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Rusty Lions downed by champions

Oakwood maintained their merciless march to the title with a hard-earned victory in a five-goal thriller against Lions at Rowley Lane.

    A well contested game was won by "the best team," according to Oakwood joint-manager Dan Kristall.

    The defending champions dug in, battled well from a goal down and scored "some lovely goals".

    Toby Levy cancelled out David Nezri's opener with a brilliant finish and Josh Cuby's goal was another outstanding individual goal. He hit the ball perfectly. Kristall remarked: "You will not see two better goals this weekend.

    Kristall told JC Sport: "Overall, we pressed them well, created some good opportunities and got better as the game went on.

    "We had to shuffle the back four in the closing stages and I think this impacted our rhythm but we saw the game out well.

    "Credit to Lions, they are a good side. It's a strong league and they will continue to take points from good teams. They pass the ball nicely and play football in the right way, they also took their two goals very well, although we helped them with the first. 

    David Nezri bagged a brace for the Lions and boss Sam Marchant admitted that a lack of match sharpness proved decisive.

    Marchant told JC Sport: "We knew today was going to be extremely tough, facing the reigning champions and off the back of a Christmas break and no match played for a month.

    "We certainly were not at our best today but we worked hard.

    "We found it difficult to get the ball down and play, especially with Oakwood pressing high up the pitch. Perhaps our desire and passion was also not at it’s best with post-break blues but this will come back in the following weeks.

    "It wasn’t until we went 3-1 down when there was a clear reaction and we took control of much more of the game. Of course, it’s a shame to lose, but we knew it is one of our toughest matches and with a good few games left this season we want to work hard and finish on a high note.

    "Now that we are back, we can train again and fitness levels should come back soon.

    "Credit to David Nezri today who isn’t usually on the score sheet but scored two lovely goals today."

    Kristall responded: "The lack of game time that Sam refers to also impacted us so I'm not sure this can be used as a reason for the result.

    "As for us, we regroup and go again against a resurgent Raiders on Sunday."

    LIONS: James Harpin, Jordan Aspis, Nick Barnett, Joe Bellman, Edward Brafman, Sammy Kingston, Zak Linden, David Nezri, Ben Winters, Adam Hassanali, Josh Bloom. Subs: Charlie Cohen, Michael Kenley, Benji Weinberger

    SCORERS: Nezri 2

    OAKWOOD: Joe Botchin, David Cohen, Alex Lee, Tom Cantor, Lee Warner, Kyle Bentwood, Simon Davies, Brad Wine, Toby Levy, Sam Cantor, Leor Sidle. Subs: Josh Cuby, George Goldberg, Ben Peppi, David Woolman

    SCORERS: Levy, T. Cantor, Cuby

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