Lions to settle.

The home side should have taken the lead but missed the target after Adam Myeroff’s headed pass fell short of goalkeeper Dan Lipman.

Adam Bolle was shown a yellow card for a tackle that could have produced a red as he attempted to win the ball, but once the team strung some passes together, Lions started to move the ball better as the game moved toward half time.

It was Bolle who looked the most threatening when as half-time approached he flashed a header just wide, and shortly after tested the Leighton ‘keeper with a shot.

Leighton were also pressing as the game opened up and Lipman was called into action before the teams went in goalless at the interval.

The hosts were playing down the slope and continued to press Lions, but as the game wore on, it felt like the visitors looked increasingly comfortable – Nick Landesberg and Myeroff in particular putting in real shifts at the heart of the defence.

Lions had some chances to break the deadlock and pinch the win – Landesberg had a header from a corner well blocked, and Jack Mattey had two efforts that narrowly missed.

But, it was Leighton who found another gear in the last 10  minutes when they firstly forced Lipman into a superb reflex save. This resulted in a flurry of corners that saw Lions desperately keep the ball out.

The only goal of the tie arrived five minutes from time, and yet another corner. The ball somehow drifted all the way into the net straight from the delivery with just five minutes left on the clock, delivering a roar from the majority of the crowd.

This was hard on Lions as they had fought so hard and a replay looked on the cards, but it just wasn’t to be as despite a few long balls into the danger zone, Leighton had the experience to shut down the game, and Lions FA Vase run was over for the season.

LIONS: Dan Lipman, Sam Hamerton, Ollie Craig, Adam Myeroff, Nick Landesberg, Jake Furman, Charlie Kasler, Jack Mattey, Charlie Rubin, Max Kyte, Austin Lipman, Adam Bolle. Subs: Mitch Hahn, Adam Burchell

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