London Lions first team beat Belstone 3-2 in a thrilling match at Rowley Lane on Saturday to make the final of the Anagram Records Trophy for the first time.
Despite being reduced to ten men late on when sub Harry Hatchwell was sent off, Lions hung on to defeat determined opponents in Belstone thanks to two goals from top scorer Max Kyte, and what turned out to be the winner from former Arsenal midfielder Austin Lipman. Charlie Kasler and Josh Kennet were the creative sparks in the Lions team, whilst young ‘keeper Reuben Rabstein was excellent as Belstone pressed for an equaliser.
Manager Andy Landesberg said: ‘We made it hard for ourselves at times but the team worked so hard and showed tremendous character to come through. When we got forward we were superb but found ourselves under pressure as Belstone are a good team.
‘Getting to the final is all you can ask of the boys, and we are looking forward to it’.
Lions will play Springfield FC from Chelmsford in the final. Springfield play in the Essex Olympian Premier Division and beat Sandridge Rovers 3-2 after extra time in the other semi-final.
The Anagram Records Trophy is a knockout competition for teams across the South East who do not enter the FA Vase. This covers Herts, Essex, Beds, Bucks and Middlesex and is also known as the Capital Counties League Trophy and is currently held by Letchworth Garden City.
Match Details: London Lions 3-2 Belstone (Scorers Max Kyte 2, Austin Lipman)
Line-Up: Reuben Rabstein; Adam Lipman, Josh Pistol, Nick Landesberg (Zac Rose), Ollie Craig (Harry Hatchwell), Andy Glynne, Adam Arnold, Josh Kennet (c), Charlie Kasler, Austin Lipman (Adam Burchell), Max Kyte.