JC MSFL Division Three: Hendon C 1 FC Team B 4
On the expansive green of West Hendon Playing Fields, FC Team B yet again produced a performance of grit, determination and skill to see off a spirited Hendon C side and maintain their winning streak, which has now stretched to eight league wins in a row.
Despite the downpour of rain throughout the weekend, the pitches in Hendon held up extremely well and allowed an entertaining game of football to take place.
Hendon C came out of the traps quicker and got on top of the game, creating a couple of early openings with the long ball. One such ball left the Hendon striker through on goal seemingly set to unleash an effort, however Robbie Blair tracked all of 60 yards to make a superb last-ditch sliding tackle to deny him. This let-off spurred Team B into action and after 25 minutes Dom Berko got to the left byline and whipped in a deep cross which the keeper failed to handle and the ball fell to David Wexler who smashed it home from close range to make it 1-0.
Hendon were still imposing their presence on the game and looked dangerous on the counter attack, but couldn't find a clear opening. As the half wore on, they were made to pay for this as FC Team B took advantage again as a ball through the Hendon defence from Dan Silverman found its way to Mitch Young who, despite being clipped on the ankle by the last man, stayed on his feet and composed himself before coolly slotting the ball past the keeper with a trademark finish to make it 2-0.
Hendon didn't stop working however and almost got a goal back when the ball thundered off the crossbar after a neat corner and shot, followed by a close-range cross-cum shot which evaded everyone and went agonisingly wide. FC Team B survived to the whistle and went in at half time much the happier, especially as they had not been anywhere near their best.
In the second half, Hendon C came out all guns blazing and got back into it almost immediately after their right winger picked up a loose ball on the edge of the area and surged into the box before rifling home an angled shot into the bottom left hand corner.
At this point the game was in the balance and over the course of the next 10 minutes both teams made a host of substitutions. First Team B manager Ben Simon brought on Max Graves, Freddy Marks and Lorian Madanes for the injured Moss, Blair and Rose, and Hendon C gave a run out to a couple of B team boys who were available after their game was called off, including the talented Ben Konn.
This added new spark to the game and it was clear that the next goal was going to be crucial. With 70 minutes was on the clock, Marks picked up the ball on the half way line and took a touch before releasing Sheldon Conrich down the right with a sublime reverse pass. Still 35 yards out, Conrich looked up and upon seeing the keeper off his line decided to hit it first time. The ball flew off his boot like a guided missile over the keeper and straight into the top corner sending the fans and players alike into raptures. It was deserved reward for the man who had tormented the Hendon defence all game.
Hendon kept on pushing forward, but the FC Team defence was holding firm, one incident seeing keeper David Gordon make three close-range saves in a scramble before finally claiming the ball. Berko was having a great game at left-back and sub Graves was repelling everything on the opposite flank, producing a fine display whilst the pairing of Korn and Brodkin at the back proved a brick wall yet again.
With 20 minutes to go both teams seemed to tire and it was little surprise that the next goal killed the game off. Once again Team B worked it nicely up field and Young turned on the ball before picking out Conrich on the right edge of the box, who feinted right and cut inside on his left before driving the ball under the keeper into the bottom corner. 4-1 and it was game over. Team held out comfortably for the last 15 despite the best efforts of Hendon C, who to their credit kept fighting and working, but without reward.
FC Team B manager Ben Simon said: "This game really showed what we are all about and we displayed determination, ability and the team spirit that has driven us on this season.
"Hopefully we can turn this league into a two horse race between the two FC Teams. That being said, there is a lot of hard work to be done yet, but we are up for the challenge and looking forward to resuming out league campaign in 2009."