GARSTON VETS LEAGUE
RAYNERS LANE 0 MACCABI LONDON LIONS 5
Josh Bentley slotted into the heart of the defence and had an excellent game – physically commanding, as expected, but his use of the ball throughout was exceptional. Rob Glass, Jon Rayner and Tony Gold were their usual busy selves, while Alex Levack, Craig Pearl, Dan Stanton and latterly Paul Linger controlled midfield almost from the off.
And thus from this solid base the side tried to play. Paul Lenchner led the line superbly while the craft and guile of Brad Lazarus and Hadley Silver saw Lions create chances.
Silver was especially was getting joy, and adapting better than almost anyone to the surface just failed to apply the finish to a jinking run that gave him a sight of goal. But when Levack’s precision long ball found Silver, He controlled it beautifully on his chest on the run before poking a finish past the on-rushing keeper.
Pearl then headed wide from Bentley’s clever knock-back while Lazarus and Silver both stung the keeper’s hands. However, the best chance actually fell to Rayners Lane, Rob Abrahams with a terrific save to keep the lead intact.
The hosts were tough and physical and always carried a threat, but in truth Lions retained the upper hand. But while the second goal remained elusive the lead remained precarious.
Pearl had a another headed chance that he put wide and the final balls, often pitch related, weren’t at their best. However, with the half approaching its close, Mike Pearson made a fine burst that won Lions a corner. Silver whipped it in and Glass rose to power a header home. And within a minute an almost duplicate goal effectively settled the game, Silver’s corner, Glass’s header, 3-0.
As expected, Rayners came out purposefully at the start of the second period and on the hour might have got back into the game, but their striker fired wide after the award of the softest of penalties.
In truth, though, Lions remained on top. And after both Lazarus and Linger had shaken the frame of the goal with brilliant efforts, Pearson scored a stunner, crashing home an unstoppable strike from just outside the box.
The icing on the cake came in the dying moments, Silver’s attempted long-range chip was fumbled over the line by the otherwise impressive home keeper. Few could deny that Silver deserved a second goal to his name.
LIONS: Rob Abrahams, Jon Rayner, Josh Bentley, Rob Glass, Tony Gold, Craig Pearl, Alex Levack, Dan Stanton, Paul Lenchner, Brad Lazarus, Hadley Silver. Subs: Mike Pearson, Paul Linger
SCORERS: Silver 2, Glass 2, Pearson