Spartan South Midlands League Division One:
Amersham Town 0 London Lions 3
Saturday, 10 January, 2015
With all the wet weather recently, it was credit to the ground staff at Amersham Town for getting the game on, with the pitch in good condition. Lions arrived at Spratleys Meadow on the back of a solid win over Hertford Town in midweek. Confidence was high amongst the players and they were looking forward to another test.
Team changes from midweek’s win, saw Sam Sloma, Guy Morris, Ben Binder, Ross Weinrabe and Leo Kaye miss out due to injury and unavailability. Mario Cenolli, Jake Rinsler, Kyle Bentwood and Adam Lipman came into the fold all looking to build on good recent performances.
With a fierce wind blowing down and across the pitch and having lost the toss, Lions had the pleasure of defending against it for the first 45 minutes. Given the unpleasant conditions both sides set about their football with energy and tenacity. Lions’ back five of Cenolli, Rose, Rinsler, Soutar and Bentwood set about their defending in a disciplined and controlled way, never giving an inch to the lively Amersham front line. On the offensive, Lions looked lively and dangerous and in the early stages, both Nagioff and Shooter in wide areas, were causing problems with their direct running and pace.
However, it was through central areas and up top where the visitors were getting most joy. Josh Kennet, Andy Glynne and Tony Gold were finding pockets of space, using the ball wisely and feeding Max Kyte early, allowing third man runs and holes to open up and exploit. A foul on Kyte 20-yards from goal allowed for the first effort on target, but Gold’s free-kick was pushed over the bar for a corner.
With Lions in the ascendency, their attacking prowess finally paid dividends as they took the lead. Following a terrific run down the Lions right, Shooter managed to deliver his cross, the ball was dummied by Kyte, missed by Glynne, which allowed the arriving Gold to place the ball past a melee of bodies. One should have been two minutes later when Rinsler played a delightful pass over the Amersham defence to release Gold, breaking clear, Gold crossed, and from eight yards out both Kyte and then Shooter, unluckily failed to connect.
Next to try his luck was Nagioff who will be kicking himself for not finishing when well placed. Kyte then very nearly scored what would have been a contender for goal of the season. Kennet’s raking 25-yard pass was taken on the volley by Kyte a good 25-yards from goal, but he just failed to add enough lift on the ball to dink over the on-rushing keeper, who plucked the ball out of the air.
As the half drew to a close, it was a case of hoping those missed chances, wouldn’t come back to haunt Lions in the second period. At the restart Amersham continued to ask questions of the Lions rear guard, but they continued to answer by averting any danger. Hardly having touched the ball in the first 45 minutes, Lions keeper Cenolli was finally called upon and his team mates had him to thank for keeping their one-goal advantage intact. Cenolli pulled off two outstanding saves at crucial periods in the game enabling Lions to stay in front.
In the final twenty minutes and having ridden a little storm, Kennet finally got the freedom he so enjoys and his deadly double sealed a great afternoons work. Lions second and his first came on 78 minutes. Rinsler found Gold early who in turn, took one touch and seeing Kennet’s late run, released him in acres of space. Latching onto the ball and with just the keeper to beat, he dinked one way, went the other and slotted home.
In the final five minutes it was Kyte’s turn to play provider and his killer pass once again released Kennet who timed his run to perfection. In an almost carbon copy of his first goal, he once again composed himself before rolling the ball past an exposed Amersham keeper. The victory was Lions third consecutive 3-0 win away from home which is a statistic the team should be really proud of.
Gold said: “It was a very good team performance. If you’re being critical we probably should have had the game won by half-time. Amersham are a better side than their league position states and they came into the game on the back of a good result against Risborough Rangers, so three points today is a very pleasing factor for us all.
“Our players are in a good place at the minute and long may that continue. Today I thought we were excellent, and it was pleasing once again, to see the young lads put in another strong and mature performance.”