London Maccabi Lions Under 10’s White secured a place in the quarter-finals of the Herts County Cup with a battling 2-1 win over Knebworth Youth. Josh Burns bagged a brace including an extra time winner.
The game was moved to Knebworth due to the waterlogged pitches at Rowley Lane – however the first half performance was as if most boys had left their skill and battling qualities at Rowley Lane with a lack of fight and poor passing contributing to the Lions going in 1-0 down at the break.
Clearly a tough and honest team talk had been given at half time by manager Nigel Burns and Coach Jeff Bellman, and the Lions came out revitalised – crisp incisive passing, and battling for every ball, and loads of efforts on goal. The pressure told when they equalised with eight minutes to go when a shot from Benjy Cowen, smashed against the post and Joshua Burns anticipated and slid the rebound home.
Lions were now dominating and more and more chances were being created – Sam Hamerton was winning every battle in midfield and storming forward time and again and Joseph Bellman was cleaning up in front of the defence, and just before the end of normal time, Tyler Smith hit a shot just past the post.
Then in the fourth minute of the first period of extra time the ball fell to Burns after a goalmouth scramble and he took the ball under control and unleashed a drive past the despairing goalkeeper into the far corner of net.
Adam Freedman and Nathan Brown then helped to batten down the hatches, which ensured that goalkeeper Reuben Rabstein had very little to do for the rest of extra time, and ensured the progress into the last eight, from a competition that started with more than 100 teams.