GARSTON VETS LEAGUE
MACCABI LONDON LIONS 1 WINCHMORE HILL 3
The Lions made a good fist of it, however, and have plenty to reflect on - ruing a host of missed chances that might well have given the game a different outcome.
Losing Craig Pearl, Adam Harvey and Hadley Silver in build-up to kick off left Lions with a bare 11, but they started well and should really have been ahead in the opening stages. A poor clearance from the Hill keeper saw Alex Levack through on goal, but electing for power his strike whistled inches wide.
Moments later Dan Stanton fed Saul Conway who elected to cross rather than shoot when clean through, and the opportunity disappeared.
Dominating the early possession, the Lions were on top, but without it they gave too much space to a very clever opponent. A neat move saw the ball fed out to their right winger who crossed early. Rob Abrahams came positively, but was beaten to the ball but the Hill centre forward, the ball trickling into the net to give the visitors the lead.
And as Lions pushed to get back on level terms they quickly found themselves two down and with a mountain to climb, a break away eventually seeing Adam Myeroff and Abrahams block the first effort but powerless as the loose ball was hammered home from close range.
Rob Glass and Paul Lenchner both had decent sights of goal but neither could get their shots on target, and so the side went into the break still two goals down and in need of a spark.
The hosts started the second period positively, mindful that Hill remained a constant threat. Myeroff and Glass however kept things tight and slowly Lions’ extra mobility began to pay dividends.
Having had decent sights of goal again they finally got back in the match with 20 minutes remaining, Conway capitalising on a loose pass to cross for Lenchner to bundle the ball home.
Game on, and it seemed as if a minutes later the scores would be tied as Lee Cash’s delicious cross found the head of Conway unmarked in the six-yard box, but with goal at his mercy he just couldn’t keep his effort down.
And as is football’s want, Hill went up the other end and, with nothing on and fully 30 yards out their midfielder decided to chance his arm, the ball arrowing into the top corner. A stunning strike that knocked the stuffing out of Lions.
Jon Rayner and Tony Gold pushed on, Matty Kleinman sat to protect and Lions really went for it. But despite a host of decent opening Lions couldn’t turn any of them into goals, their day summed up when a last minute scramble saw the ball cleared off the line no less than three times before wedging itself between the keeper's legs!
The final whistle brought Lions disappointment and frustration at the things they didn’t do well. But against the best side in the league they created more than enough to get something from the game and must take the positives from that.
LIONS; Rob Abrahams, Jon Rayner, Rob Glass, Adam Myeroff, Tony Gold, Alex Levack, Matty Kleinman, Dan Stanton, Lee Cash, Saul Conway, Paul Lenchner