Hendon United A 3-1 Montana Boca United A
Montana Boca United A manager Marc Ziedman launched a stinging attack on league rivals after his side was relegated from the JC MSFL
A point would have been enough for Montana, but two Dovid Korman penalties and Saul Conway’s late strike ensured no great escape.
But Ziedman claims his side’s fate was sealed when Redbridge Jewish Care and Bafana Bafana forfeited matches to remain in the top flight on goal difference.
League rules mean that teams can pull out of matches if they, for example, cannot raise a team. The result goes down as a defeat — but their goal difference is not affected.
He said: “I’ve got to show my disappointment that the league aren’t prepared to do anything against Redbridge and Bafana. I can’t believe the league has got no contingency or punishment for that sort of behaviour.
“But I’m very proud of the boys. We’ve got more guts and determination than any other team in this league and we’ll bounce back next season.
“We’re hoping to keep the majority of the squad together. When we’ve got a fully-fit team we’re good enough to compete with anyone.”
After earning a draw against North West Neasden A last week, Montana had given themselves a chance of survival, but in truth they never really got going this time around.
The first half was a quiet affair, with the best chance going to Hendon after a smart move saw Korman fire straight at Montana keeper Ben Law.
In searing heat, the pace suffered thanks to Montana’s desperation not to concede and Hendon looking to make sure there were no injuries ahead of their JC Cyril Anekstein Cup final clash with North West Neasden A.
But neither side got what they wanted. Hendon’s Josh Bentley was taken off with a knock to his ankle, and on the stroke of half time, Korman struck from the spot. Just after the break a foul on Conway allowed Korman to add a second, before Conway himself powered through to make it three from close range.
Montana rallied and pulled a goal back thanks to a superb strike from the edge of the box by Darren Cohen which flew into the top corner.
They nearly produced a grandstand finish late on, but midfielder Simon Peterman’s goal-bound header was cleared off the line. Hendon boss Benji Wreschner said: “We were comfortable on the whole today. We took Josh Bentley off as a precaution but other than that we’re pleased to go into the cup final with a win.
“We had an eye on the final so we rotated the squad a bit but, thankfully, it didn’t affect us.
“We’re excited as it’s a chance to put right what went wrong in the last game. It’s another 90 minutes of football where we’ll give it our best shot.”