We blew it, says an­gry Li­ons boss

The Jewish Chronicle - - SPORT - BYDANNYCARO

FOOT­BALL LON­DON Li­ons man­ager Tony Gold ac­cused his team of “lack­ing men­tal tough­ness” af­ter they missed their last chance of sil­ver­ware, crash­ing out of the Pot­ters Bar Char­ity Cup on Wed­nes­day night.

With the coun­try’s top all-Jewish team lead­ing 2-0 at half-time, Gold could not be­lieve his eyes as they fell apart in the sec­ond half with their fate sealed three min­utes from time.

“We went to pot in the sec­ond half,” said Gold, “I don’t know where it went wrong. I’m speech­less, the boys stopped work­ing and it went very flat.

“Our defence fell apart and we stopped do­ing the right things. It was very frus­trat­ing.”

The match had an end-of-sea­son feel to it with a lack­lus­tre af­fair see­ing both teams play­ing at walk­ing pace.

But the Li­ons, who went into the tie un­beaten in four matches, forged ahead on 20 min­utes with the move of the game.

A great run down the right from Ben Ruben saw him cut the ball back to Adam Stol­er­man who flicked it on to the far post where goal-poacher Lee Cash was on hand to side foot home his 15th goal in 18th starts. The vis­i­tors then had a great chance but alert goal­keep­ing from Matt Davis in the Li­ons goal kept the match score­less.

Miss­ing the likes of Guy Mor­ris, Sam Reeves, Guy Helman, Alex Le­vack, Ben Gross­man, Ben Joseph, Alex Tay­lor, Adam Lauf­fer, Aaron Barnes and Lo­rian Madanes, the Li­ons con­tin­ued to take the game to their South­ern Ama­teur League op­po­nents and they dou­bled their ad­van­tage on the stroke of half time.

Min­utes af­ter head­ing wide from an­other Ruben cross, Stol­er­man, net­ted his 24th goal of the sea­son when a slide-rule through ball from Aviel Sch­warz re­leased him and, de­spite look­ing yards off­side, he curled home to give Li­ons a two-goal cush­ion.

The vis­i­tors awoke from their slum­ber and pro­duced an in­spir­ing sec­ond half with two ef­forts fly­ing past Davis af­ter 65 and 80 min­utes to set up a nail­bit­ing finale. And they ended Li­ons’ cup hopes in cruel fash­ion, de­spite the hero­ics of Davis.

With that, the Li­ons end the sea­son with no tro­phies in the cabi­net at Row­ley Lane, leav­ing Gold and his side to re­flect on what might have been. Li­ons: Davis, Man­son, Myeroff, Cole, Shaki, Glass (capt), Sch­warz, Gold, Cash, Ruben, Stol­er­man. Subs: Field­grass, Good­man

PHOTO: MICHAEL SCHOG­GER

Heads up: Ilan Shaki beats his marker and heads goal­wards for the Li­ons

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