Lions Suffer Defeat Against Lakeside in Difficult Conditions
Lions 0-4 Lakeside Whites
A much shorter match report this week as there were no Lions goals to talk about as the players struggled to create space on the smaller pitch.
The Lions had Harry D still out, Harry C unavailable due to illness and Hugh away this week so the coaches had a squad of 12 players to choose from for the match against our local rivals. It was clear that Lakeside were up for this match and the ‘passion’ of their coach was evident from the first kick off. Regardless of this the Lions never stopped working for the whole 60 minutes.
The Lions started with Olly in goal, protected by a back 2 of Noah and Freddie. George F, Thomas and Louis started in the centre of midfield with Luca on the left flank and Dylan down the right. George E started as the lone forward with Sonny, Nina and Bella waiting eagerly on the bench.
Whilst the first half was relatively even in terms of possession, the Lions struggled on a pitch which is much smaller than the one they are used to playing on at King George V. Despite the tighter space there was some excellent passing between George F, George E, Dylan and Thomas going forward, but the Lions failed to create any clear chances in the first half.
At the other end of the pitch Olly was called into action frequently and put in another excellent performance to keep the Lions in the match at half time. Midway through the first half Olly was tested frequently and made an excellent save to keep a shot out from point blank range, and then shortly afterwards was able to tip another shot over the bar.
Despite Olly’s best efforts Lakeside did get the only goal of the first half after 20 minutes of play when Olly saved a shot but Lakeside were quicker to the rebound and it was put away before Olly could get back up. Lakeside could easily have been further ahead before half time but Olly played the sweeper-keeper role to perfection in the last 10 minutes of the half and was out quickly to clear a number of dangerous through balls.
Despite not creating clear cut chances, the Lions could feel a little aggrieved not to get to half time level when George E appeared to be clearly tripped inside the penalty area. The referee put his whistle to his lips but then changed his mind and play continued.
As half time came around the score was 1-0 to Lakeside with the Lions struggling to find space in the final third.
The 2nd half saw the Lions team rotated in certain areas with Bella, Sonny, Nina and Luca all taking turns in defence and putting some strong work with tackles, interceptions and blocks. Freddie and Noah continued to work hard to keep hold of the lakeside attack. George F once again displayed his incredible work-rate and composure on the ball in both disrupting opposition play and linking up with the attack. Dylan, Thomas, Louis and George E kept probing for gaps to try and create chances on what were tough conditions for players who like to run with the ball at pace.
The second half saw Olly, once again, being by far the busier keeper and if anything his second half performance was even better than the first half.
The Lions were unfortunate to go 2 behind within the first 10 minutes of the second half to a goal that involved a clearance bouncing back into the box after hitting the referee, an excellent first save from Olly during which he discovered the ‘joys’ of goalkeeping as he got his hands to make the save and then saved the follow up with his face, and then a player tapping the ball in on the line from what looked like an offside position. In any case the Lions now found themselves 2 goals down early in the 2nd half.
Lakeside were clearly full of confidence after stretching their lead and Olly had to make save after save and a number of clearances from the edge of the box in the second half.
Lakeside did manage to grab 2 more goals during the second half to make the full time score 4-0. The first was an effort from distance which squirmed past Olly and the final one was a counter attack which saw 3 Lakeside attackers bear down on the goal giving Olly no chance.
As the final whistle went it had been a frustrating day at the office as the Lions had struggled to create chances at one end and had struggled defensively at the other. Having said this they had shown their usual character and had never stopped working throughout the match.
The was a clear player-of-the-match this week as Olly had made countless saves and clearances and looked like he’d been playing in goal for years. Olly’s performance had been top class, and in all honesty he had kept the score down, as the amount of chances Lakeside had created could have led to a much higher score-line (as the Lakeside coach was keen to point out to anyone who would listen!).
Captain – George F
Player-of-the-match - Olly