Stamford Lions go top with victory over Langtoft Reserves

Stamford Lions in action against Moulton Harrox Reserves in a match at the top end of the PDFL Division One. Photo: John Evely EMN-160127-171151001
Stamford Lions in action against Moulton Harrox Reserves in a match at the top end of the PDFL Division One. Photo: John Evely EMN-160127-171151001

Stamford Lions went back to the top of PDFL Division One after coming away with a 2-1 win at Langtoft United Reserves on Saturday.

The Lions dominated the game from start to finish but found the home side well organised, hard to break down and with a determination to make this a hard fought victory.

Stamford pressed forward from the first minute and Tom Edwards forced the home keeper into a double save to prevent an early lead.

Jake Walton then saw an effort drop just over before Edwards again went close but failed to hit the target.

If the Lions attack was guilty of missed opportunities the same could not be said for there opponents, as a quick through ball was picked up by Langtoft forward Jamie Warner, he unleashed a thunderbolt of a shot that flew past Stamford Keeper Jimmy Russon and into the bottom corner.

The goal changed the tide of the game as now Langtoft looked dangerous coming forward.

Russon saved well at the feet of the attacker before a well taken free kick sailed just over as for the first time in the match his goal became under threat.

At the other end Lions were getting desperate to find an equalising goal but cross after cross was headed or booted clear as Langtoft worked hard to preserve their lead until Jack Travers beat his man and fired in a low cross that Ryan Brown ran onto and smashed the ball home.

The second half saw the visitors dominate the possession of the ball as time and again they would fire in crosses but would be denied a goal scoring opportunity by brave defending and when a chance did arrive the home keeper proved to be in fine form.

Rob Forster had a low strike palmed away and Luke Ball was also thwarted twice by fine saves, first a header that was tipped over before a low shot was gathered.

The pressure continued and finally the Langtoft defence was pierced.

Rob Forster was played in by Jack Travers and as he rolled his marker he slotted past the keeper to give the Lions a 2-1 lead.

The pattern of play continued as it was the visitors who were looking more likely to add to the score, Brown went tumbling in the area after a heavy tackle but his pleas for a penalty were waved away and Luke Ball headed just wide from a deep cross from Edwards.

The home side continued to carry a threat on the break,

Russon was forced to charge down a long through ball and make a vital tackle outside his area to prevent Warner clean through on goal and Joe Lippett also pulled out a last ditch tackle as again Langtoft sprung a quick counter attack.

The last chance of the game fell to Forster, and in keeping with the story of the match his powerful shot was charged down and blocked by some brave defending.

Stamford Lions walked away with the 2-1 win and the vital three points but Langtoft Reserves could walk away with there heads held high as their fight and determination throughout the entire 90 minutes was obvious to see as their battle to avoid relegation goes on.

“It was an important three points” said Lions manager James Sheehan. “We missed a host of chances but credit to our lads for getting the win when at times it looked like it wasn’t going to be our day, Langtoft proved a hard team to break down.”

Langtoft United Reserves: Hamza Akram, John Armstrong, Darren Bell, Lee Mills, Gary Nash, Leigh Sharp, Daniel Smith, Andrew Warner, Jamie Warner, Andy Wilde, Mark Wye.

Substitutes: Joshua Bell, Dan Henson, Lyden Smithers

Stamford Lions: Jimmy Russon, Joe Lippett, Sam Bush(Luke Ball), Danny Sheehan, Barry Burton, Jack Travers, Jake Walton, Sean O’Donnell, Ryan Brown, Tom Edwards, Rob Forster.

Substitutes not used: James Sheehan, Sean Kelly.

Referee: Norman Vasey