The Lions gave debut's to three new players as our forced squad rotation left us missing SIXTEEN squad players, of which six would usually be in the starting eleven. Once again the conditions proved challenging as the 3.00pm kick-off and searing heat required considerable game management. We started the game well and dominated possession and territory, however, the Hotspurs game plan of drilling balls into the left-hand channel saw the back-four being pulled out of position on several occasions. This ultimately resulted in us going one down, following a free kick on the left hand side. The first touch shot on the edge of the box made it into the goal very much against the play. Nonetheless, we re-grouped and continued to play football, which soon resulted in an equalizer for the Lions. Matty McCole, who was my man of the match created some space, just outside the box and smashed the ball to the right of the keeper who simply had no chance. The latter stages of the first half were a little messy but at half-time, there was little i had to say to motivate the players. Hotspurs were playing 4-5-1, as well as pretty narrow so as the game moved on we changed to 3-4-3 to find a winner. Unfortunately we came up against the Hotspurs keeper who, in the second half made a number of outstanding saves. We also missed a penalty and several other chances to take the game by the scruff of the neck. As the game headed toward a conclusion we were undone by a sucker punch, very much against the run of play, but clearly demonstrates that if you take your foot of the gas or lose discipline you get punished. Congratulations to Hotspurs and unlucky boys. A big-game against OG looms and i'm sure the lads will step up and put in a stellar performance.
It was a roasting hot 3pm KO at Turf City for Hotspurs v Gaelic Lions. Hotspurs started well and after a few early chances on the break took the lead through young Jack Skinner after a clever near post corner routine – training is clearly paying off. Lions equalized soon after with a swerving 30 yard effort leaving Martyn with no chance in goal. The rest of the first half saw Hotspurs continually break forward and with 3 clear chances wasted, really should have gone into HT in the lead. The second half saw the Lions begin to dominate possession and territory, MOM Martyn kept Hotspurs in the game with some outstanding saves. With10 mins to go Lions were awarded a penalty, luckily for Hotspurs it went high and wide. The miss seemed to galvanize Hotspurs and with a few minutes to play a fantastic cross from Guy was met by a leaping JD to head home. Hotpsurs hung on for the win and a much needed 3 points. Cheers to the Lions for a game played in good spirits, hard and fair. A special mention must go to Urs who stepped in to make his refereeing debut in Cosmo, he had a great game getting the big decisions correct and calmly explaining them to the players – hopefully he’ll be back for more!