|Date||23rd November 2017|
|Competition||Southern Amateur League|
|Kick-off Time||8:00 pm|
|Result||Won 3 ‐ 2|
Another fantastic advert for developmental football was put on under the lights at Rowley Lane, with both sides relishing the experience and delivering a superb game that the hosts edged by the odd goal in 5.
Lions took a while to get going, pushed back by a side who were physically imposing, technically gifted and boasting pace aplenty. But in this period the group put in a superb defensive shift with Ben Schwarzmann once again outstanding at the heart of the back four, ably supported by skipper Nathan Anders, Louis Lazarus and the returning Jordan Marks. An injury to Anders saw him replaced by Freddy Kramer, but he slotted in well and also had a fine game. In front of them Josh Shack and Sean Levine showed great discipline and energy and slowly but surely the pair began to show more of what they are about with the ball. Yet having seemingly weathered the storm, a hopeful ball into the box by the Somers Town winger floated on the wind and over the despairing Nathan Bloohn in the Lions goal to give the visitors a somewhat fortuitous but nonetheless deserved lead.
Some teams might have crumbled, but this group simply rolled up their sleeves, and when a great run by Tyler Smith saw his fine cross millimetres away from Alex Rose’s far post run it gave the side belief they could get back into the match. Liron Mannie began to come alive, and fed in by Josh Burns he unleashed a swerving effort that went just over the bar. And then just before the break a fine pass out of defence by Schwarzmann saw Marks through on goal, but as he attempted to round the keeper he got crowded out and the chance came to nothing. But Lions knew they could create.
Crisper, shorter passes at the start of the second period again saw the hosts able to ask questions of their own, all the while the back four absolutely on point to ensure Somers Town were kept at bay. Lazarus grew into the game and began to get forward from full back. He combined well with Rose and although the latter’s initial shot was blocked he fed the loose ball into the path of Mannie who took a touch before curling home a fine shot to draw the side level. Lions really were playing well. Joe Bellman’s intelligent runs saw him heavily involved, and fed in by Shack he won the side a corner. Smith delivered, the ball half cleared to Schwarzmann who rifled in a strike that was expertly saved, but there was Kramer to lash home the loose ball to give Lions the lead.
This really was a cracking game. Somers Town kept pushing, Bloohn more than making up for any personal disappointment with the first goal with some superb goalkeeping; brave blocks, safe handling and solid kicking ensuring Lions stayed ahead. The hard work of the entire side was then rewarded when Burns, pressuring the Somers Town midfielder, manged to poke the ball off him into the path of Mannie. He held off the defender and raced away and, as the keeper came out to him he executed the most delighful chip from 25 yards that had him wheeling away in celebration long before it hit the net.
Lions were punished for overplaying late on as the visitors grabbed one back, but the hosts stood firm to claim the victory. Both teams were a credit, playing the game on the floor and in a superb spirit. More of the same please…