Eight will become four on Sunday morning as the quarter-finals of the JC Cyril Anekstein Cup takes place. There is also a mouth-watering top-of-the-table clash in Division Four. Danny Caro looks ahead to all the action.
PREM DIV: FAITHFOLD A vs REDBRIDGE A
PREM DIV: NW NEASDEN A vs HENDON A
JC MANAGER OF THE WEEK
Alex Schock & Ric Blank (Oakwood)
JC REFEREE OF THE WEEK
Dean Jorden (Jewventus vs Temple Fortune B)
JC GOAL OF THE WEEK:
Neil Tilley (Chigwell Athletic) starting wide left cut in, nutmegging two people across the by line, beat about four players in total and slid home
JC SAVE OF THE WEEK
Reuben John (Jewventus) - a right-handed save at near point blank range
YOUR WEEKEND PREVIEW STARTS HERE:
PETER MORRISON TROPHY ROUND FOUR
SOUTHGATE HARMEN A vs MONTANA BOCA UNITED A
It’s the battle of the keepers with the monster kicks on Sunday as Harmen’s Ziggy Lichman comes up against Dan Cohen.
Neither side was in action last week and with a place in a place in the quarter-finals the reward for the winner, I’m predicting a good, open contest between two honest and hard-working sides.
Although Harmen start as favourites, only a fool would write Montana off. They possess some players who could cut it at Premier Division level and if they bring their A-game to the table, I can see them pushing Harmen all the way.
Caretaker-manager Raymond Harrod and Adam Osper have found the going tough since Marc Ziedman departed. But with Cohen returning between the sticks, you have to give them half a chance.
One thing is certain. Harmen manager Dan Uzan is not under-estimating Sunday’s opponents.
Uzan told JC Sport: “We are missing a few players on Sunday, namely Toby Lustigman, who was desperate to play against his old team, Alex Norman and Alex Hershman. But we will be fielding a strong team and with Ben Graham in great goal-scoring form, and Craig Phillips who has been excellent, I am confident for Sunday.
“Montana are a good team. We know them well from the last few seasons, and with James Sandler having moved there in the summer. They are always hard to break down and often come back late in the game. We will pay them the respect they deserve.”
I can see this being an end-to-end contest with the brilliance of Graham, who had a run out for the MSFL Rep Team on Tuesday night, taking Harmen through.
Venue – Ashmole School, Ref – S. Levy
JC star man: Ben Graham (Harmen)
DC Prediction: Southgate Harmen A 4 Montana Boca Utd A 2
JC CYRIL ANEKSTEIN CUP QUARTER-FINALS
FAITHFOLD A vs HENDON UNITED SPORTS CLUB A
Two of the best teams in Jewish football go head-to-head in a tie that would grace the final.
Faithfold and Hendon are going great guns at the minute and it’s virtually impossible to separate two sides who have everything in their locker.
The Superhoops were left kicking themselves last weekend when they took the lead twice against leaders Redbridge but failed to come away with maximum points. At 2-1, they blew a chance to clinch it when skipper Alex Levack had a penalty saved. But he more than made up for it in the midweek Rep game.
It will also be an emotional morning for striker Mike Pearson who had a short spell at Hendon not so long ago. He has done well since moving from London Maccabi Lions A and is just one of the players that Hendon must beware of.
Zuriel Solomon, the Faithfold manager, told JC Sport: “We’re looking forward to the tie in what is the important part of the season. We are growing game by game and are on a good run of form.
“We have a lot of respect for Hendon, who are also doing well, but we fear no team. It should be a cracking game.”
Hendon could not be coming into the game on a better run of form. Last week they stuck seven past Neasden A, and with the twin towers of Wingate & Finchley just 180 minutes away, the chances are that manager David Garbacz is getting his suit ready.
Garbacz was relieved to hear that Dovid Korman made it through the Rep Team match unscathed. His playmaker is sure to have reported back with the low-down on Levack and Paul Babai who more than hold their own at London Inter-League Cup level.
The Hammers have been winning and scoring for fun for the past few months and the bad news for Faithfold is that Sunday’s visitors will turn up with a full-strength squad.
Garbacz told JC Sport: “For the first time in as long as I can remember we have a fully fit squad to choose from. No-one is injured and no-one is on holiday. This will make squad/team selection quite difficult but it is a nice position to be in.
“We are well aware of the dangers that Faithfold pose. They have made quality additions to their squad and are clearly a very talented bunch. We play them twice in as many weeks and the outcomes of both games will go a long way to determining whether we will be collecting any silverware this year.
“We are expecting a very tight game and it could well come down to an individual moment of brilliance to settle it. We are playing with huge confidence at the moment and whilst giving full respect to Faithfold we will hope to take that confidence into Sunday’s game and ultimately into the semi-finals.
“Last week against Neasden wasn’t quite the mini-classic that it was built up to be as we ran out comfortable victors, but this week could well be.”
I could not agree more. These are old clichés and ones I like. Firstly, this match will be won and lost in midfield. Secondly, it will boil down to which team takes its chances.
May the best team win.
JC team news: Faithfold welcomes back Alex Taylor, Paul Babai, Johnny Haik and David Lederman from the squad who drew with Redbridge.
Venue – Hadley FC, Ref – W. Blake
JC star man: Dovid Korman (Hendon)
DC Prediction: Faithfold A 2 Hendon A 3
LONDON MACCABI LIONS A vs NORTH WEST NEASDEN A
Two more Jewish football giants go head-to-head, this time at Rowley Lane, as cup holders Lions take on last season’s double winners Neasden.
The teams met in the semi-finals last season when a late strike from Ricky Kennet settled it.
Both teams have been on the slide this season but Sunday gives them the opportunity to put a smile back on the face of their fans.
The Lions go into the tie on the back of a hard earned win over Neasden’s B team. The returning Sam Arghebant reminded the Lions faithful what they had been missing in a game where a strike from Ben Joseph proved decision.
At the same time, Neasden were sent crashing to a 7-2 defeat at home to Hendon. These are really tough times at the club, and manager Jamie Cole has been given a seven day break in Vegas by outgoing chairman Sammy Carr.
That means that coach Darren Yarlett will take charge for the visitors. When Yarlett has been in charge, the team has fared well, recording victories in all three games that Cole has been absent for, including a resounding 5-0 win at North London Raiders.
Looking ahead to the crunch clash, Yarlett told JC Sport: “We go into the game knowing we can win if we play and act the right way. I have 14 or 15 to pick from and do not care about upsetting anyone as attitude from some of the squad has been awful at times.
“I’m bringing in some of my Lions Saturday boys as they are doing me a favour and hope we can win the game. We owe them after a 5-0 defeat last time out.
“All I ask for is a bit of fight. If we lose then so be it but a bit of passion wouldn’t go a miss.”
This is a game that could go either way. The style of victory will be irrelevant on Sunday and it will go down to which team wants it most.
JC team news: Neasden hope to include Lions Saturday players TJ Keterman and Ben Ellis in their squad which will otherwise be the same as last week, along with the addition of Matt Sofier and George Fierstone.
Venue – Rowley Lane, Ref – S. Russell
JC star man: Motti Colman (Lions)
DC Prediction: LM Lions A 2 NW Neasden A 1
REDBRIDGE JEWISH CARE A vs BRADY MACCABI
It’s been a tough week for everyone at Redbridge. The jubilation of last week’s late equaliser against Faithfold was quickly forgotten with news of injuries to three key players.
Rep Team stars Adam Hakimi and Daran Bern picked up knocks against the North London League on Tuesday night that makes them major doubts for Sunday.
But that’s not all. Hakimi’s partner in crime in central defence, Brad Frankel, could miss the rest of the season after suffering a suspected fractured cheekbone playing five-a-side. These are all massive blows to Sam McCarthy’s plans, especially going into such an important gave against the Division One high-flyers.
The Brady bunch go into the game nice and fresh after last week’s match against Camden was postponed. It’s worth remembering that they beat Neasden A in their own back-yard last season, and manager Josh Rosenfeld is hoping for more of the same.
However, the Brady gaffer is not painting a particular rosy picture (no pun intended). Rosenfeld told JC Sport: “We have been ready to test ourselves all season against a Premiership opposition, but unfortunately this game couldn’t have come at a worse time.
“We will be without our centre back pairing of Jason Sears and Ryan Fox. Josh Hershman is away for the weekend and Mark Smith is injured for a few weeks.
“This will make our job even tougher. However we still have a great squad and have quality with the likes of Steve Field, Lee Platt and Nick Stern to name a few.”
Had it not been for these notable absentees, I’d have given Brady half a chance, bearing in mind the men missing for RJC. But Rosenfeld wants his boys to give it their best shot.
“At the end of the day its 11 against 11 and we will be ready. We will need to raise our game an extra 10 per cent to compete and, in the cup, anything can happen.
“Redbridge have caught us with a weaker squad, luckily for them, but we will be up for the game, no doubt about it.”
It’s a shame that neither team will be at full-strength. Strength in depth will hold the key and that’s why I’m tipping Redbridge to progress.
JC team news: RJC missing Hakimi, Brad Frankel (fractured cheekbone), Daran Bern. Adam Stolerman returns to the squad.
Venue – Fairlop, Ref – A. Lewis
JC star man: Adam Stolerman (RJC)
DC Prediction: Redbridge JC A 3 Brady Maccabi 1
NORTH WEST NEASDEN B vs LOS BLANCOS
Premier Division Neasden B are odds-on making the last four when they entertain league new boys Los Blancos.
The Neasden boys were lining up to take on HMZ but they have been removed from the competition due to registration irregularities.
Deep down, I wonder how many people in the LB camp think they have a chance. However, here is some interesting news.
Neasden have 10 regulars missing (see JC team news). Joint-manager Sammy Carr told JC Sport: “We’re struggling big time this Sunday, but we have called in the old guard to help us out. Rob Bloch and Mark Laster will make their first appearances since August.
“That takes us up to 10. We’re still trying to get one more!!Mark Cowan and Andy Emden have replaced Ed Bloom in goal for the remainder of the season.
Los Blancos will undoubtedly enjoy their big day out. Manager Joel Minsky has been watching some FA Cup classic shocks in a bid to find some inspiration.
Minsky was delighted after the team toppled Division Four leaders Blizzard Storm last week.
However, the manager revealed: The big news though coming out of the club is that captain Dovid Greenberg has announced he is taking a break from football for the rest of the season to concentrate on his professional exams.
“His influence will be greatly missed, but we have a team full of leaders here and a replacement will hopefully be picked before Sunday's game.”
Looking ahead to Sunday, Minsky knows his boys have nothing to lose, as long as they approach the game with no fear. “We are all a little surprised to have made it to the quarter-finals of the CAC, especially seeing as we've only actually won a solitary cup game to date.
“Either way Neasden B will present a completely unprecedented challenge for us in our club’s very short history, and the name of the game will be enjoying our football whilst giving a good account of ourselves.
“We are, however, conscious of Neasden B's current league predicament, so this game could be a little more interesting than it appears on paper.”
LB keeper Josh Cohen gave the performance of a lifetime last Sunday but not even a worldy will stop Neasden going through.
JC team news: Missing for Neasden are Ben Wulwik, Jason Bookbinder, Adam Harvey, Ryan Glynne, Marc Greene, Danny Daggers, Zac White and Ed Bloom. Right-back David Fox misses the game due to wedding plans. Whatever happened to committment. Unbelievable! Carr said: “We wish Dave Fox a massive mazel tov for his wedding next Sunday ... don’t do it Dave!”
For LB, Dany Kon and Adam Cohen return to the squad, whilst Daniel Sher faces a late fitness test. Joel Holder however is not available for selection.
Venue – The Hive, Ref – A. Djanogly
JC star man: Daniel Hodes (NWN)
DC Prediction: NW Neasden B 4 Los Blancos 0
CHIGWELL ATHLETIC vs FC TEAM A
There’s a real cracker in store at the Peter May where third-placed Chigs take on nearest rivals FC Team A.
The Chigs are flying at the minute with strikers Neil Tilley and Glenn Michaels banging goals in for fun. But, having played two games more than Sunday’s opposition, only three points will do if they are to gatecrash the top two.
Four consecutive victories tell you that Chigwell mean business. Player-manager Richard Slater told JC Sport: “Sunday is a massive game for us. If we take three points I believe we’re bang in the title run-in. We simply can’t slip up in any of our last seven games.
“We lost a few stupid games early on which have left us playing catch up now. We know FC Team are a very good footballing side. They gave us two very close games last season which we ended up winning, but the boys know each and every one of us need carry on giving 110 per cent if we’re to get the win on Sunday.”
Team suffered their third defeat of the league campaign when they were turned over 3-1 by Oakwood. Player-manager Mitch Young, who must have learnt a trick or two at the Rep Team game on Tuesday night, took action by bringing in two new faces to his already multi-talented squad.
He snapped up Craig Edwards (Montana) and Shai Davidi (London Maccabi Lions) whom he believes will give the side more options up top.
"Craig and Shai are two highly-skilled footballers who will bolster are attacking options, “Young told JC Sport. “Shai is in red-hot form at the moment, and hopefully he will continue to terrorise defenders in a FC Team shirt"
Looking ahead to his first meeting with the Essex giants this season, Young said: “I’m looking for a reaction from the players after last weeks result. I will be changing the team around hoping we can perform.
“Chigwell are an excellent side and have found some form but the points are important for both sides so it will be a very tense affair.”
It’s hard calling a winning in this clash of the titans but given their good form and the fact that they’re at home, I’m tipping the Chigs to nick it.
JC team news: Chigwell are without Adam Goodman (work), Russell Yershon (work), Doron Weinstein (suspended) and Marc Jacobs (away with work). Jon Raven returns from the squad along with Simon Felstein who must be cream crackered after the transfer window! Slater describes the inclusion of Raven as “a massive boost”. I’m sure he’s also glad to have Felstein back too!
For FC Team, striker Richard Salmon is out but Andy Sheena returns. Shai Davidi and Craig Edwards come straight into the squad. Jake Weiner is still absent.
Chigwell squad: Rob Shepherdson, Simon Felstein, Jon Raven, Jon Swead, Adam Shafron, Glenn Davis, Sam Rosenthal, Daniel Castle, Richard Slater, Michael Witzenfeld, Russell Becker, Glenn Michaels, Neil Tilley, Adam Conway, Mark Radzan
Venue – Peter May Sports Centre, Ref – L. Eppel
JC star man: Glenn Davis (Chigwell)
DC Prediction: Chigwell Athletic 2 FC Team A 1
CAMDEN PARK vs OAKWOOD
The signing of Josh Rubin has excited everyone at Oakwood FC. Last season’s JC MJSL Golden Boot winner made an instant impact following his 200-bagel transfer down south, and I expect him to lead the fight on Sunday.
The addition of Rubin comes on the back of the transfer of Louis Basger, last season’s JC MSFL Player of the Year, so anyone doubting the team’s Premiership ambitions need doubt no more.
Aside from these two stars, the Oaks have quality all around the park. Last week, Eddie Manson stole the show in the 3-1 win over FC Team A.
It’s clear that they can beat the top teams, but it will be equally as interesting to see how they fare against the likes of Camden.
Oakwood joint manager Ric Blank told JC Sport: “We’re just excited to play footie again to be honest. Last week was a great comeback but now we need to push on.
“Games against Camden are always lively affairs so we need to be fully focused. We've got a big squad available (no weddings this week!) with only myself and a couple of others missing. I want to hear good things from the boys …”
After a flurry of new, young signings, it appears that things have caught up with Camden. Without a league win since the end of October, manager Justin Rockberger is doing everything he can to keep spirits high.
The Camden boys frustrated Oakwood in the corresponding fixture in October, but I think that they will find them a totally different proposition on Sunday.
The partnership between Rubin and Kintish could yet have a big say in the promotion battle. The Oaks have 30 points to play for and I expect them to get three more on the board here.
Venue – The Hive, Ref – M. Lavender
JC star man: Josh Rubin (Oakwood)
DC Prediction: Camden Park 0 Oakwood 4
REDBRIDGE JEWISH CARE B vs SOUTHGATE HARMEN B
It’s been all go at Redbridge Jewish Care this week. Richard Bronzite has been locked in meetings following the departure of B team manager Michael Winehouse this week. The good news for RJC and MSFL fans is that the club has vowed to keep all three teams.
Bronzite told JC Sport: “A B team caretaker-manager will be appointed shortly, for the rest of the season.
“With five games to go, it is our duty to fulfill the fixtures, and the plan is to get the best team out possible each week. We literally have to take it one week at a time.”
Uncertain about the make-up of the squad for Sunday, Bronzite vowed: “We will make sure it is a competitive one.”
Harmen go into the game on the back of a 3-1 defeat against leaders North London Raiders B. Striker Lloyd Becker kept up his good run of form with another goal.
The visitors know that they still have some work to do if they are to avoiding dropping into the relegation zone. I expect them to line-up with a formation that will ensure they don’t get over-run in midfield, and look to pick Redbridge off on the break.
This one has got draw written all over it for me.
Venue – Fairlop, Ref – M. Vandermolen
JC star man: Josh Sasto (Harmen)
DC Prediction: Redbridge JC B 1 Southgate Harmen B 1
FC MARYLEBONE vs TEMPLE FORTUNE A
It’s top against bottom in Division Two as leaders Fortune go in search of their 10th league win of the season.
Fortune were not at their best against FC Team B last Sunday, but in the end strikes from midfielder Jon Fisher and defender Jonathan Cohen did the trick.
Andrew Souber, the Fortune manager, is expecting a similar game, and he promises that his team will not turn up complacent.
Souber told JC Sport: “We expect nothing less then a tough game and will have to make sure we are 100 per cent focused on the job.”
The Frenchmen still have nine games remaining. The problem is that two of them are against Fortune and I can’t see them getting anything from either. With a meeting against Woodford also on the horizon, the future looks bleak. Not even Avram Grant could get them out of this mess!
Manager Marc Taboul is on the look-out for a new keeper after Tom Legois was snapped up by Marseille. That, arguably, could be the final nail in the coffin.
The biggest challenge of Fortune on Sunday could be where to park as Regents Park is notorious for over-zealous parking attendants. The chances are that they could come away from the game with more than three points!
JC team news: Fortune have named a full-strength squad with the exception of winger David Gance (unavailable) and Dan Nissan (injured).
Venue – Regents Park, Ref – R. Bernardout
JC star man: Rob Benson (Fortune)
DC Prediction: FC Marylebone 0 Temple Fortune A 4
FC TEAM B vs HENDON UNITED SPORTS CLUB B
There were small signs of a recovery according to some FC Team fans against leaders Temple Fortune last week.
Fighting tooth and nail to finish outside of the bottom two, Ben Simon’s men have it all to do on Sunday when they entertain the Hornets.
Most people expected Fortune to wipe the floor with them, but to their credit, they made them sweat and work for the points.
Meanwhile, Hendon edged past L’Equipe 2-1 with goals from Pinty Baddiel and Alon Blitz.
Managers Chaim Gothold and Gav Noe were relieved that the burden of scoring goals was taken off their shoulders.
A top six finish looks Hendon’s best bet now. They must continue to try and get as many points and see where it takes them.
Venue – Old Camdenians, Ref – B. David
JC star man: Pinty Baddiel (Hendon)
DC Prediction: FC Team B 1 Hendon USC B 2
L’EQUIPE vs BRIXTON OLD BOYS
Brixton can expect a hard fought encounter against a L’Equipe team that feels it hasn’t been getting results to reflect their level of performance.
Last week they came unstuck 2-1 against Hendon B in a game where Paul Rubenstein continued his good run of form. But I expect chances to be at a premium for him and the team on Sunday when they come up against a Brixton side in top form.
John Nitka’s men were frozen out last Sunday and the manager hopes that one or two niggles clear up before kick-off.
Nitka told JC Sport: “Despite a few injuries and unavailable players, we will be able to field a team in my opinion strong enough to get all three points to keep the pressure on the top two teams, especially as we are playing Temple Fortune Sunday week.”
Jamie Kent (2) and Alon Hershkorn were the goal men when Brixton beat L’Equipe a fortnight ago and I can see the visitors having plenty to smile about as they complete a league double on Sunday.
Venue – King George V Playing Fields, Ref – N. Burns
JC star man: Alon Hershkorn (Brixton)
DC Prediction: L’Equipe 1 Brixton 3
WOODFORD WANDERERS vs NORSTAR A
Alex Aviram, the Woodford manager, is promising “three exciting signings” to join the club before Sunday’s clash against Norstar.
Aviram was keen to keep his cards close to his chest but he told me that talks with the club chairman about splashing the cash Abramovich-style have been most promising.
With Mitch Hahn already on the books, I, like all Woodford fans, look forward to seeing the big money stars being unveiled in Redbridge on Sunday morning.
Aviram has assured me that all three will have no work permit concerns and could go straight into the squad for the must-win clash against Norstar.
Norstar boss Phil Peters has been somewhat more restrained in terms of new signings. His view is ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’. That motto has stood the team in good stead as they look to complete a league double over the Essex giants.
Eli Houri, Zak McLeod and Simon Perlmutter were the marksmen when the Stars beat the Wanderers in a five-goal thriller in December. After the game, Jamie Slavin, the Stars No. 2, told JC Sport: “It was a hard fought game between two teams with a great history and whilst we’re delighted to have finally beaten Woodford we know there’s another tough game to come later in the season.
"Whilst all 14 of our boys played their part, special mentions must go out to Ben de la Fuente, who produced yet another outstanding display in goal, Eli Houri who is back to his best up front, and captain Jeremy Elster who’s performance today showed yet again that he can perform brilliantly anywhere on the pitch.
"We’re still hopeful that it will be us and them going up again – just hopefully with us in first place this time!”
Aviram was unhappy with the officials and had this to say about the game. “Even drawing didn't enter our heads before kick off, so to end up not getting anything from the game made the journey back to essex that little bit longer.
"I think if we were able to find another goal whilst we were leading, at either 1-0 or 2-1, we would have gone on to win the game. Only having 11 players without any substitutions due to injury and travels made that much more difficult.”
"As always, when we play Norstar, there wasn't much between the teams. Unfortunately the game didn't flow well, and it was stop-start for the majority of the 90 minutes. Credit to Norstar they stayed strong and finally got there revenge after two seasons of heartbreak."
At this stage of the season, games in hand will be of little consolation until Woodford start stringing results together. And now that Norstar have ended their hoodoo, that could be easier said than done.
The line-ups last time: in the corresponding
Norstar: Ben de la Fuente; Anthony Goodmaker (sub: Robin Scher 75), Sammy Kalms, Jonny Pressman, Jamie Freed (sub: Adam Kaldor 23); Zak McLeod, Jonathan Peters, Jeremy Elster, David Shamash; Simon Perlmutter (sub: Josh Green 34), Eli Houri
Woodford: Jay Jaffa; Jerome Marks, Andy Levy, David Green, Manny Simberg; Elliott Gold, Alex Aviram, Darren Ezekiel, Darryl Green; Mitch Hahn, Adam Poole
Venue – Redbridge Sports Centre, Ref – K. Gold
JC star man: Zak McLeod (Norstar)
FAITHFOLD C vs NORSTAR B
Faithfold start Sunday’s match 11 points ahead of Norstar, but Sunday’s visitors have four games in hand.
The Superhoops received an boost earlier this week when they were awarded three points from last weekend’s clash against HMZ following a default.
David Garson, the Faithfold player-manager, received more good news when he revealed that striker Jonny Blain has verbally has agreed a new two- year contract in the transfer window (no pressure now, JB!).
Sunday’s meeting against the Stars will be one for the purists. Jonny Bunt’s men were victims of a postponement last week and the gaffer cannot wait to unleash his troops on the team lying second from top.
Bunt told JC Sport: “If we have aspirations of finishing higher than mid-table then one of the team we’ll have to replace are Faithfold.
“I’ve never played them before but looking at their record a few things jump out. They score a lot, concede a lot, all 5/6 defeats against promotion challengers and all eight wins against sides below us.
“They might be described as flat track bullies, who struggle against the better sides. So this is a defining game for both teams and if we can win this we define ourselves as a top side.”
Asked for squad news, Bunt added: “We have plenty of players with ‘stag-it is’ this weekend so the squad is thin but strong... like a super-model body builder.”
I believe that Bunt may inadvertently have done Garson’s teamtalk, but it should be a cracking contest nonetheless.
JC team news: Faithfold welcome back player-coach Simon Beresford who returns after a rare fruit picking accident and Adam ‘Shaggy’ Levenson is back after a spell in LA filming the final part of the Scooby Doo trilogy.
Venue – The Hive, Ref – Q. Fox
JC star man: Adam Levenson (Faithfold)
DC Prediction: Faithfold C 2 Norstar B 2
REAL LIFE vs HEATH BANTA
Bouncebackability is the name of the game for Ben Nathan’s men on Sunday in a game where they will have to overcome the famous Edgwarebury slope.
Another goal from Oli Joseph was not enough against Redbridge C last weekend as they came unstuck 2-1.
Joseph has fond memories of the recent meeting against Real. He filled his boots with a four-goal salvo and will be looking for more of the same on Sunday, when they look to get their promotion bid back on track.
Real Life have yet to win a game this season. With Charlie Bernstein and Dan Markeson on board, I find this hard to believe, especially after 12 games. I’d be surprised if they didn’t muster a win between now and the end of the season, but think they’ll come up short again here.
I was surprised to see that Heath Banta have only kept one clean sheet in the league this season. For a team vying for a top two finish, this is definitely an area they need work improve upon.
But on Sunday they will come up against the division’s worst defence and if they do the basics well and focus for 90 minutes they will get their season back on track.
Venue – Edgwarebury Park, Ref – M. Cowan
JC star man: Jeremy Teacher (Heath Banta)
DC Prediction: Real Life 1 Heath Banta 5
TEAM JLGB vs ZIG ZAG
A big cloud was lifted by Zig Zag a fortnight ago when they ended a long run of games without victory that stretched back to September 12 – against, you guessed it, JLGB.
You could see a weight lift off the shoulders of manager DJ Neal Cohen, although there were clear signs of strain and stress on Monday night when Spurs chairman Daniel Levy failed to bring in any new players. I have to ask, where you hoping to get anyone on loan, Neal?
That said, Wednesday night’s win at Blackburn would’ve put a smile back on his face.
Josh Toff (2) and Laurence Rosenthal were the goal men for the Zeds when the sides last met. Joel Winton and Jonny Winton fired them to glory against Faithfold last time out. If the four can get their act together and do the business against JLGB, then I see no reason why the Cohen’s troops can’t finish the season on a high.
Let’s be avin ya. That was the war-cry of JLGB boss Rob Silverman following the 3-0 defeat at home to Catford last week.
Silverman was down to the bare bones but credit to him and the boys for playing the game with just nine boys. After the game, Silverman told JC Sport: "Every single player was awesome today and although the result is obviously the most important thing, JLGB's performance all things considering was far superior than Catford's
"Lee Stone was a rock at centre back, Barry Green covered every blade of grass in midfield and Nicky Stone had a great game too.
"Unfortunately, the future of JLGB does not look bright. Apart from a core of about 10/11 players, the commitment of the rest of the squad may well dictate that we will have to fold. Some of the squad are excused because of their circumstances (babies, etc), but others need to step up.
“JLGB are going to try and dip into the loan market, but if we are unable to put an 11-man team out again, it could be curtains.”
Silverman told me on Friday that, as things stand, they go into Sunday's game currently with 10 confirmed players and five "maybes". He added: "We should at least be able to put out 11 players."
New signing James Wright will make his debut and the club "are hoping for big things from the big striker".
Silverman told JC Sport: "I expect a close game, and to be honest, I think we just have to go out and try and enjoy the games for the rest of the season and if we avoid relegation, it will be a bonus."
I sincerely hope that is not the case as the last thing the league needs right now is another club folding. I have no doubt that Silverman is pulling out all the stops to ensure that the game is played. Good luck to him I say.
Venue – Peter May, Ref – D. Nathan
JC star man: Lee Stone (JLGB)
DC Prediction: Team JLGB 2 Zig Zag 3
UJIA vs REDBRIDGE JEWISH CARE C
I’m predicting a good, old-fashioned hard game of football at the Hive on Sunday as title-chasing Redbridge take on UJIA.
RJC claimed a vital 2-1 victory over fellow high-flyers Heath Banta last weekend with Marcus Starr among the scorers.
Daniel Gordon, Lee Grodent and Dean Silver were among the scorers when the teams met in mid-October. Richard Bronzite, the RJC manager, believes that it will be closer second time around.
“UJIA will be a tough test,” Bronzite told JC Sport. “They are a great outfit and I think there new players have now slotted in and will make it a tougher game then our last outing.
“We will have to be at our best if we want the three points.”
UJIA improvement has been there for all to see. Last week they were edged out 2-1 by leaders Glenthorne.
Darren Rolfe, the U’s boss, felt that there was little to separate the teams and he’s hoping to take another team chasing a top two finish to the wire.
“We are hoping to get one over on the Redbridge lot having lost twice to them this term,” Rolfe told JC Sport. “We have improved tenfold as the season has gone on and I want Redbridge to know there will be in for a competitive game this Sunday
“ Just ask Glenthorne last week who narrowly beat us. Having lost 4-0 twice to Redbridge, I’m hoping the tables will turn this Sunday.”
U’s player Dan Roth was unveiled as my Division Three Player of the Month earlier this week and Rolfe believes that he is the man that will try to take the game to Redbridge.
Although they are missing key men, I expect Redbridge to do just enough to come away with the points.
JC team news: RJC are without Lee Ballen and Hadley Silver. Grant Pomeroy and Raanan Firmin face late fitness tests.
Venue – The Hive, Ref – G. Silver
JC star man: Marcus Starr (RJC)
DC Prediction: UJIA 1 Redbridge JC C 2
GLENTHORNE UNITED B vs SHIRLEY PARK
The JC cameras will travel down to Chigwell on Sunday to cover the big meeting of second and third.
The Glenthorne boys were left kicking their heels last Sunday morning following a late postponement against Borehamwood.
I’ll be interested to see how Thornes fans react towards star striker Fabio Revieccio following his brief spell with the As. Manager Elliot Coulton is calling for calm after clear-the-air talks and I’m sure that a goal from the Italian Stallion will put them back onside.
There will be intriguing battles all around the park on Sunday, but it’s fair to say that much will depend on the battle between the strikers. In the blue corner, we have Dan Lassman and Revieccio, while the visitors’ hopes rest largely on performances from Gideon Gold and Jason Lindsay.
The Park pairing are fast-approaching the 40-goal mark. Lindsay was their matchwinner in the hard earned victory over Hendon C last Sunday.
The Thornes go into the game with a psychological edge having hit Park for six earlier in the season. It was a Lassman-inspired performance with the Thornes hero bagging a brace. Jordan Sapler, Daniel Jackson and Jamie Crawford also found the net.
Coulton had some good news for Glenthorne fans at his pre-match press conference. He told JC Sport: "We have signed Simon Bagel and he will be making his debut on Sunday.
"We beat them 6-3 on a muggy pitch. Now we're at home, I hope for a same result."
A wise man once said, strikers win you games, defenders win you titles. In Ilan Shaki, Park have just the player to give them what would be a priceless victory. He will have his work cut out trying to frustrate Revieccio and Lassman and will need his keeper, fellow defenders and midfield to put in a shift. They have already ground out a couple of ugly 1-0 victories, and more of the same will do nicely for travelling fans.
Nicky Plotnek is another star name for the visitors who have at least four players who could cut it in Division One.
Defeat would not be a disaster for Glenthorne, who have games in hand on Blizzard and Park. Borehamwood have games in hand on all three teams and a draw would be the best result for them.
Sunday is a day that will no doubt separate the men from the boys, and lots of questions will be answered come 12.15 on Sunday lunchtime.
Venue – The Old Chigwellians, Ref – R. Caplin
JC star man: Ilan Shaki (Shirley Park)
DC Prediction: Glenthorne Utd B 1 Shirley Park 2
JEWVENTUS vs BLIZZARD STORM
Jewventus are probably the last team Blizzard Storm want to face right now.
Simon Linden’s men have had a nosebleed since overtaking Glenthorne at the top and this is a game they really must win if they are to stand a chance of a top two finish.
Having played three games more than the Thornes, the Blizzard boys must be kicking themselves as they know they could be nine points clear.
Linden had his moment of fame earlier this week, but now all thoughts are on Sunday’s big game.
He told JC Sport: “After my Channel 4 appearance on Mary Portas Secret Shopper, I'm now focused on getting three points on the board.
“My team are well up for getting the promotion, title charge back on track.”
Back-to-back defeats against Neasden C and Los Blancos have left Blizzard looking nervously over their shoulders and to overcome Jewventus, they must silence 17-goal Richard Fogelman.
Last week, Gabriel Saul, player-manager Gabriel John and Dan Blass fired the bullets that shot Temple Fortune B down.
John told JC Sport: “It was a good win but one which needs to be followed up by good results against Blizzard Storm over two legs."
A psychological edge as well as three points will be the reward for the winner. Jewve have produced a mixed set of results in front of their home fans and with Blizzard fans having seen their heroes win five out of six on the road, my money is on an away win in what should be an action-packed clash.
JC team news: Blizzard welcomes back Rubin, Colet and Stolerman.
Venue – Chase Lodge, Ref – P. Dobkin
JC star man: Joe Stolerman (Blizzard)
DC Prediction: Jewventus 2 Blizzard Storm 3
PINNER JFC vs NORTH LONDON RAIDERS C
Les Conway, the Pinner chairman, has had the under-soil heating on full blast this week in preparation for Sunday’s clash against a red-hot Raiders C team.
The chances are that it will be a tough morning for the Pinner backline against a Raiders team in fifth gear.
Pinner’s fate as wooden spoon winners was as good as sealed against Bilbaum last Sunday. A strike from Jordan Segal was one of few positives in a game they lost 3-1.
Vivian Emanuel, the Pinner manager, has been pre-occupied with a house move in the build-up to the game. But he's looking to right the wrongs from last week. "I have made it very clear to the players that sundays loss to Bilbaum has made our task of moving up the table much harder," Emanuel told JC Sport.
"Six points behind them and one game in hand means we really need to fight in all of our remaining games. Ideally 12 points from 24 would be great.
"NLR C are tough team and with the Franks brothers a major threat, we will need to be careful on Sunday."
There were big smiles all round in the Raiders camp after the 4-1 win over Neasden C. Oli Shorts’ boys were rewarding for completing a league double and a memorable month with a whole host of awards.
For starts, Shorts won JC Manager of the Week. Then, Matt Greene won JC Player of the Month. And if that wasn’t enough, brothers Harry and Harry Franks scooped JC Young Players of the Month.
The siblings have become the talk of the town and part of me is surprised that Harry Redknapp didn’t try a cheeky approach in the transfer window.
Striker Jack has hit seven goals while midfield maestro Harry has registered five, including two worldies against Jewve.
Reflecting on a memorable few days, Shorts told JC Sport: “It’s been a great month to be a Raider and I will make sure my players are focused for Sundays game.
“Pinner ran us close last time so we can’t be complacent. Pinner are a credit to the league and Viv has done a great job keeping the lads together. I hope they pick up the wins soon but not till before Sunday!”
Keeping his cards close to his chest, he added: “As always I won’t give away any of the team news, but believe the team playing on Sunday will be able do a professional job.”
It’s Raiders all the way for me.
Venue – Bannister Sports Centre, Ref – L. Thorne
JC star man: Josh Graham (Raiders)
DC Prediction: Pinner JFC 1 NL Raiders C 4
TEMPLE FORTUNE B vs ATHLETIC BILBAUM
Bilbaum swapped places with Fortune last Sunday following the 3-1 win over Pinner.
Can we play you every week. That was the chant coming from the terraces as strikes from Seb Silverman, Ed Green and Josh Greibach clinched the points.
A fifth league victory is on the cards for the Bilbaum boys as they come up against a Fortune team low on confidence.
It finished 5-4 in favour of Bilbaum the last time the sides met with Jacob Brunner, Simon Finkelstein, Green and Silverman among the scorers.
Fortune are still desperately trying to pick up points in their bid to avoid the wooden spoon.
In Jeff Bathija, Terry Jeffries, Marc Herman and Garry Simpson, they have four players capable of taking the fight to Bilbaum.
They were edged out 3-2 at Jewventus last week when Jeffries bagged a brace. Now the hope is that a similar effort will be rewarded with at least a point.
Rob Jay, Fortune’s joint-manager, told JC Sport: “We’re hoping to end the bad run of late with a win on Sunday. We have been playing well without rewards.
“We’re hoping to keep the back four the same for once, so should be an unchanged side this week.”
I can see Fortune huffing and puffing, but, ultimately, Bilbaum’s more technically gifted players will hold the key.
JC team news: For Bilbaum, Eli Liew, the self-proclaimed next Charlie Adam (“fat, lazy and left-footed,” in the words of his manager) is back in training following his broken leg.
Venue – Hatch End Playing Fields, Ref – R. Cahill
JC star man: Seb Silverman (Bilbaum)
DC Prediction: Athletic Bilbaum 3 Temple Fortune B 2