|Date||26th November 2017|
|Competition||Peter Morrison Trophy|
|Kick-off Time||10:30 am|
|Result||Won 4 ‐ 2|
The Lions Masters proved there’s still some life in the old legs as they upset the odds to run out 4-2 winners over the reigning MSFL champions Oakwood in a fine game at Rowley Lane.
The visitors started strongly, the pace and energy they were able to bring to the game saw them pin Lions back early on. But having ridden the storm Lions were disappointed in the way they fell behind in the 10th minute, a challenge in the box saw the loose ball drilled home with some aplomb by the Oakwood striker. Yet the hosts gradually got used to the tempo of the game and slowly began to get a footing in the match. Defensively they looked solid, and with Jon Ellis and Alex Levack getting on top in midfield they began to find themselves able to apply pressure at the top end. Lee Cash and Saul Conway were a threat, but Oakwood were defending well too, but a late tackle on Dan Stanton gave Lions a free kick midway inside the half. Levack delivered to perfection and up rose Joel Berg to power home an equaliser.
Lions were on top. Defensively the side were growing in confidence, skipper Rob Glass, Adam Myeroff and Berg dominating to the extent that Tony Gold and Russell Brill were freed somewhat to support further forward. Paul Hakim was introduced and his pace and power gave the side a further attacking dimension, but despite some promising positions another goal wouldn’t come. But then with the break approaching a loss of possession allowed Toby Levy of Oakwood to deliver another excellent cross, a brave diving header at the far post restoring Oakwood’s advantage against the run of play. Lions tried to respond immediately, winning 3 corners in succession, but these Oakwood defended well, and when Gold’s curling effort wash clutched by the keeper the whistle went to end the half.
Lions changed their shape a little at the break, and with Stanton now finding space in good areas he was able to link with Cash, Hakim and Conway. One fine ball saw Cash slipped in, the Lions hitman caught on the knee by the keepers boot, but home appeals for a penalty were turned away. The Masters, with Conway a constant threat, continued to press, and deservedly equalised through the impressive Stanton. Fed in by Hakim he held the ball up, using the forward’s run as a decoy to earn himself a yard and poke a lovely finish into the bottom corner. Sensing the game was there Lions continued to pass the ball, but when Conway clipped a ball inside to Cash no one sensed what was to follow. He controlled on the move with his chest, his next touch saw him execute a stunning dipping volley with his left foot that from 25 yards simply flew over the flailing arm the keeper to find the back of the net.
The Masters kept the ball well, defensively outstanding to man, the one time Oakwood found space to get a shot away Rob Abrahams in the Lions goal was equal to it, at full stretch palming the ball to safety. Paul Lenchner entered the fray, and his presence up top gave Lions a permanent out, and he almost added a goal but just couldn’t react quickly enough when Stanton’s cross-shot came back off the post. But with five minutes remaining Stanton sealed it, one touch getting the ball out of his feet, a second guiding the ball home. And despite 7 minutes of injury time Oakwood failed to really put the Lions goal under any real pressure, the final whistle confirming passage into the next round that few would say they didn’t deserve.