SPARTAN SOUTH MIDLANDS LEAGUE RESERVE DIVISION ONE
THE 61 FC LUTON 0 LONDON LIONS RESERVES 2
Two goals from Nick Goodman inspired London Lions Reserves to a 2-0 success over The 61 FC Luton.
After last week's horror show, it was a Lions side determined to make amends that took to the field in Luton for this league game against a side that pipped us to promotion a couple of season's back.
The Lions line up was freshened up with the additions of Laurence Judah and Max Kyte in midfield, Aron Barnes in midfield and Daran Bern up front, while Nicky Smith and the evergreen Bradley Lazarus took up spots on the bench.
Playing against the strong wind and on a heavy and bobbly pitch, it was the visitors who looked brightest early on. Barnes and Ben Lauffer gave Lions a real platform on which to build while Shai Revivo, who was to have an excellent game, drove the side forward. Bern's pace was causing trouble, but having spurned a couple of decent positions early he latched onto a ball out wide, skinned his marker before delivering a great cross that the onrushing Goodman volleyed home from eight yards - an excellent team goal.
Green had a couple of decent sights of the Luton goal, while long-range efforts from Barnes and Bern were narrowly off target.
The home side though were resolute and with their pace up front were always a threat, but the back four (well five, as Cohen lasted only 20 minutes before being replaced by Smith) stood firm. They did, though, make one error, but as he does so often Danny Berliner made a fine one-on-one block, although quite how the forward knocked the rebound over is anyone's guess.
With the wind, the early stages of the second period were one-way traffic, but once again Lions' finishing was not up to the standard of their approach play, with Revivo and Bern a constant threat.
Barnes hit the post from Bern's pull-back before two floated free-kicks by Barnes were headed wide and over respectively by Lauffer. Green fluffed his lines twice when well placed, the keeper made two smart saves, Bern volleyed wide twice before Kyte missed his kick form 10 yards. It was all action but no result.
And all the while at 1-0, on a tricky surface in tricky conditions, the hosts remained in the game. Twice more Berliner was called into action and, thankfully, Luton's forwards had been watching what was going on at the other end as they then passed up a couple of glorious chances of their own.
Lazarus played some neat balls after his introduction, and one such ball sent Revivo on his way, his clever ball inside saw Goodman hold off his man and slam home a fine first time finish to secure the points inside the final five minutes.
Lions Reserves: Danny Berliner, David Cohen (sub: Nick Smith), Frank Hyman, Laurence Judah, Ben Lauffer, Shai Revivo, Dan Green (sub: Bradley Lazarus), Max Kyte, Aron Barnes, Daran Bern, Nick Goodman
Scorer: Goodman (2)
Man-of-the-match: Shai Revivo