Stamford Lions beat Long Sutton in a Peterborough League Premier Division clash
A blistering start helped fire Stamford Lions to their first victory of the Peterborough League Premier Division campaign on Saturday.
James Sheehan’s side scored three goals in the opening 20 minutes of their contest against Long Sutton at Borderville.
They added a fourth goal before half-time and then fended off a fightback from the Magpies despite losing goalkeeper Jasper Kidd to injury.
Zac Treweek got the Stamford side off to the perfect start as, within the opening two minutes of the match, he latched onto a Chris McRoyal through ball and delicately lifted it over the onrushing keeper and into the net to give the Lions a 1-0 lead.
The advantage was soon doubled from the same combination as again McRoyal weighted his through ball with perfection and Treweek fired past the stranded keeper with just 10 minutes played.
Lions would be forgiven for believing their recent misfortune had turned when new signing Dan Colbert fired a shot from the edge of the box that cannoned off a Long Sutton defender to wrong-foot the keeper and give Lions a 3-0 lead on 20 minutes.
However, any jubilation of an excellent start was soon extinguished when on the half-hour mark, teenage keeper Kidd made an innocuous clearance that left him reeling in pain and resulted in ending his game with a knee injury.
Simon Griffiths was asked to don the gloves as a stand-in solution for Lions who then scored their fourth goal.
Dan Dimeo had been a threat all half and another bursting run into the area resulted in him being tripped to the floor and a penalty was awarded with McRoyal firing home the spot-kick.
With only a minute of the first half left to play, Long Sutton grabbed a lifeline when lively winger Jack Thomas burst past the Lions defence and poked the ball past Griffiths.
The second half saw Long Sutton attack the Lions with a belief they could pull the scores back.
Griffiths palmed away a fierce strike before defender Tom Fearns made an excellent block to prevent a goal-scoring opportunity.
At the other end, Treweek thought he had claimed a hat-trick when he tapped home after another direct run from Dimeo, but a linesman's flag chalked the goal off.
With 20 minutes to play, Thomas burst through the Lions backline for a second time and slotted past Griffiths to close the deficit to 4-2.
This was enough of a scare to force the Stamford side into retreat as they adopted a defensive shell to protect the lead.
They kept Long Sutton at bay and ensured their first points of the season.
Manager James Sheehan commented: "Finally, we've got some points on the board.
"We made a blistering start and took our early chances and that gave us the cushion to grow.
"When the third took a deflection and flew in, it looked like our luck had finally changed until minutes later Jasper (Kidd) twisted his knee and we faced an hour without a recognised keeper.
"Simon Griffiths did a sterling job with a few unorthodox saves, but he kept them out and we all owe him some thanks for stepping in. Ultimately, we are delighted to get three points on the board.
"With players like Dan Aust and Tom Fearns returning, along with new signing Dan Colbert, we are steadily getting more quality back into the side. Now, we are looking to work hard and build on this first win."