A hat-trick from skipper Bradley Lazarus inspired his Lions Masters side to what was eventually a thumping 6-1 home win against a lively Latymer side on the 3G at Rowley.
Garston Vets League
London Lions Garston Masters 6 Latymer 1
Saturday, 13 February, 2016
It was a positive start from both sides, but with Myers limping off after barely 10 minutes, it took a while for the hosts to adjust – Adam Myeroff and Rob Glass excelling in keeping goalkeeper Bradley Lee well protected. Once they did, Lazarus started to make things happen, serving warning to Latymer with a 30-yard screamer that drew a quite brilliant flying one-handed save from the visiting goalkeeper. He was though powerless a few minutes later, this time relieved that Lazarus’ drive crashed back off the bar.
However, when on the half hour Lazarus robbed Latymer of possession and strode goalwards, the opening goal duly arrived. Driving past the full-back he delivered a fine cross which Paul Lenchner met first time on the half-volley eight yards out, the ball flying into the roof of the net.
The lead however was short lived. Max Radford lost possession at the top end of the pitch allowing the swiftest of counter-attacks. Latymer to their credit played it really well, and although Glass seemed to have covered it, the referee adjudged that two little nibbles as he forced the forward wide were worthy of a penalty kick that was duly dispatched.
Lions introduced Saul Conway at the break, and his pace and strong running allowed Lions to further stretch the game. With the conditions also now in their favour, they were the dominant force. Danny Daggers and Craig Pearl were now controlling things and a fine move saw the ball worked to Tony Gold, which led to a quality ball, which Lazarus expertly guided home on the volley. Latymer tried to force their way back into things but were caught on the break on the hour mark, Lazarus again with a neat finish after Conway’s cross and Lenchner’s dummy left him with time and space to grab his second.
It was all Lions now as Latymer knew the game was up, a further three goals leaving a scoreline that was, in truth, pretty harsh on them as this was a game in the balance up until the hour. Lions’ fourth goal came from Conway, the quickest to react after his first effort was blocked. He then produced a fine spin and shot, the post though preventing what would have been a stunning goal. Gold then strode through before cracking a finish past the poor keeper who by now was being left somewhat exposed, but he reminded all of his skills with another wonder save to flip over Lenchner’s bullet header. It was fitting however that Lazarus had the final word of the day, completing his hat-trick in the closing stages, adding Lions’ sixth goal with a composed close-range strike.