North West Neasden C 4
Southgate Harmen A 4
An 83rd-minute equaliser from Steve Bloom kept Neasden within five points of leaders Harmen following an eight-goal thriller at Bricket Wood.
The game panned out like a cup tie, taking many twists and turns in an exhausting 90 minutes.
Paul Andrews, Mark Simons and Ben Wulwik were also on target for the home side, while Lloyd Becker, Alex Bourne, James Sandler and Dan Beckwith replied for Harmen who are now four points clear at the top of the table.
Harmen endured a nightmare start as regular keeper and Big Brother star Ziggy Lichman missed the start due to traffic in Radlett. Manager-for-the-day Andy Okin started the game in between the sticks.
Neasden took full advantage of the reshuffle and forged ahead inside five minutes. Jamie Kaye made the goal with a superbly driven corner that was headed home by Andrews.
Harmen’s fortunes improved following the arrival of Lichman around the 30-minute mark. Things got even better for Harmen minutes later as Bourne set up Becker whose composed finish beat Simon Beresford to level things up.
Neasden rallied and regained the upper hand when an exquisite through ball from Wulwik released Simons who slotted home.
Harmen hit back almost immediately as Bourne produced a cool finish from 15 yards to ensure Harmen went in level at the break.
The momentum stayed with the visitors in the second half and they took the lead for the first time after 55 minutes as Roi Makdasi’s corner was nodded home by Sandler.
Neasden fought back again though, and with 20 minutes left the impressive Kaye crossed for Wulwik to head home.
Harmen must have thought they had won the game with 12 minutes left as Beckwith’s strike arrowed into the top corner.
But Neasden were gifted a point when an awful clearance from Lichman fell into the path of Bloom and he made no mistake from 12 yards.
Delighted Neasden manager Mel Beresford said: “We did very well and could’ve nicked it at the end. I think that Harmen and us are the strongest sides in this division.
“I was pleased with our performance considering that we haven’t played since November.”
Harmen’s Lloyd Becker commented: “We came off with our heads down because we felt we should have won today. But it was a great game, fierce and intense but we are still top of the league.”
Harmen A: Okin 6 (sub: Lichman 6), Bean 7, Sandler 7, Ben 6 (sub: Nassim 7), Knafo 7, Hirshler 7, Makdasi 7, Bourne 7, Becker 8, Stein 7, Beckwith 7
Neasden C: Beresford 6, Wulwik 8, G. Dymant 7, Andrews 7, Kaye 8, Stolerman 6 (sub: Lerner 7), Green 6, Levison 7, Simons 7, Bloom 8, Hershman 7
JC star man: Jamie Kaye (Neasden)