London Titans 1-2 Nottingham Lions
A team character building performance of epic proportions displaying discipline, spirit and organisation saw Nottingham victorious in an enthralling encounter besides the Thames.
The “high noon shootout” on grass provided an explosive opening quarter as both sides looked menacing offensively.
Owen’s curling top corner effort was comfortably saved before two teasing crosses saw Simon powerfully head away.
An exquisitely weighted through-ball from Ian R put Owen clear and he finished with great aplomb.
Within minutes James H cleverly intercepted a Titans pass out of defence, sprinted ten-yards before a pinpoint cross saw Owen double Lions lead.
Titans were really struggling to handle Nottingham’s top line as next Owen’s testing header was well tipped round the post.
Titans hit back though, with a neat goal on 17 minutes which gave them belief and they really did turn the screw from that point onwards.
”We soaked up a load of pressure…’Sean M | Nottingham Lions winger
Clever, quick one-twos were working well and they were very unlucky to twice hit woodwork within a minute.
Lions ‘keeper Liam then tipped a strong shot over the bar and the pressure was mounting.
The game now became rather hurry-scurry and Lions were forced into tactical defensive changes to blunt Titans best player- an excellent left winger.
It worked, with half time reached and a 2-1 lead intact.
HT: London Titans 1-2 Nottingham Lions
The home-side upped their game further with an equaliser surely just a matter of time in coming.
Numerous long throws were hurtling into Lions penalty area but Simon/Brett dealt with everything.
Lions were working so hard out of possession and because they kept their shape they kept their lead.
On a rare forage forward mid-half, Owen’s audacious 40-yard lofted shot caught the ‘keeper off his line but the ball dropped agonisingly inches wide.
A truly amazing goal-line scramble lasting ten seconds or so, saw Nottingham somehow clear their lines, it was riveting stuff…far better than watching the low flying aircraft overhead coming into land at Heathrow.
Bodies were being thrown on the line as another goal-bound effort was blocked.
How much longer could Lions hang on? The four away spectators and one dog were cheering the boys home.
Robbie and Iain G were making crunching tackles down the flanks as Nottingham’s back line was looking solid. But all eleven players (or sixteen actually) were working so hard to protect the lead.
On 80 minutes, Titans worked a clever free kick which saw a 20-yard shot superbly saved by Liam.
With five minutes left the home striker stole a march but Liam rushed out bravely to parry the ball away.
Lions then finally broke out for three minutes or so and played the clock down well as the final whistle sounded.
FT: London Titans 1-2 Nottingham Lions
”I’d go as far as saying that this away win ranks in the top five of Lions history.The 2021/22 has started”John S | Nottingham Lions Lifelong Club Custodian
Everyone’s attitude and fight for the badge was shining brightly today, no moans or growns.
This really was an outstanding result against a very good side. It’s never easy when you get so little possession so the physical effort and mental concentration was truly admirable.
Composed by John C Smith