Faithfold B 2-3 Hendon united B
Hendon United B’s title charge fell agonisingly short despite winning the JC MSFL Division One end-of-season showdown to send Faithfold B down.
Going into the game, Hendon knew that a three-goal victory would see them pip South Manx A to the title, while Faithfold B needed a draw to leapfrog Brixton Old Boys.
A gripping contest played in wintry conditions saw Faithfold dominate the opening stages and they deservedly went ahead on 12 minutes when Richard Baum’s free-kick slipped through the fingers of keeper Nicky Rosenthal.
The visitors levelled on the stroke of half time when Chaim Gothold’s corner was nodded home by defender Natan Weisenberg.
The second half was a tense affair and it was Hendon who took the lead against the run of play when Ben Kon headed home a David Atkins free-kick.
This gave the visitors confidence as they knew that one more goal would see them crowned champions.
Faithfold made it 2-2 with a goal that looked set to keep them up, a speculative effort from Baum sailing into the net. Injury time was dramatic as Dan Howard could have won it for Faithfold but his mazy run was halted by Rosenthal. Hendon snatched the points with just 30 seconds to go as Kon’s lob sealed Faithfold’s fate.
The final whistle was met with contrasting emotions but it was Manx boss Jon Nitka, who turned up for the last half hour, who was the happiest person in Bushey.
Nitka said: “Hendon ran us close, but we were top from the beginning and we thoroughly deserved the title.”
Hendon’s joint-manager Martin Smulovitch commented: “Of course we are disappointed but we will be better and stronger next season. I look forward to playing South Manx again in the Premier Division.”
Faithfold boss Rob Shuman said: “It came down to the last game and we knew what we had to do but couldn’t hold on. I am proud of my boys because they battled hard and did not deserve to lose, but that’s football.”