London Lions player-manager Jamie Kyte says his side’s aim for the season is to enjoy a lengthy cup run – and they set out on their road to Wembley with an emphatic win at over King Crown.
Cyril Anekstein Cup Second Round:
King Crown 1 Maccabi London Lions Blue 7
Sunday, 26 October, 2014
Seeing his side record an ultimately comfortable win, he said: “Our aim for the season is a good cup run and I am delighted with the result – it was a much deserved win that puts us in the next round of the competition.”
Up against the unbeaten Division Three leaders, Kyte’s men were on a hiding to nothing and an upset looked on the cards when they reduced to ten men midway through the first half when Joel Reuben saw red for a deliberate handball to deny a goalscoring opportunity.
They were already leading the game thanks to a penalty of their own – which Daniel Green converted after James Gold was fouled in the box – and remained ahead as following Reuben’s moment of madness, Ben David struck his spot kick against the foot of the post and then somehow saw it spin behind for a goal kick.
They weren’t though behind for long as ten minutes later, Ben Garfield showed great technique to volley the ball home from a goalmouth scramble.
However, if the momentum of the match should have then been with the underdogs – having drawn level and a man advantage – Lions didn’t read the script. Conor Perlmutter restored the Lions lead as he claimed the first of his hat-trick, curling in a sensational 25-yard lob over the Crown goalkeeper, and he gave them a two-goal winning margin just before the break when he took the ball down on his chest before arrowing an angled drive into the bottom corner.
Gold put the game beyond doubt with Lions’ fourth soon after the restart, when he nutmegged a defender firing home, before Ben Lampert made it five with a sumptuous free-kick from the edge of the box.
There was a sense of farce with their sixth goal when Perlmutter nudged the ball past the on-rushing goalkeeper and as it trickled towards the goaline, a Crown defender in attempting to hack the ball clear, struck it against the inside of the post and back into the vacant net. Perlmutter did complete both his hat-trick and the scoring late on, tucking home Adam Kosky’s cross.
Admitting Reuben’s sending-off could have made it difficult for his side, Kyte said: “Playing with 10 men for most of the game was a challenge, but the team responded brilliantly and I’m very proud.”
Crown had a depleted side on the pitch, and manager Jacob Kadoch felt his side would have won the tie if they’d played more first teamers. He said: “If we played our first team, we would have won and I’m very confident saying that. The players who I brought in are fighting to be in our first team and need to do better if they want to get in.
“I thought in the first half we were very good and should have been ahead, but the lads dropped in the second half.”
Defeat means they’re out of both cup competitions, though that does mean they can now focus on the their League campaign, which sees them flying high having won their opening five matches.
He said: “The league is what is most important for us and we will show that and bring back the first team next week. We will get better and I absolutely have every belief we can win the title.
“The team has been impressive and they will impress furthermore as the season progresses. Now that the distractions are out the way we can focus on the priority.”