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Stamford Lions are beaten by Stilton in Peterborough League Premier Division match

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Three goals in the final 20 minutes sunk Stamford Lions in Saturday's match at Peterborough League Premier Division title-chasers Stilton.

Lions had produced an excellent effort against their second-placed hosts who finished strongly to take the maximum points.

The Stamford side's goalkeeping problems had continued as injuries to John Feetham and Jasper Kidd kept both out of action while new signing Dylan Taylor was called up by a higher-level side, forcing the Lions to play outfield player Sean Edwards as the stand-in custodian.

Action from Saturday's game between Lions and Stilton. (53303576)
Action from Saturday's game between Lions and Stilton. (53303576)

However, Lions did start the stronger of the two sides and within the opening five minutes, teenage striker Dom Butkus had a glorious opportunity to take the lead as he ghosted away from his marker but sent his header over the bar from four yards out.

Stilton responded to the scare and soon charged up the other end and forced Edwards into a fingertip save that was pushed onto the crossbar.

The game was open as both sides created good chances to take the lead.

Butkus was denied a goal when Stilton keeper Dave Beeny saved well from his fierce strike before Zac Treweek sent an effort just wide.

At the other end, Dan Aust hacked away a goal-bound effort before Edwards was proving his worth with two fine saves that frustrated the home side.

With the first half drawing to a close, Lions had the best chance of the half as a goalmouth scramble rolled to Simon Griffiths who fired a low strike that Beeny excellently saved to prevent a certain goal.

The second half didn't let up as both sides had chances.

Stilton forward Kyial West charged into the area and chipped the outrushing Edwards, but Josh Whalley hooked away a goalline clearance as the ball bounced goalwards, before Chris McRoyal curled an effort past Beeny but inches wide of the post.

With an hour played, the scores were still locked at 0-0 when Lions skipper Danny Sheehan threw himself at an inswinging corner as he crashed a header off the bar.

The game was evenly balanced until 20 minutes to play when the deadlock was broken as West fired past Edwards from close range to give the home side a goal advantage.

The goal changed the game as Stilton relaxed and grew in confidence, while in contrast, Stamford looked deflated.

A second goal flew in when Sam Eaton rifled past Edwards with 10 minutes to play.

The second goal killed off any chance of a Lions fightback and then it was all the home side as the visitors were forced back defending the last few minutes of the half.

With the last kick of the game, a cross flew off the hip of Sheehan and wrong-footed Edwards to gift Stilton a third goal and seal a 3-0 win for the title-chasers.

Lions manager James Sheehan reflected: "Three-nil does not tell the tale of the majority of this match.

"The lads put in a shift, but if we were going to get something then we desperately needed to take one of our early chances to take the lead, and then it is something to defend.

"In the last 10 minutes or so, we were out of steam and got picked off, but it was a cracking game up to that point.

"We have now travelled to Stilton, Uppingham, Moulton and Holbeach - the top four sides in terms of the season - so I am optimistic with the remaining games that we can be competitive in all of them. It is now about these big games coming up.

"As well as Sean (Edwards) played as a stand-in keeper, that is an area we need addressing.

"With John (Feetham) and Jasper (Kidd) both out injured at present, we could do with getting a keeper in, even if it is just short-term.

"We face our closest local rivals Stamford Bels next. They have put together a very good side and we are fully aware of the challenge, but it is a game we are looking forward to.

"We expect a physical battle and, if we play to our potential, then I believe we can get something from that game."

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