FA VASE FIRST ROUND
LONDON LIONS 3 CLAPTON FC 2
Without ever being individually at their best, it was another excellent team performance that deservedly saw Lions into the hat for the second round of the prestigious FA Vase, the scoreline implying a closer game than it really was.
The hosts started far sharper and had it not been for the gale force winds might well have taken fuller advantage. The chances were coming to them, Jack Mattey sent clear by Austin Lipman for the best of these but he couldn’t apply the finish the pass deserved.
However, it didn’t take long and it was Lipman who was the creator in chief again, this time his slide rue pass caught out a square defence, finding the run of Burchell who finished expertly.
Burchell’s pace was causing Clapton no end of problems and he almost doubled the advantage, denied only by a brave bit of goal keeping.
It took a linesman’s flag on the stroke of half time to chalk off Adam Myeroff’s close range finish, which would have been a special moment for the club legend.
Lions would have expected an onslaught at the start of the second half, but with it barely a minute old they were gifted the chance to double their lead when a loose pass out of defence was intercepted by Charlie Kasler. Needing no second invitation Kasler strode forward, and with that trusty right foot there was never any doubt, the net bulging from his composed finish.
On the hour though Clapton, cheered on by their raucous following, finally stirred from their slumber. A fabulous low save by Dan Lipman kept them at bay initially, but soon after he was powerless to prevent them pulling a goal back. And they almost equalised moments later, a free kick eventually bundled just wide.
Max Kyte was introduced for his first outing of the season, and he played a huge part in snuffing out any thoughts of a fightback. From a throw in on their left the big man used his strength to hold off his marker before flicking the bouncing ball into the path of Burchell, the Lions livewire finding the bottom corner to restore the two-goal cushion.
While Lipman again saved well, Lions were giving as good as they got and controlled the final 15 minutes without real alarm, Clapton though did manage a consolation second deep into added time, the game barely having time to restart before the final whistle blew to seal a thoroughly well earned victory.
LIONS: Dan Lipman, Adam Myeroff, Jon Ellis, Nick Landesberg (capt), Charlie Rubin, Adam Lipman, Jake Furman, Charlie Kasler, Adam Burchell, Austin Lipman, Jack Mattey. Subs: Josh Shack, Tyler Smith, Max Kyte
SCORERS: Burchell 2, Kasler