A superb hat-trick from James Gershfield helped the Lions come away from Hatfield Social with an impressive three points.
Herts Senior County League Premier Division:
Hatfield Social 2 London Lions 6
Saturday, 30 Janaury, 2016
With the winter wind and pitch making football difficult, Lions had to battle hard in the opening 45 minutes.
On the quarter hour mark, James Gershfield, back from a long break, fed Max Kyte wide on the right who crossed for skipper Josh Kennet to open the scoring with a crisp finish from the edge of the six-yard box.
Lions pressure mounted and in the 22nd minute, Gershfield brought a good save from Hatfield goalkeeper Hans Seif. From the resulting corner, Nick Landesberg went close with his header just whistling over the bar. But against the run of play in the 41st minute, Social, belying their lowly league position, scored a cracking equaliser leaving Reuben Rabstein in the Lions goal with no chance. Austin Lipman struck the post on the stroke of half-time leaving the travelling Lions fans to hope those missed first half chances wouldn’t prove to be costly.
After the break, Lions had the elements in their favour and took full advantage. Jake Furman went close with his goal-bound effort blocked by the Hatfield defence. But two minutes later, Furman could not be denied and his scorching 20 yarder broke the deadlock. Rabstein had to be alert soon after following some defensive hesitation, but on the hour mark, Gershfield grabbed his second after a fine pass from Zac Rose.
Five minutes later saw the moment of the match – and possibly the season – as Lions went 4-1 up. The Blues scored a goal described by manager Andy Landesberg as ‘something from a FIFA16 game’. Nick Landesberg played a 40-yard ball to Josh Kennet whose control was perfect. His centre was flicked on by Max Kyte to Gershfield, whose spectacular overhead kick flew into the net past a stunned Hatfield defence.
The home pulled another goal back in the 68th minute, but Lions kept going forward and Gershfield completed his hat-trick after a great cross from Charlie Kasler. Adam Burchill, on for Gershfield, looked lively and continued to torment the Hatfield defence while Alex Rose made his first team debut replacing Lipman.
A second assist for Kasler set up Kyte late on to make it 6-2 and complete a solid away victory
Manager Andy Landesberg said: “Firstly, I want to praise our 16-year-old goalkeeper Ruben Rabstein, who was outstanding today. He was also joined by fellow teenagers Adam Burchill and Alex Rose who made his debut at the end; we continue to blood the future stars of the club. Credit must also go to Max Kyte who put in a great shift, alongside James Gershfield who was really top drawer. I was very pleased as three points away in those conditions is never easy.”
Meanwhile, the Garston Masters side booked their place in the final of the Middlesex County Cup, thanks to a 4-2 semi-final win over Holyport. Paul Lenchner scored twice, with man-of-the-match Hadley Silver and Andy Myers also on target.