Lipman late show preserves perfect record

London Lions came through their toughest test of the season with a late 3-1 win at Knebworth, thanks to two vital strikes in the last 10 minutes from Austin Lipman.




The team’s 100 per cent record was on the line, and there was a determination to keep this going into 2017, and all looked to be on course after 30 minutes when Jordan Marks was felled in the box. Up stepped James Gershfield to net his 29th goal of the season.

Within five minutes, Knebworth had restored parity when Lions goalkeeper Reuben Rabstein made a rare error and the home team took full advantage to square the game at 1-1.

With Lions struggling to impose themselves, a difficult pitch, and stubborn opposition, the team were getting frustrated.

Harry Hatchwell was shielding the defence superbly, and Adam Burchell’s introduction sparked good momentum, but Rabstein was required several times after the break, and he atoned with some fine goalkeeping to prevent the home side going in front.

Lipman was thwarted at the far post by the Knebworth keeper as Lions pressed for a winner. Gershfield then looked like he was going to score as he capitalised on a slip in the Knebworth defence but the home keeper proved he was also on form and denied the Lions striker.

Just as the game was drifting toward a stalemate – and Lions 100 per cent record looked like going – up stepped the classy Lipman.

With just eight minutes remaining, Lions were awarded a free-kick on the edge of the box, and the Lions midfielder hit a beautiful strike into the net to send Lions into raptures.

With Knebworth’s hearts broken, there was time for another from Lipman just four minutes later as Lions wrapped up a 3-1 scoreline which belied the difficulty of this game.

Lions manager Andy Landsberg was full of praise for his team and said: “It was one of those days where things were not running for us.

“It would have been easy to let our 100 per cent record go, but the boys ground something out which means we go into 2017 with 15 wins from 15 games.

“Austin produced two vital goals late on but it was a great test of who we are as a team.”

LIONS: Reuben Rabstein, Adam Lipman, Charlie Rubin, Andy Glynne, Nick Landesberg, Harry Hatchwell, Jake Furman, Charlie Kasler, Jordan Marks, Austin Lipman, James Gershfield. Sub: Adam Burchell

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