Feb 28 2013 by Matt Lewis, Harrow Observer
HELLENIC LEAGUE DIVISION ONE EAST
Milton United 0
Rayners Lane 1
DENE Gardner has warned his table-topping Rayners Lane players that the rest of the league will be desperate to knock them off their perch as the season reaches its climax.
Lane sit four points clear of Headington Amateurs in the Hellenic League Division One East after edging out Milton United at the weekend in a nail-biter.
Gardner believes opposing sides are raising their games against his league-leaders and reckons they face ‘cup finals’ every week from now until the end of the season.
He said: “I said to the lads that this was one of many cup finals we will be involved in until the end of the season. We now have one more away trip followed by five home games and every team will want to be the one that halts our drive to get promotion.
“Dee Williams again showed what he is about with his work rate against Milton and Paul Leslie put in quality balls, but Liam O’Keefe was the pick of the bunch, getting forward to support and also getting his tackles in.”
Lane fielded an attacking formation from the outset and their pressing style saw them take the lead when Leslie’s pinpoint cross was met by the head of Mark Woolley for an unstoppable opener.
A poor playing surface was not conducive to the flowing, passing game that Gardner’s team favour, resulting in them switching to long ball tactics and playing into the home side’s hands.
Woolley dropped back into the holding midfielder role and provided a screen for the Rayners Lane back-four as they closed out the game in a fiercely-contested second period.