MOLTEN SPARTAN SOUTH MIDLANDS LEAGUE DIVISION ONE
London Lions 1 London Colney 3
London Lions paid the price for a poor team performance against top of the table London Colney, going down 3-1 at home.
In the opening exchanges it was clear that Colney had a greater urgency to the game with Lions second to most first and second balls.
Lions were punished as early as the 15th minute when a long ball, which was misjudged by Adam Myeroff due to the sun, fell invitingly for Craig Knightly. With Ben Lampert caught on the wrong side and failing to clear the ball at the first opportunity, Knightly tucked the ball past Mario Cenolli who was left exposed.
Five minutes later Colney doubled their lead. Lions gave away a cheap free-kick just outside the box which the impressive Greg Shaw drove past the wall and beyond Cenolli.
Too many Lions players were just not at the races and at no stage in the first 30 minutes could they get a foot-hold in the game.
However, 10 minutes before the break they were awarded a free-kick 20 yards from the visitors goal. This time Sam Sloma stepped up and curled home a delightful finish to pull Lions back into a game that was clearly getting away from them.
The euphoria did not last long and once again an ill-disciplined Lions gave away another needless free-kick. Once again Shaw stepped up and this time smashed the ball high into the top corner with Cenolli well beaten.
Lions made more of a fight of things in the second half but lacked the cutting edge and bravery to make a comeback.
In the final five minutes skipper Dean Nyman was crudely challenged two-footed which the referee didn’t even award a free-kick for and had to be carried from the pitch, but thankfully there was no long-term serious injury.
Disappointed Lions bos Tony Gold said: "When you play the best team in the league you can’t afford to carry seven players, make the basic individual errors we made, give them a two-goal head start and then expect to get any kind of positive result.
"Far too many of my players had off days today. We looked heavy-legged and disjointed defensively as a team.
"Some credit must go to London Colney for that because they were hungrier and sharper than us and played with a far greater urgency to their game, but I would expect that from a team 18 points clear in our league.
"The Broxbourne pitch hasn’t done us any favours this season. Last year you could play decent football on it. This year, due to a lack of maintenance, it hasn’t allowed us to be as fluent. That said we must learn to adapt to a different way of playing when the playing surface or opposition don’t allow you to play football.
"The important things are that Deano is OK following a disgracful two-footed tackle on him and that we bounce back with an improved performance at Stony Stratford next week.
"Generally our recent form and performances have been excellent. I will put today down to just a bad day at the office."
London Lions: Mario Cenolli, Danny Berg, Ben Lampert, Adam Myeroff, Kyle Bentwood, Andy Glynne (sub: Andy Glynne), Josh Kennet (sub: Aron Barnes), Daniel Stanton, Sam Sloma, Dean Nyman (sub: Ben Ellis), Matt Stock