Lions Vets hit for six by title rivals

Maccabi London Lions over-35's suffered a heavy defeat against title rivals Winchmore Hill to hand the initiative to their opponents in the race for the Garston League.




A somewhat depleted Lions side went down heavily at championship rivals Winchmore Hill on Sunday, handing the initiative in the title race to their hosts in the process.

Shorn of an entire back four and with Rayner playing through the pain barrier, Alex Levack missing due to a family bereavement while skipper Brad Lazarus was recovering from knee surgery, it was still an experienced side that Lions were able to put out. Paul Linger and Pete Lazard took up duties in the heart of the back line while Matt Kleinman worked tirelessly from the off to offer then protection.

The opposition are a fine side, and playing some excellent football tried to exert some early pressure. But this had the makings of a fine match, with Lions giving as good as they got, the first real chances coming their way as Craig Pearl shot narrowly wide before seeing a second effort scrambled off the line.

Unfortunately though when Linger tried to take down a deep cross and play out from the back he lost control, the loose ball worked back across for the Hill striker to gratefully bury from close range.

If that was a gift what followed was wrapped with bows and glitter and a free case of champagne. A hopeful ball in from the Hill left saw Tony Gold and Brad Lee fail to to communicate, the former cushioning a header back towards his keeper only for Lee to have vacated his goal to come and gather.  Both could only watch in horror as in almost slow motion the ball bobbled into the net for an own goal.

Lions never gave up to be fair, Saul Conway working so hard to try and create, and perhaps on another day may have had a penalty when he was crunched by the keeper having beaten him to the ball, his effort though headed clear off the line by the covering defender. But the side were unable to see the half out at two, a third added just shy of the whistle effectively sealing the game, Lee chipped from the edge of the box.

Again Lions didn’t feel sorry for themselves. Myeroff bravely took to the field despite only having had surgery for a hernia four weeks ago. They kept going and were having the better of things when Conway’s direct running won the side a free kick 25 yards out. Linger stepped up and curled the ball into the top corner to give the side a lifeline.

With a bit of belief they came again, Linger headed inches wide from a corner and then lofting a delicate effort oh so close to the top corner with the keeper routed. The hosts though remained a threat on the break, and when an initial challenge was missed it left a tentative Myeroff in a foot race that eventually resulted in a trip and a penalty kick that, when the ball hit the net, saw the game effectively over.

Lions gambled and did create the odd chance, but in truth the extra space late on allowed Hill the freedom to add a fifth and, with virtually the last kick, a sixth that left a scoreline that a hard working Lions side probably didn’t deserve.

LIONS: Brad Lee, Jon Rayner, Tony Gold, Pete Lazard, Paul Linger, Matt Kleinman, Danny Daggers, Craig Pearl, Saul Conway, Paul Lenchner, Hadley Silver. Subs: Max Radford, Adam Myeroff, Gideon Gold

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