London Lions turn the tide

London Lions manager Andy Landesberg saw his team finish the year on a high note and is confident of making it an even happier New Year.


Lions beat Enfield Borough 3-1 at Rowley Lane and are now in 13th position in the Spartan South Midland League table, while they already have a Cup Final and a semi-final to look forward to early this year.

The last 11 games have seen Lions win nine, draw one and lose only one, but it has been a remarkable turn around for Landesberg since the season began last August.

“Things were pretty tough early on because at times we have had some 16 good players missing through injury or unavailability,” said Landesberg.

“Six or seven weeks ago I was certainly not as happy as I am right now, but it was actually a great challenge for both me and the team who have really got it together.

"We are now just four points behind sixth-placed Enfield in the league and are hoping to close the gap in the second half of the season.

“We had really high hopes at the start of the season and our aim was perhaps to win promotion, but it was very difficult with such a big list of players missing.

“But it proved to be a rewarding challenge and everyone has responded brilliantly. We were unbeaten through December and we are now aiming for at least a top-six finish. Also we have a Division One Cup final, hoping to retain the trophy we won last year, and a Herts Centenary Trophy semi-final against Broxbourne to look forward to.”

Landesberg’s current ‘missing list’ includes many important players such as Charlie Rubin, Harry Hatchwell, Max Kyte, James Gershfield, Austin Lipman, Jordan Marks, Liron Mannie, Sam Hamerton, Adam Harvey, Josh Kennet, Adam Burchell, Jake Rinsler, Ollie Craig, Jack Mattey, Levi Levenfische and Zac Rose. He said:  “That’s 16 players, so it’s a remarkable effort from the rest of the squad such as Jake Furman, Adam Harvey, Adam Bolle and Adam Myeroff who have virtually been ever-present all season.

“And another one who needs a mention is goalkeeper David Myers. He has been incredible since his return to us.”

Landesberg was especially delighted with the Division One Cup semi-final victory over the League second-placed team Broadfields United, which Lions won 6-5 in a penalty shoot-out.

With the game level at 90 minutes, the tie went straight to penalties. Both sides missed their opening kick, before Myers denied United a second time. Adam Arnold, Ollie Craig, Myeroff, Zac Rose, Reiss Mogilner and Harvey all netted to send Lions home 6-5 winners.

Lions victory over Enfield saw goals from Adam Lipman, back after eight weeks out,  a stunning 35-yard effort to equalise Enfield’s early opener, skipper Furman and an own-goal clinch the points, while Nick Landesberg was able to complete his first full 90 minutes of the season, which continues this week with another tough task in a visit to Winslow United.

Landesberg added: “I am really looking forward to the rest of the season and we will have at least three or four of our missing players back.

Hopefully we will be able to continue playing as well as we have over the past few weeks and it will be a happy New Year for Lions.”

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