DWANE LEE IN CHARGE - A NEW BEGINNING FOR THE LONDON TIGERS THIS SEASON
It was a new look London Tigers team who took to the field against FC Broxbourne Brough in the Spartan South Midlands League Division One yesterday. The Tigers were relegated from the Premier Division last season and are now under the new management of Dwane Lee who is most well known from his playing career for his time with Barnet where he won a Conference National winner's medal in 2005. He also represented Exeter City, Kidderminster Harriers, Maidenhead United and Stevenage Borough amongst other clubs. He was most recently coaching with Hayes & Yeading United u23s.
THE BROXBOURNE MANAGEMENT OF JASON PILE AND GRAHAM LEE
The hosts had finished in eighth place in 2018/19 and are looking to improve on that this season with manager's Graham Lee and Jason Pile in the dug out once again - many of last season's squad has stayed with the club so stability may be the key for them to develop and advance over the next few months.
Broxbourne Borough were captained by former Enfield Town midfielder Joe O'Brien and had Kai Bowers starting on the left hand side of midfielder who scored 19 goals last season.
Many of the London Tigers team had followed their new manager from Hayes and Yeading United so this was their first taste of competative men's football.
They did have goalkeeper Salva Palacios who was with Spanish fourth tier side UD Lanzarote last season and has played in the academy systems of Villareal, Levante and Getafe.
Dean Mason also featured in midfield and his vast experience clearly helped - Capped nine times as a full International for Montserrat he has played for a whole host of non-league sides after coming through the youth systems of both Barnet and Southampton and was in the same AFC Wimbledon squad who won the Conference South title in 08/09 as manager Dwane Lee. He has recently played for Wingate & Finchley, Arlesey Town, Concord Rangers, Ware and Cambridge City.
The home side were the more dominant in the 35 minutes of the game going 2-0 up with the impressive Kai Bowers staring this season as he did last in hitting the back of the net. He scored twice from the left hand side of midfield. Both were calm and composed finishes - He certainly knows where the goal is.
Gradually a hard working Tigers team came back into the game and made it 1-2 when Loseyi Akinola was able to poke the ball home at the near post following a corner (see below footage of goal)
The turning point of the game then occurred after around 40 minutes when FC Broxbourne were awarded a penalty kick after Palacios slid in and took out a positive forward running Bowers inside the box. Bowers had the chance to score a first half hat-trick as he put the ball down and took the spot kick himself. However it was a Palacios who saved well diving to his right hand side.
Tiger's Melos Ajvazi then had a good shot from just outside the box which stung the hands of Borough keeper Liam Nugent diving to his left hand side.
The visitors started the second half very positively and made it 2-2 when Charlie Burns finished well to the right had side of goal from around six yards out. Both sides had some chances to win the three points on the opening day of the season but it finished 2-2 which was probably a fair result on the balance of play.
FC Broxbourne's next game is an away trip to Ampthill Town who won 0-4 at Wodson Park with their goalscorers being Brandon Carney, Jamie Cerminara (2) and Dan Butler - Goalkeeper Ross Tompkins (who was first choice for Premier Division champion's Biggleswade FC last season) started for Town in this game.
The Tigers are next in action against Thame Rangers in the FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round on Saturday 10th August. This is a home game at Amersham Town's Spratley's Meadow home where they are ground-sharing this season. Rangers play in Division One (East) of the UHLSport Hellenic League and drew 2-2 with AFC Aldermaston yesterday.
The three stand out results for the day in Division One were the three promoted sides all winning away from home. Shefford Town & Campton won 0-3 at Amersham Town with Henry Snee netting a hat-trick. He scored 27 goals in just 14 starts for the Bedfordshire County League Premier Division Champions last season.
New Salamis won 2-7 at Hillingdon Borough with former Wingate & Finchley academy player Coskun Grantham scoring a hat-trick, Leon McKenzie getting a brace and Ryan Hervel along with Antonio Michael also getting goals.
Not to be out-done St Panteleimon won confidently by a scoreline of 1-6 at Milton Keynes Robins.
FC Broxbourne Borough
Liam Nugent, Emmanuel Boateng, Franco Saviano, George Dukes, Josh Ramejkis, Nick Davey, Brad Niner, Joe O'Brien (Captain), Dustin Fitzgerald, Jamie Brandon, Kai Bowers.
Subs - Charlie Daniel, Billy Banms, Jack Barr, Vinnie Vanezi and Freddie Salmon.
Salva Palacios, Joshua Penemo, Jordan Williams, Loseyi Akinola, Mariraj Singh, Rory Marshall (Captain), Dean Mason, Ezekial Williams, Rashid Enayat, Charlie Burns, Melos Ajvazi.
Subs -George Denton, Stan Anum and Max Formosa
NOT MUCH FOOTAGE FROM THE GAME YESTERDAY SO APOLOGIES FOR THAT - BELOW IS LONDON TIGERS FIRST GOAL AND THE PENALTY SAVE MADE BY SALVA PALACIOS