JC MSFL Division 4:
UJS Norstar 3 Glenthorne United B 1
A depleted Norstar team kept their promotion bid on track with a deserved victory over Glenthorne B.
With only two recognised defenders in the squad due to a wedding in Manchester which saw Jonny Bunt, Matt Plaskow, Neil Daniels and Josh Kleiman, the team was down to the bare bones, without central midfielders Adam Sandzer and Zac Newman. They also went into this game without Jeremy Elster off sunning himself in Dublin.
Manager Phil Peters brought in his kid brother, JP, and striker Jamie Wolfson to make up numbers whilst Sammy Kalms and Dan Gilbert filled in at the back alongside skipper Robin Pearl and Robin Scher.
The bumpy pitch did not make for a particularly watchable game of football and predictably the sides came in all square at half-time, Norstar dominating all over the pitch but unable to make the breakthrough.
But months of hard fitness training continued to pay off when after tinkering with the midfield, Gilbert moving forward and Maurice Franks coming on, Norstar soon found the breakthrough. A long ball over the top looked to have beaten everyone and whilst the keeper seemed content to let it run out for a goal kick, Wolfson had other ideas, whizzing past the keeper to slot it in with his left foot from the tightest of angles. 1-0.
Two minutes later, with the opposition still arguing amongst themselves, Ben Menahem found himself in acres of space, 35 yards out and launched an audacious pile-driver which whistled over the head of the helpless Glenthorne keeper. 2-0 and cruising.
With six minutes to go, Glenthorne were awarded a penalty for handball by the otherwise faultless Gilbert. Whilst the Stars should have cleared the ball, their attempt cannoned off a Glenthorne player, bounced up and onto the helpless Gilbert's hand. Calm finish by the penalty taker. 2-1.
Unlike previous matches however, this only spurred Norstar on and with two minutes remaining, a long throw by Gilbert was calmly brought down by Wolfson to play in his strike partner Eli Houri for the easiest of finishes to give the big Sefardi love-machine his 20th league goal of the season. 3-1. Game over. Home to mother.
A delighted Peters told JC Sport: "This was another gritty and professional display by the lads. I’m a little upset not to have had the third clean sheet in a row and whilst I disagree with the penalty decision, we’ve seen them given before. We know things might not be in our hands at the moment but we'll keep on going until the end and if we get maximum points again next week, who knows what might happen..."