JC MSFL Division One
Match 1: NW Neasden B 1 South Mancunians A 0
Match 2: NW Neasden B 1 South Mancunians A 2
It was honours even with one victory apiece in the JC Maccabi League Division 1 double header between table-topping South Mancunians A and North-West Neasden B who have seven games in hand on the leaders.
Each half was reduced to 30 minutes with one match was immediately followed by another at Bricket Wood Sports Centre on Sunday.
The first half of match one yielded little by way of clear-cut chances with most of the play in midfield and both teams failing to keep the ball on the ground.
But Neasden were rewarded for a strong start to the second half when Bruno Frankel opened the scoring on 40 minutes with a calm finish after being put through by Yoni Sidi. The goal was his last meaningful contribution as he was forced off with a hamstring injury six minutes later.
The remainder of the half followed a similar pattern to the first with most of the action in the centre of the pitch, but Mancs almost snatched an unlikely equaliser when Elliott Stern’s a quick free-kick released Rob Hershkorn who fired wide.
If match one was something of a let-down match two was the complete opposite as both teams got the ball on the ground and created chances.
Both sets of supporters craved an early goal and it was the leaders who were celebrating after just four minutes, Johnny Haik tapping home after a flowing move involving Josh Franklin and Stern. Mancs almost doubled their lead moments later when Dan Kent blasted narrowly over on the half-volley and Jamie Kent released his brother Dan who was denied by Neasden keeper Ed Bloom.
Back came Neasden, Rob Lerner denied by Mancs keeper Max Shields when clean through, but the reprieve was short-lived and Neasden were level six minutes later, Lerner heading home a Daniel Cohen corner who got there ahead of the advancing Shields.
With both defences looking vulnerable Neasden’s Mark Meltzer drew a fine save from Shields after a mazy run before Klein was substituted with a hip injury after a long stoppage and transported to hospital by ambulance after the match.
Neasden began the second-half brightly, Lerner’s low effort palmed away by Shields on 33 minutes and Lerner again testing Shields after neat interplay between Keterman and Cohen.
Mancs responded, Rob Hershkorn finding Stern who stabbed inches wide, and with the next goal crucial it was the visitors who secured the points with five minutes remaining, supersub Alon Hershkorn tapping in after fine work from the hardworking Dan Kent.
A jubilant Hershkorn told JC Sport: "We were disappointing in the first game but played as a team in the second and got we were looking for. My goal came at the end of a great move and all I had to do was tap into an empty net."
South Manx manager John Nitka said: "We didn’t really deserve anything from the first game as they played better than us, but in the second match we showed them how we really play. I am confident we will get promoted. We have been top of the league since the start of the season and aim to stay there. We only have three games left and if we win those we will go up."
Joint Neasden boss Ryan Glynne added: "Overall both sides deserved to win a game each. They were much better than us in the second game where a bit of naivety crept into the side and certain individuals did not perform as they could have. We still have several games in hand but they do not mean anything unless you win them."
Match 1 Teams:
Neasden B: Bloom, Velleman, Meltzer, Harvey, Sharp, Hodes (sub: Keterman) Sher (sub: Lerner) Sidi, Bowman, Frankle (sub: Savitz) Swerner
Manx A: Shields, Levy, Franklin, Harris, Smith, Babai, Haik, Davidi, R. Hershkorn, J. Kent (sub: Stern) D. Kent
Match 2 Teams:
Neasden B: Bloom, Velleman, Savitz, Harvey, Sofier, Sidi, Cohen, Swerner (sub: Keterman) Lerner, Sher (sub: Bowman) Klein (sub: Sharpe)
Manx A: Shields, Franklin (sub: R. Hershkorn) Symons, Harris, Levy, Stern, Babai, Haik, Davidi (sub: A. Hershkorn), D.Kent, J. Kent