Mersey 3-2 Nottingham Lions
After a two year break Lions returned to MUL action in a pulsating match on Merseyside with the wind and rain menacingly sweeping across throughout.
With only twelve travelling a tough afternoon was expected but Nottingham surprised their hosts with a dominant opening 15 minutes.
Sharp to the ball and in the tackle Lions settled quickly and their confidence rose on 6 mins with an opening goal. Treaders’ teasing free-kick hit the danger zone and though Shaun L challenged, the unfortunate defender headed past his own keeper.
Mersey just couldn’t get going as Lions continued to press showing enthusiasm and eagerness to do well. On 22 minutes however, Mersey equalised with a worldy from 25-yards. A corner was cleared but the second ball wasn’t and as it bounced around the attacker belted a stunning shot into the top corner.
As the game now settled Sean M had an angled shot from wide right go past the far post and Marauders also had a decent shot just over the bar.
Approaching injury time, the Lions conceded again, with another quality goal after a high bouncing ball caused problems around the 18-yard box. That was a bit of a sickner truth be told and unjust but that’s football.
HT: MERSEY 2-1 LIONS
”I’ve never felt this positive and happy when we’re losing at half-time. We worked hard”.Treaders | Nottingham Lions Captain
Mersey made strong substitutions (Lions could only dream of that particular luxury) and it paid dividends within two minutes. A corner saw Brett initially win an important header but everyone stood looking as the loose ball was hammered home.
Were the floodgates now going to open ? Were Lions tiring…a definite NO. For 15 minutes, Nottingham couldn’t get out of their half, Mersey’s subs were forcing the issue but Lions kept their shape and spirit and held firm.
That steadfast attitude was inspiring to witness, the boys were playing for the shirt and some. On 65 minutes, the Lions worked a beautiful four-man move which saw Sean M hit a thunderous drive into the corner.
Inspired, Sean M then ran down the byline and crossed the ball low at blistering pace with Iain G just failing to get on the end.
Two long runs from defence saw Brett in unknown territory but Mersey held on and in-fact, finished strongly themselves.
FT: MERSEY 3-2 LIONS
”Every player gave it their all and we worked for each other, that’s what I like to see”.Ian R | Nottingham Lions Manager
Lions had played their part in an enthralling and entertaining match. Both teams playing in the true spirit of the MUL.Nottingham never gave in and were a tad unfortunate not to come home with a point. A very cold, wet and miserable day saw a ray of sunlight shine through as Lions showed good signs for the future.
Composed by John C Smith