|Date||24th February 2018|
|Competition||AFA Vets Trophy|
|Kick-off Time||2:00 pm|
|Result||Won 4 ‐ 2|
On a difficult pitch in tricky cold and windy weather, Lions put in a truly first class battling performance that eventually saw them win through to a place in the prestigious AFA Cup Final following this extra time win over Peckham Town.
Missing Myers and Morris a defensive re-shuffle saw Lenchner take up a spot alongside Rayner at the heart of the back line where the pair, ably assisted by the evergreen Lazard and Piler, had simply outstanding games. And in front of them, while they’ll receive few of the plaudits, the tireless work of Kleinman and Pearl ensured that Peckham’s excellent midfield and front man were made to earn every opening they were to fashion.
The heavy pitch made pretty football a thing to forget, but Lions will be pleased at how they adapted and, when they did find time on the ball, played enough good stuff to show they could be a threat, Wagman and Gold both denied by the safe handling of the home keeper while Baum poked an effort just wide. At the other end the power and pace of the Peckham #9 asked questions, but barring one shot that he tipped over and another that he blocked with his feet, Lee in the Lions goal was expertly protected.
On the half hour the visitors grabbed the first goal. Silver fed in Wagman whose goalbound strike was blocked by the arm of the defender, the referee had no doubt in pointing to the spot where Silver took responsibility and fired home. And this lead they kept until literally the last kick of the half when a quickly taken free kick caught Lions out, the drive deflected in from close range to see the sides go in level at the break.
The battle continued into the second period, Radford upended crudely but the free kick came to nothing. Sugarman came close, Pearl closer as his shot on the run went just wide. At the other end though it took a quite magnificent challenge from Lazard to stop a certain goal. With neither team able to score a decisive winner we went into extra time.
A great run from Pearl saw him latch onto Baum’s flicked pass before he was tripped, again the simplest decision for the referee to award the spot kick and again Silver was the calmest man about town as he fired home. Again however the lead didn’t last too long as at the start of the second period of extra time the Peckham forward executed a perfect lob over the stranded Lee to restore parity. Did Lions have anything left in the tank? They sure did. As they broke away the ball was played into Wagman who held it up superbly before laying off into the path of Baum who 1st time rolled the ball coolly into the far corner. 3-2 and ten minutes to hold on, Lions threw everything in the way, the referee adding what seemed an eternity, but when another quick break ended with Wagman smashing home from close range the result and a space in the final were secured.