JC MSFL Div 3:
NW Neasden C 3 Temple Fortune 1
A Stephen Bloom hat-trick led North West Neasden ‘C’ to a gritty 3-1 win over Temple Fortune at Bricket Wood.
The match started at a relatively slow pace on a pitch that was slightly uneven and heavy after the recent spell of bad weather. Neither side really imposed themselves on the game and chances were few and far between.
It was in keeping with the game then that the first goal should arrive in slightly bizarre circumstances just before the half hour mark. Neasden’s left-winger Dave Marcus played a lovely ball into the feet of Stephen Bloom, who turned his marker and got a yard of space to swing his cross in. The cross ended up hanging in the air and looping towards the far post where the Temple Fortune goalkeeper was only able to help it over the line to gift Bloom his 12th goal of the season.
This seemed to galvanise the game somewhat with two further goals coming before half time. After Mark Simons had shot well but straight at the Fortune goalkeeper, it was the visitors were the first to benefit from this as Neasden were unable to clear a Fortune attack, despite having several opportunities to do so, and the ball fell to John Fisher on the edge of the box who blasted the ball into the roof of the net via the underside of the crossbar and beyond Jake Green in the Neasden goal.
Neasden’s lead was swiftly restored with the move of the match. Benjy Dymant, back in the team after a lengthy lay-off with a knee injury and partnering hid older brother Gary in the middle of the park, played a beautiful cross-field ball to Ollie Henry who played a first-time ball down the line to Gary Dymant. A great first touch and an even better second one saw him send a pinpoint cross onto the head of Bloom who buried his header into the corner of the net to give Neasden a narrow 2-1 win at the interval. It was a goal made ‘in The Coppins’ (the Dymant family home!) – where Bloom and the Dymant brothers had practised such a move dating back to their Under 12 days at Brady Maccabi.
Fortune started the second half with more purpose than their hosts but were unable to breach a defence that was well marshalled by Adam Levesen and Paul Andrews, playing alongside Levesen in the absence of skipper Joel Hilton. Indeed the only chance came when Ollie Squires broke the Neasden offside trap and had his well-placed shot tipped round the post by Green.
However, 2-1 was always a dangerous lead for Neasden and they duly made the game safe with a little over 15 minutes remaining. Nick Davis, on for the impressive Marcus, spun his marker on the half way line and was cynically scythed down to give Neasden a free kick. Andrews took it and found the head of Ben Wulwik, whose knockdown seemed to rolling harmlessly to the Fortune goalkeeper, only for a calamitous mix-up to present Bloom with a simple tap-in to complete his third hat-trick of the season, and in doing so scoring his 14th goal of the campaign.
This goal settled the match and Neasden went on to secure a hard-fought win and maintain their promotion push. It was an impressive performance from Neasden today given that this was their first match in five weeks and they were still without key players such as the aforementioned captain Hilton, David Grabiner, Simon Beresford, Jamie Kaye and Michael Hershman.
Harder matches against their fellow promotion rivals will follow in the New Year but with 20 points from nine matches, Neasden are well placed to push for their fourth consecutive promotion.
Neasden: J. Green; R. Stolzman, P. Andrews, A. Levesen, S. Ladier; O. Henry (sub: S. Fisher), G. Dymant, B. Dymant, D. Marcus (sub: N. Davis); M. Simons (sub: B. Wulwick), S. Bloom
NWN scorers: Stephen Bloom 28, 39, 73
Fortune scorer: John Fisher 35