MGBSFL DIVISION THREE
TEMPLE FORTUNE 1 HENDON UNITED SPORTS CLUB C 2
An injury-time wonder strike from David Elf helped Hendon C finish the year on a positive note as they edged out lowly Temple Fortune.
The away side started on the front foot and had already squandered several good chances by the time they took the lead. The returning Saul Cohen slipped the ball through to Ezra Dulberg, and from 30 yards out and at an angle he produced a delightful chip over the onrushing Fortune keeper.
On a mudbath of a pitch, the game turned into something of a battle, but Hendon continued to produce the better clear-cut chances. However, Fortune equalised shortly before half time against the run of play with an undisputed penalty from Dean Ingram.
The goal gave the home side a lift and they improved in the second half, but it was still Hendon who created more. The Hustlers ramped up the pressure in the last 20 minutes and were almost camped in their opponents half, but could not find the crucial breakthrough.
As the game drifted into stoppage time, it seemed their efforts to find a winner would be futile until a loose ball broke to Elf fully 40 yards out. With his trusty left foot, he could not have struck his shot any sweeter, with the ball swerving over the Fortune keeper and right into the top corner - a goal truly worthy of winning any game.
Hendon boss Adam Glekin told JC Sport: "I can't imagine there have been many better goals scored in 2013 than that. Both our goals were magnificent, Ezra's would've been in with a shout of GOTW, but I think David has denied him that! It was cruel on Fortune, we definitely deserved the win but it was a tough way to lose.
"I thought it was a fair, well-contested game...they're too good a team to be bottom of this league. On our part, it was a vital 3 points and sets us up nicely to have a real go at one of those promotion spots..
Fortune were on course for a point thanks to a strike from Dean Ingram until a late long-range special broke their hearts.
Fortune boss Jonathan Cohen said: "I'm very deflated to lose like that. We battled well but without an out-and-out goalscorer it's very hard."