Faithfold B 2-1 North West Neasden B
First-half goals from Elliott Cohen and Yoni Raeburn ensured Faithfold B maintained Division One status as they ended Neasden Bs promotion hopes on a dramatic final day in the JC MSFL.
The result means Marc Zeidman’s Montana Boca United A will go up to the Premier Division along with champions Glenthorne, while Southgate Harmen A were relegated to the second tier.
A delighted Rob Shuman, joint-manager of Faithfold, said: “Quite simply, 11 heros played today. It was an unbelievable performance from all of them. I thought they showed tremendous commitment and passion to win and keep Faithfold up.”
After suffering a 5-1 thrashing by Neasden last week, revenge was certainly on Faithfold’s mind. However, it was Neasden who started the game the sharper as Faithfold’s goal led a charmed life. The visitors came close to breaking the deadlock on several occasions with defender Mark Meltzer’s header sailing narrowly wide. Then Ben Ellis, whose height and pace provided a constant menace, also came within inches of scoring.
Elliott Cohen put the hosts ahead with an absolute cracker midway through the first half. He let fly with a volley from 25 yards which curled beautifully into the top corner.
Buoyed by the goal, the Greens doubled their advantage eight minutes later as Yoni Raeburn produced an inch-perfect perfect chip over giant Neasden keeper Ed Bloom.
Ellis came close again just before the interval. His surging run saw him beat two defenders but his effort
drifted agonisingly across the face of the goal.
The Neasden management team of Mark Cowan and Sammy Carr changed things around at half time with Adam Velleman and Joey Glynne making way for Jason Cohen and Ryan Glynne. They were given hope when captain Yoni Sidi converted a penalty after Steve Krein was fouled in the box.
Bruno Frankel, last week’s hat-trick hero, came within inches of sending Faithfold down just after the hour mark, but his effort got stuck in the goal-mouth.
Glynne had a header cleared off the line with 11 minutes remaining. In a thrilling climax, he reacted to the loose ball first but saw his effort strike the post. Had it gone in, Faithfold would have been relegated and their relief was clear at the final whistle as Neasden reflect on what might have been.
Neasden joint-boss Mark Cowan reflected: “We’re obviously gutted. We’ve worked hard this season and would have loved to go up, but that’s football. We just didn’t have any luck in front of goal today.”
Faithfold B: Dan O’Connor 9, Jonny Kessel 7, Adam Phillips 8, Elliott Cohen 8, Tony Plaskow 7, Ryan Springer 7, Nick Spevock 7, Paul Shamplina 7, Simon Wax 6, Matt Kleinman 7, Yoni Raeburn 7
Neasden: Ed Bloom 6, Mark Meltzer 7, Adam Harvey 6, Mark Laster 6, Yoni Sidi 7, Joey Glynne 6 (sub: Jason Cohen 6), Bruno Frankel 7, Daniel Hodes 7, Adam Velleman 6 (Ryan Glynne 7), Steve Krein 7, Ben Ellis 7 (sub: Ben Wulwik 6)
JC star man: Dan O’Connor (Faithfold B)