Lions let lead slip as late double dashes Shield hopes
Stamford Lions were dumped out of the Peterborough League President’s Shield when they conceded twice in the final 11 minutes to surrender the lead and see title favourites Netherton claim a 3-2 success on Saturday.
Boss James Sheehan admitted to being disappointed by the defeat, but hopes his side can get back to winning ways in the league when they travel to Peterborough ICA Sports on Saturday.
Sheehan said: “I was really disappointed to have lost the game, but it was an excellent contest with some good football played.
“It was exciting to be involved in, but I felt gutted to lose it. At 2-1 the feeling was that the next goal would be crucial.
“It’s important that we now put this defeat behind us and look to continue our good league form.”
The game started at a fast pace and Netherton soon got into their stride with fast passing football.
Lions weathered an early onslaught and began to enjoy periods of good attacking football themselves as both sides had chances before the visitors opened the scoring.
A slick fast passing move opened up the Lions defence and a low cross was met with a close range finish.
The Lions went on the attack looking to get straight back on level terms and Luke Ball had a shot well saved and, from the resulting corner, Rob Montgomery headed back across the box and Tom Lees fired in an equaliser low into bottom corner of the goal.
The game was well balanced as both teams were probing looking for an advantage and four minutes before the half-time whistle Stamford took the lead.
Tom Edwards picked out Ball with a raking pass and the latter took one touch to control it and a second to rifle his shot into the bottom corner.
Netherton ended the half as they began it, on the front foot and pressing Lions back.
The pressure on the home side’s goal continued early in the second period and debutant goalkeeper Aiden Finn had to be at his sharpest as several times he collected dangerous crosses and through balls.
The game was even and both sides continued to battle for supremacy as Lees fired a shot just wide before Ball had an effort well saved.
As the game neared the final 10 minutes the visitors sprung a quick through ball and claims for offside were denied as the winger ran clear of the defence. Finn saved well low to his left but as the ball looped high in the air it landed kindly to the in rushing forward who made no mistakes to level the scores.
The goal was a body blow to the Lions who had worked hard defending their lead and five minutes later it went from bad to worse for the home side when a deep free kick was headed past Finn and Netherton had turned the game around.
It was now the Stamford side that needed an equalising goal and they surged forward in hope.
Despite good possession the Lions could not muster up a late chance and Netherton saw out the 3-2 win that puts an end to the Lions’ hopes in this year’s Shield.