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Baldock Town wrestle Herts Centenary Trophy from London Lions

London Lions failed in their bid to retain the Herts Centenary Trophy as they went down to Baldock Town in a well-contested final at Hemel Hempstead FC on Tuesday night.

    HERTS CENTENARY TROPHY FINAL

    BALDOCK TOWN 2 LONDON LIONS 0

    Baldock, who sit a place above third-placed Lions in the Spartan South Midlands League Division One, scored a goal in each half and defended resolutely to claim victory.

    A high-octane affair saw Baldock have the first chance, when striker Russell Bull's free-kick crept under the Lions wall, but was claimed by goalkeeper James Harpin at the second attempt, via the post.

    Lions responded, with top-scorer Adam Bolle connecting with a dangerous cross, but Adam Harpur moved across his line sharply to pull off a good save.

    SEE MATCH HIGHLIGHTS

    The Lions then had a strong appeal for a penalty, when Adam Burchell raced clear of the Baldock defence and beat Harpur to the ball, before he was scythed down by the keeper. The match officials ruled that the foul had taken place just outside the penalty area, and Harpur was relieved to escape with just a caution.

    SEE MATCH PHOTOS

    Boosted by the let-off, Baldock went on the attack and a dangerous cross from the left was bundled over the line by Alex Coppin 10 minutes before half-time.

    Baldock came close again just two minutes later, but Coppin fired over with the goal at his mercy, and Baldock went into the break a goal to the good.

    CARO'S COLUMN

    The Lions showed renewed impetus at the start of the second half, but Baldock defended well and in numbers - in truth they were rarely stretched by a Lions team who have hit 76 goals in the league so far this season, with Bolle, Austin Lipman and Adam Burchell well-marshalled.

    Both goalkeepers were then called in action within moments of one another. First, Harpur kept the Lions out before star man Joshua Coley was denied by Harpin who showed great bravery to deny the livewire.

    The Lions players and supporters were somewhat surprised to see 18-year-old Coley taken off just past the hour mark, having shown off his full repertoire of silky skills and quick feet on the wings.

    In truth, his departure did little to stem Baldock's rhythm, as they kept the Lions at arm's length, not allowing them any space between the lines, whilst always a danger on the break.

    And it was from a Lions mistake that Baldock were able to clinch the match when Adam Harvey's attempted back-header to Harpin was intercepted by substitute Harrison Holland who rolled the ball into the unguarded net to make it 2-0.

    As the final whistle sounded, the Lions had given their all but they had long run out of ideas as they crashed to their third defeat of the season to cup winners Baldock Town.

    Stand-out performances on the night for the Lions were skipper Jake Furman, who made some crucial interceptions, along with Nick Landesberg, Jordan Marks and the evergreen Adam Myeroff, who made his 450th appearance for the team.

    BALDOCK: A. Harpur, S. Brooks, J. Furness, M. Lee, L. Kenna, L. Lee, A. Coppin, F. Morris (sub: Alfie Barker 86), R. Bull (sub: H. Holland 70), L. Baker, J. Coley (sub: Z. Decker 63). Subs: J. Farmer, A. Barker, K, Forsythe

    SCORERS: Bull 35, Holland

    LIONS: J. Harpin, A. Myeroff, J.Marks, M. Hahn, A. Harvey, N. Landesberg (sub: S. Hamerton), L. Mannie (sub: Tyler Smith), J. Furman ([Capt] - sub: Jack Mattey 76), A. Bolle, A. Lipman, A. Burchell. Subs: J. Mattey, T. Smith, O. Craig, Z. Rose

    MAN-OF-THE-MATCH: Coley

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