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Lee back to his best

North Village 4

Flanagan's Onions 1

Jason Lee looked almost back to his best after plundering a hat-trick in North Village's comfortable victory over Flanagan's Onions.

Lee missed the entirety of last season with a knee ligament injury but showed that he had lost none of his blistering pace or eye for goal at Bernard Park yesterday.

The striker tormented Onions' defence in a performance that emphasised just why he was earmarked a few years ago as a player with the potential to turn professional by ex-Village coach Shaun Goater.

That hasn't happened for Lee, and at 21 the sand in his egg-timer in surely running out for him to fulfil any pro ambitions.

For the time being, though, he insists he's simply happy to be playing again after such a lengthy spell on the sidelines.

“It was very frustrating for me last season after tearing my ACL,” he said. “It was only my second start of the season today and I was happy with the way I played.

“Slowly but surely I'm getting back to my best. If I can keep on improving my fitness and recovery then I think I could score 30 goals this season.”

Village will certainly hope Lee can realise that personal goal because despite the lopsided scoreline, this was not a wholly convincing display by Ralph Bean's side.

At times Village seemed capable of creating chances at will with both Lee and Jaquan Smith-DeShields causing Onions plenty of problems with their speed and movement.

And yet too often the hosts were sloppy in possession, particularly in when bringing the ball out of defence and might well have been punished by a team with greater attacking threat.

Lee, who missed an early one-on-one chance, started the scoring midway through the first half with a volley from just inside the area.

Village could have gone further ahead with Lee again in the thick of the action, forcing a fine save from Onions goalkeeper Stephen Gould with a powerful strike from distance.

At the other end Village shot stopper Troy Hall also displayed a pair of safe hands, collecting a 25-yard drive from Onions midfielder Pete Robey.

Onions would have been reasonably happy with their first half showing and perhaps still confident getting something from the game.

But those hopes were well and truly dashed within five minutes of the second half with Smith-DeShields and Lee increasing Village's advantage.

Smith-DeShield's strike was a touch fortuitous with Gould foiling Lee's initial effort with the ball running free to his strike partner who managed to bundle the ball home.

There was nothing lucky about Lee's second, though, with the striker driving into the box and drilling a low shot past Gould.

Substitute striker Kevin Ronaldson pulled a goal back for Onions when he stroked the ball home after North Village defender Tyrell Burgess was caught in possession.

Lee completed his hat-trick with a header from a Pierre Smith corner on 80 minutes before Onions were reduced to ten men when Ronaldson was dismissed for dissent late on.

North Village: T Hall Jr, S Lee, D Tankard, J Davis, J Jennings, S Fubler, J Lee (D Hunt, 85), J Smith-DeShields, K Bean, T Walker (P Smith, 78) T Burgess

Substitutes not used: P Castle, D Chambers

Goals: Lee, 20, 49, 80 Smith-DeShields, 48

Flanagan's Onions: S Gould, A Kelly, B Amaro (K Ronaldson, 79), J Fox, M Laws, K Lewis, P Matthews, S Lister (G Muir, 78), A Hunter (N Parker, 74), P Robey, S Butler,

Substitutes not used: S Upton, M Ward, R Overand

Yellow card: Fox

Red card: Ronaldson

Referee: L Wilson

Man of the match: J Lee (Village)

Jason Lee hit a hat-trick in North Village's 4-1 win over Flanagans' Onions.

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Published September 29, 2013 at 8:43 pm (Updated September 30, 2013 at 11:54 am)

Lee back to his best

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