A second-half hat-trick from Bruno Frankel took Neasden B to within one win of Premier Division football as they thumped relegation threatened Faithfold 5-1 at Bricket Wood.
The teams will meet again on Sunday in what will be a nail-biting finale to the JC MSFL season with Neasden needing maximum points to leapfrog second place Montana Boca United A, while Faithfold must win to survive.
Despite the resounding scoreline, it was Faithfold who made the early running and came close to taking the lead after four minutes when a Simon Wax header shaved the bar from an Adam Phillips free-kick.
Tempers started to fray during the half as Faithfold’s Yoni Raeburn lost his cool on two occasions but somehow managed to avoid Gary Silver’s notebook.
With the news filtering in that Montana were only drawing against Hendon, Neasden joint-boss Mark Cowan urged his side to adopt a more attacking approach.
It came to no avail though as the Green’s continued to dominate in terms of possession, but lacked the finishing touch in front of goal.
A fired up Neasden returned for the second half and deservedly broke the deadlock after 53 minutes when Frankel slotted home after rounding Richard Rapperport in the Faithfold goal.
One became two minutes later for Frankel and Neasden as substitute Ryan Glynne put him through on goal. Frankel kept his composure and volleyed the ball into the bottom corner. Frankel completed his hat-trick with 15 minutes remaining, sprinting through and rifling the ball home.
Simon Wax claimed what proved to be a consolation for Faithfold with a well-executed finish. Daniel Hodes restored Neasden’s three-goal advantage with a superb chipped effort with five minutes remaining.
Ryan Glynne got in on the act in the final stages with Neasden’s fifth, hammering home an indirect free-kick after Rapperport had picked up a back pass.
Reflecting on a job well done, Neasden’s hat-trick hero Bruno Frankel said: “It was a massive game for us and we knew what we had to do. Our first half performance was poor but we just tried to relax and, in the end, it was just a matter of time until the goals went in.”
Neasden joint-manager Mark Cowan added: “It was a great performance.Next week will be our cup final.”
Disappointed Faithfold joint-manager Robert Shuman, reflected: “Five goals, five mistakes from us. But on the day they took their chances and we will be ready for them again on Sunday.”
North West Neasden B:
Bloom, 7, Laster, 7, Meltzer, 7, Harvey, 6, Klein, 7, Velleman, 7, Frankel, 9, Sidi, 8, Hodes, 7, Krein, 6 (sub: A. Glynne, 6), J. Cohen, 6 (sub: R. Glynne 8)
Rapperport, 5, Spevock, 5, Kessel, 7, Phillips, 7, E. Cohen, 6, Bord, 6, Raeburn, 6, Bloom, 6, Shamplina, 7, Plaskow, 6, Wax 7