SPARTAN SOUTH MIDLANDS LEAGUE DIVISION ONE
LONDON LIONS 2 COCKFOSTERS 2
A late equaliser from top-scorer Adam Bolle saw London Lions earn a draw against title rivals Cockfosters following a gripping encounter at Hemel Hempstead FC.
Josh Kennet had put Lions ahead with a beautifully taken free-kick before slack defending allowed Dennis Marhajan a free header to equalise. The visitors then went ahead following an unfortunate own goal from Michael Sacks before Bolle’s late strike earned Lions a point.
Lions welcomed third-placed Cockfosters to a chilly Hemel Hempstead, hoping to continue the fine run of form that’s seen the Lions win five of their last seven games.
Lions kicked off the game and it didn’t take long for them to take the lead. Bolle was fouled 20 yards from goal. Josh Kennet<?b> placed the ball and then curled in an unstoppable shot into the top corner from 25 yards to give the home side the lead midway through the first half.
The goal sparked Cockfosters into life with a game being played at a fast pace. Ten minutes before half time Cockfosters were level when a great cross from the right evaded the Lions back four and was headed home by the unmarked Marhajan at the far post.
Fifteen minutes into the second-half and the game turned on its head. Some neat play in the midfield presented Cockfosters with an opportunity. Mario Cenolli in the Lions goal called to avert the danger but Sacks must have heard the call late and reading the situation wrong inadvertently directed the ball into his own goal.
The Lions kept up the pressure with Kennet and Sloma looking dangerous, but Cockfosters always looked the busier when breaking forward.
Lions looked for a way back into the game and should really have equalised on 70 minutes but Kennet’s shot was cleared off the line.
Cockfosters' luck was holding out when on 75 minutes Sloma’s rasping drive was also cleared off the line. The Lions defence was almost caught napping 10 minutes from time after Butt’s effort scooped onto the top of the netting.
Lions kept going though and they levelled with two minutes remaining. A long ball out wide to Kennet resulted in his perfectly delivered cross into the box being headed home by the prolific Bolle.
Played in front of 108, it was a case of a hard earned point gained for the Lions.
Lions manager Tony Gold said: "Over the last four games we’ve played exceptionally well and passed the ball well. We’ve kept the ball and kept it short. Three of the last four games have been against three teams pushing for promotion so it’s a good overall points tally for the four games and we were close to getting the 12.
"We switched off early on but I thought our response in the second half was magnificent. We mixed it up and seeing as that was our fourth game in six days it was a terrific effort."
Gold was frustrated with conceding the two goals but has sympathy for the players. He said: "We are a bit disappointed with the last goal. We felt we should have dealt with that better, but these things happen and we will take the positives out of how we finished the game."
Lions: Mario Cenolli, Adam Myeroff, Michael Sacks, Guy Morris (capt), Guy Helman, Dean Nyman (sub: Ben Ellis), Sam Sloma, Andy Glynne (sub: David Soutar, Josh Kennet, Adam Bolle. Sub not used: Bradley Lander
Goals: Josh Kennet 25, Adam Bolle 89
Booked: Craig Ellis, Josh Kennet