A strong Lions X1 took to the field to play a semi pro team from America on Saturday on the Astro turf. Unfortunatley the weather was awful with gale force winds causing havoc with high balls and although our lads tried to play the ball on the ground the Americans were much fitter than our boys if not as strong or mean looking! culminating in a 6-3 defeat for the Villa boys!
We played in tradition Claret and Blue Acorns kit agains a team in full red looking like Bayer Munich as some of our lads were old enough to remember the glorious day when we played Bayern Munich off the pitch in Rotterdam in 1982.
The Uk Lions sufered an early set back losing prolific striker Kevin Cooper to a calf injury after just 5 mins, leaving Captain and Birthday Boy Keith Miller upfront alone but still linking up with Jamie Clift superbly from Midfield.
We were strong at the back with Mert Farmer outstanding at Left Back, Steve Gough solid in central defence but Andrew Gamble looking a little lightweight after being drafted in at the last minute, and John Power at righ back steady asa rock.
Our midfield consisted of Rich Mason wjo looked a bit under par by his standards, Duncan Kemp who came off looking rather ill who was replaced by the fantastic Mark Wyatt from Wales, and Martin Compton out wide on the left, and new boy Dave Bytheway.
Ther fact is these lads need to play together more, but there were some promising signs with Jamie Clift and Mark Wyatt looking outstanding. With a bit of organisation and better positioning, Matt Weston back from injury the mix of youth and experience can only get better fotr the Final in May on the sacred turf of Villa Park
The UK Lions team as in the photo which you click on to enlarge was:
Back Row; A.Perrins; J.Power,M Farmer, M.Wyatt, I.Gardiner, A. Gamble, S.Gough, D.Kemp
Front; J.Clift, D.Bytheway, K.Miller ( Captain), R.Mason, M. Compton