Redbridge JC B turn from Boyz II Men
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Redbridge eased the pressure on manager Jon Jacobs with Josh Taylor and Bradley Rains on target in an impressive win over in-form Raiders B.
Well they weren't left to build snowmen, as had been predicted by The JC's Sports Reporter Danny Caro. A magnificent defensive display by Redbridge JCC
earnt them their first points since October 7, and their first home win of the season.
It didn't look as though it would start that way though, with NL Raiders B taking the lead after a mere two minutes. A corner swung over wasn't dealt with by the Redbridge defence, Raiders picked up the loose ball at the byline, put it straight back into the mixer where the big no. 9 duly headed home, a sucker punch for The Blues.
Unlike previous games this season though, this clicked RJCC into action. The wing-wizard on the left hand side, Scott Oldstein, floating on an air of excitement after being selected to represent Team GB in the Maccabiah this summer, coasted past the Raiders right-back with ease, pulling the ball back for half man/half beast Josh Taylor to stroke home. Now it was 1-1, and it was all going RJCC's way.
The exuberant home crowd were getting right behind their team, vocally led by long-term injury victim Daniel Wright, and the noise was having the desired effect on the team, Raiders failed to clear their lines after an in-swinging corner, leaving Brad Rains 30 yards out with the goal at his mercy, and he didn't disappoint, a clean strike smashing into the inside of the post before nestling into the bottom corner, a definite nomination for goal of the week.
Dan 'Flash' Gordon continued to hassle the Raiders defence, causing Raiders to kick into touch at every opportunity. With the scores at 2-1 to Redbridge, the teams went into the break.
The second half was an up-hill struggle for the Blues, Raiders were growing in confidence and wave after wave of attack was to follow. A superb cross was
sent into the Blues' box, a looping header from the Raiders centre forward looked to be absolutely nailed on to end up in the top corner, only for a contender for 'save of the season' from Matthew Kemp to keep RJCC in the lead, a truly special save, how he has never been spotted by the Maccabiah selectors is beyond manager RJC Jon Jacobs, but Team GB's loss, is Redbridge's gain.
With all three subs used for RJCC, including Oldstein coming off with a nasty gash to his hand, the game became even more difficult with Harrison Grant playing on
almost one leg towards the end. With five minutes to go, Raiders broke, and only a last-ditch challenge from Chabad's own- Hayden Pitch, preventing Raiders from levelling.
A special mention also goes out to Pitch's centre-back partner Richie Caplin, a truly virtuoso performance. Redbridge held on for the three points though, to go above Raiders in the table, Boyz II Men indeed.
RJC manager Jon Jacobs told JC Sport: "This was our best performance of the season. The boys fully deserved the victory, showing true grit and commitment to get the three points."
DC Prediction: Raiders B 3 Redbridge B 1