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Lions leave champions feeling Blue

Oakwood's title hopes are hanging by a thread after they suffered a shock defeat at the hands of Lions Blue, courtesy of goals from Josh Bloom, Michael Kenley and Liron Mannie.

    Kyle Bentwood's 59th minute effort gave Oakwood hope but their destiny now lies out of their hands.

    Jubilant Lions boss Sam Marchant told JC Sport: "Heading into our last game of the season, we really wanted to finish on a high and thankfully did just that.

    "Oakwood A are a strong side, title challengers this season and we knew this game was a big occasions for them, and a slip-up could cost them their chances of winning the league.

    "We lost to them at home earlier in the season in a close game so we knew if we were at our best we could get something. All the lads worked tirelessly today and proved to ourselves what we are actually capable of if we are committed and concentrated each week.

    "All our three goals today were of real quality and we certainly deserved to get the three points.

    "It feels great to finish the season in such a positive manner, and for our first season in this league, we feel we have done well, learnt a lot, and will be prepared better for next season."

    Oakwood joint-manager Dan Kristall gave an honest assessment and told JC Sport: "This was a hugely disappointing day for the club. To be clear, we deserved nothing from the game and were beaten by the better side on the day.

    "Unfortunately, it feels like our injury list has caught up on us. Missing up to seven key players, we just couldn't get going in a game where I felt the first goal was key. They scored it on half-time and we just couldn't get ourselves going.

    "Having got back into the game and dominating possession, we knew we would leave ourselves open at the back and that is when Lions scored their third. We were too sloppy on the ball and lacked creativity in the final third. I can't fault our effort on Sunday but we just had an off day."

    Kristall believes the title has now gone. He went on to say: "Credit to Lions who won't have put a stronger 11 out all season - they included a few Saturday players) and like most teams, we play against, they were desperate to beat us. It is a shame they don't put that team out every week because if they did, they'd challenging at the top and certainly taking points off lots of other sides, including Hendon.

    "We didn't lose the title in this game, we lost it through dropping too many points at key times throughout the season."

    But he believes his squad is capable of finishing the season with a bang. "Having said that and given our injury list, if we do ultimately finish second with our cup final to follow, it will have been another really positive season for Oakwood.

    "We will work hard in the summer to recover players and add the quality that we need to challenge for the title again next season.

    "In the meantime, we will now prepare for the final in three weeks time, where we hope to recover some of the injured boys."

    OAKWOOD: Joe Botchin, Dave Cohen, Kyle Bentwood, Dale Bradman, Alex Lee, Luke Brookner, Tom Cantor, Simon Davies, Toby Levy, Brad Wine, Leor Sidle. Subs: Jake Norton, Rafi Stone, David Woolman

    SCORER: Bentwood

    LIONS: James Harpin, Jordan Aspis, Daniel Behar, Ed Brafman, Adam Lipman, Zac Rose, Ben Winters, Adam Hassanali, Jono Gaon, Josh Bloom, Adam Abadi. Subs: Michael Kenley, Liron Mannie, Zac Perez

    SCORERS: Bloom, Kenley, Mannie

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