Samberg stunner adds gloss in Lions win

Goalkeeper Josh Samberg scored from inside his own half as London Lions returned to winning ways with a 3-0 victory at Winslow.




After a poor midweek display in the semi-final of the Cup, Lions had an opportunity to show their mental strength in a tough away fixture against a Winslow United team lying third in the division.

There was a couple of changes to the line-up, with Levi Levenfiche taking up the centre-half role alongside Nick Landesberg, while Austin Lipman dropped to the bench. New signing Dan Cohen starting for the first time in Andy Landesberg’s team.

Prior to kick-off, Landesberg, asked his players for “a strong mental approach” to this game. He wasn’t challenging their footballing ability, but he was asking questions about their approach to this game. The team did not disappoint. The new look back four without Nathan Schindler and Lee Goldberg, set the tone, with Samberg in goal commanding at all times.

The Winslow pitch, not noted for its slick playing surface, was their extra man in a game where Lions competed all over the park.

After about 20 minutes, Lions earned a free kick around 30 yards out, whilst Jake Furman’s execution was not perfect, it came back to him and he played it to the far post where the strong Levenfiche came in and hit it onto the underside of the bar. It almost crossed the line, but it was the sharp Max Kyte who pounced on it and converted from close range. 1-0 Lions.

Winslow had a ten-minute spell where they came at Lions hard, but the visitors were having none of it. The back four were not going to be intimidated and showed the way, well-protected by the dominant Adam Lipman. This created a further confidence in the Lions, and enabled Jake Furman and Cohen to start playing the ball around, Adam Arnold also played a major role in the creative side of the game.

It was in fact the Arnold, Furman, Cohen trio that created the next goal, with Cohen slotting the ball through beyond the centre-half and Max Kyte running onto it perfectly and slotting the ball into the corner of the net beyond the advancing Winslow keeper to make it 2-0 to Lions at half-time.

The message from Landesberg was loud and clear to the whole team. The boss made it very obvious that this job was not done and there was no room for Lions to take their foot off of the pedal.

Lions did not disappoint with a very strong start to the second half. Whatever Winslow threw at the defensive unit of the Lions was handled strongly. Winslow became frustrated and Lions took control of the second half, Austin Lipman replaced Reiss Mogilner, and with ten minutes left Max Davis replaced his namesake Kyte, who had put in a massive shift up top.

Winslow’s frustrations continued, and after picking up a couple of yellow cards there was a straight red for a torrid of verbal abuse by one of the Winslow players towards ref.

Then, the coup de grace, with just three minutes remaining, Lions picked up another free kick ten yards inside their own half. Cue Josh Samberg. He stepped up to take a free-kick some 60 yards from the Winslow goal. With a little wind behind, he noticed the goalkeeper off his line, and hit straight into the back of the net without bouncing. Cue the celebrations.

The win was capped by excellent performance from left-back Benji Weinberger and Cohen, who showed his quick feet and accurate passing ability throughout. Skipper Jake Furman also caught the eye, setting the tone with his strong partner Adam Lipman leading by example and Max Kyte never stopped working, not allowing the Winslow back four to play out from the back.

Manager Andy Landesberg was delighted with the result, but even more happy with the huge performance. “Today showed what this team is capable of, but unfortunately we don’t do it enough.

“We showed great strength - both mental and physical. We saw a great performances from Dan Cohen and Levi Levenfiche, who played out of position. We saw Max Kyte get back to where he can be, and we saw the level of performance we have seen from Adam Lipman, Nick Landesberg, Adam Arnold on a week in week out basis.

“Today was the start of a new era for Lions, a new platform from which we will build.”

LIONS: Josh Samberg, Dan Cohen, Nick Landesberg, Adam Lipman, Levi Levenfiche, Jake Rinsler, Benji Weinberger, Adam Arnold, Jake Furman, Max Kyte, Reiss Mogilner. Subs: Max Davis, Nathan Schindler, Austin Lipman

SCORERS: Kyte 2, Samberg

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