Leicester Wildecats 0-1 Nott’m Lions

After a six month sabbatical, the Lions produced a gusty performance to nick a tight East Midlands rivalry.

They imposed themselves from the off; showing a strong eagerness to impress the new management team. Gabi shot wide early before Tom C tried his luck from distance. Debutant Chris N was a menace down the left-wing, displaying speed, purpose and intelligence, with Mario providing sturdy support.

Lions were pressing throughout and it was unfortunate that this positive approach wasn’t rewarded with a goal.

Leicester came into the game mid-half and their left-back nearly scored, sneaking in at the far-post. This was a wake-up call for an organised defence, marshalled superbly by Brett and Kyler.

”We started the match so well…we were so calm on the ball and passing was excellent”

Ian R | Nottingham Lions manager

Both sides were happy to build from the back with patience and efficiency.

Tom C had two further attempts within a four minute spell. First an angled header following Kyler’s probing free-kick, before another long-range shot.

Pij pulled off a superb tip-over save, only to see the linesman’s flag raised for offside. As the half closed, Gabi and Tom C linked neatly with the former’s shot saved well.

HT: Wildecats 0-0 Lions

On 47 minutes, the Wildecats hit the crossbar after a looping header from a well worked corner.

Lions responded by scoring five minutes later. Gabi broke clear at speed, shrugged off a challenge and with ultimate composure, placed the ball to the Keeper’s left.

As the game intensified and on the hour-mark, a long punt saw the Wildecats striker clear but he missed a golden opportunity. Within a minute, Pij stood firm, getting his body behind a powerful long ranged effort.

Leicester bossed the remainder of the game, but one tackle from Treaders he had no right to win, epitomised the Lions spirit…scintillating stuff.

A spate of opposition corners were defended strong by Kyler and Simon, who cleared everything. Debutant Paul W smacked one dangerous ball into row Z; old fashioned football.

Pij pulled off another quality save on 75 minutes from a cross-come shot.

Inside the last ten and a defensive back header caused problems, but the Leicester striker’s shot went just over. On a rare attack, Gabi’s strong hit went inches wide. A final chance came in injury time as the Wildecats gained a free-kick; 18-yards out and central. Nerves were jangling but Pij kept his clean-sheet intact by turning a decent effort around the post.

FT: Wildecats 0-1 Lions

‘Well done to the players, on a tricky first match after a very long break and against tough opponents’

Rob C | Nottingham Lions coach

Nottingham Lions showed outstanding mental strength and concentration, played with tremendous spirit and as one. Defensively organised and competitive in midfield, this was a superb performance and both teams deserve great credit for producing a smashing game of football.

Composed by John C Smith & edited/moderated by Josh Wing.

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