London Lions took a valuable point against high flying Hoddesdon Town in the South Midlands League Division One.
Andy Glynne's second-half goal ensured Lions took a point after a poor first-half performance.
Both sides were devoid of regular first team players and the game and result reflected that. Among the absentees for the Lions were top-scorer James Gershfield, Adam Stolerman, Craig Ellis, Danny Berg and Ben Ellis. Blustery conditions in Broxbourne made it difficult for both teams to find any rhythm and resulted in a scrappy affair.
With Lions seemingly below par, Hoddesdon took advantage and applied good pressure to keep the home side on the back foot. It seemed only a matter of time before Hoddesdon took the lead and they were eventually rewarded on 29 minutes.
The lively Colin Metivier drew a foul on the right and won his side a free kick. Lee Wilkinson took responsibility for the set-piece and sent his 35-yard effort crashing against the Lions crossbar. Gary Simmonds was lurking inside the Lions penalty area and he was first to the rebound, heading the ball into the back of the net.
The goal should have kick-started Lions into evasive action but nothing changed. Lions did manage a rare attack on goal when a scramble inside the Hoddesdon box broke out but somehow Nick Goodman fired wide when well placed.
Half time could not come quick enough for the Lions and a few harsh words were exchanged in their dressing room at the break. As the second half got under way, the Lions continued to be sloppy and lethargic and unable to watch any more, manager Tony Gold rang the changes. Changing formation to 3-5-2 he replaced Goodman with James Stanley up top and moved Josh Kennet alongside him. Having just been booked, Adam Myeroff was replaced by Ben Lampert returning to first team action for the first time in over 12 months.
Within minutes Lions were level. Lampert wasted no time in getting involved in the action and it was his through ball to Kennet that created the opening. Kennet drove in from the right, pulled the ball back and Andy Glynne who timed his run perfectly was on hand to slot the ball home.
Lions were finally on the front foot although it had taken 75 minutes to get there. As the game drew to a close Hoddesdon could have nicked all three points but the alert Danny Berliner in the Lions goal pulled off a wonderful save to keep the sides level.
In the end manager Tony Gold would have been pleased with a point. Reflecting, he said: “We just didn’t get going today which was probably a culmination of too many forced changes and certain individuals playing out of position. However, although that is an excuse to a certain point the fact is we didn’t even get the basics right today and with the quality we had out there that was disappointing
“Hoddesdon are a decent outfit so this was a good point given the circumstances. I look forward to playing them again in the cup when hopefully both sides are at full strength, it should be a terrific game.”
Lions: Danny Berliner, David Soutar, Adam Myeroff (sub: James Stanley), Guy Morris, Rob Glass, Ben Lauffer, Alex Sesto, Josh Kennet, Andy Glynne, Nick Goodman (sub: Ben Lampert). Subs not used: Tony Gold