Fourth successive league win after home success
Stamford Lions backed up their impressive win over Peterborough League Premier Division leaders Moulton Harrox by beating title contenders Peterborough Sports Development 3-2 in a thrilling encounter on Saturday.
The game started at frantic pace as Sports had a shot in the opening seconds which keeper John Swales plucked out of the air before launching a long kick upfield.
Tom Edwards gave chase and blasted by a defender before firing past the Sports keeper into the top corner within the first minute of the match.
Joe Lippett then climbed highest to head home an inswinging corner 10 minutes later to double the lead for the home side.
The two-goal cushion didn't last long as only seconds later a swift Sports passing move opened up Stamford’s defence before a left foot shot flew past Swales.
Sports played fast passing football and looked dangerous as they flooded forward putting the Lions onto the back foot.
The Stamford side soaked up the pressure and sprung a counter attack as Jake Showler chased down a long ball and raced away from the defence before rounding the keeper but his shot was hooked off the line.
Fortunately for Lions, Josh Collins was following up and he dispatched the rebound into the bottom corner.
Sports flew forward to pile on the pressure as Swales pulled off an incredible fingertip save to preserve the two-goal advantage.
With only a minute of the first half remaining Sports were reduced to 10 men when full-back James McDonough was shown a straight red card for an off-the-ball push on Haydn Rice.
With the man advantage, the Lions did not look to exploit the extra space but instead defended deep and looked to protect the two-goal lead.
The Peterborough side enjoyed good spells of possession but, after an end-to-end first half packed with action, the second period was far more subdued as the Lions defence stayed disciplined.
With seven minutes remaining Sports breathed hope into a fightback when a deep free-kick caught the Lions out and an easy header at the far post set up a tense finish.
However, Lions controlled the closing stages of the game and saw out a 3-2 win to claim their fourth straight league success.
Manager James Sheehan said: "It was really pleasing to get the three points against arguably the most talented side in the Peterborough League.
"Again we started very well and took our early chances which then gave us the platform to defend the difficult spells and ultimately see the game out.
"Their lad felt harshly done by after getting a red card, but when you raise your hands to an opponent your giving the referee very little choice.
"We looked to defend the lead in the second half and I'm pleased how we went about it. Our lads put a shift in and in my opinion deserved the win."