North West Neasden captain Jonny Ellis was proud of his team’s never-say-die attitude as the defending JC MSFL champions came from two goals down to claim a vital draw at title rivals Redbridge A at Redbridge FC.
The clash of the titans saw the hosts make a dream start with summer signing Mitch Lassman and Steve Summers put them in a strong position at the break.
But goals from defender Scott Shindler and striker Lee Cash helped Neasden maintain their unbeaten start. “At half time our backs were against the wall and we had everything to do in the second 45 minutes,” said Ellis. “The spirit was fantastic. We never gave up and showed why we have won the league for the last two years. It was a great game and in the end, a fair result.
Neasden joint-manager Jamie Cole, praised new keeper Max Shields, who kept his team in the game. “People questioned bringing in a new keeper that had never played in this division, but he showed everyone at the game how difficult it is to beat him and is proving himself a top shot-stopper.
"Redbridge look a really strong team this year and I look forward to our next meeting."
RJC manager Greg Bookman said: “We started very well, and considering how new players featured, the start we made was quite remarkable. Two excellent goals and other chances created but not taken.
“Our defence was outstanding for 80 minutes but had a 10-minute spell of pressure where Neasden took their goals. It's inevitable that trying to weather the storm against a team like Neasden can only last so long and perhaps we weren't clever enough to stop them playing.
“I feel that with a little more work and match fitness we can really prove ourselves this year, we've started well and will improve with match fitness and time to gel. The boys gave their all and while frustrating to throw away a lead the game deserved a draw."
Bafana Bafana earned result of the day after beating League Cup winners Hendon United A 2-1 courtesy of strikes from Aron Azouz and Assi Avital. Greg Corin reply came too late.
Bafana gaffer Adam Gishen said: "It was really an excellent performance. Everyone competed for the entire game and despite our poor record against Hendon historically, I felt that the team really wanted to win and we dominated large parts of the game, virtually the entire second half.
"We have some excellent new young players who lived up to their pre season hype, and more. It was an accomplished performance which set out well the message for the rest of the season and the teams around us."
Hammers boss David Garbacz commented: "It was a very, very disappointing result. We dominated the match but missed numerous chances and lacked composure in front of goal.
"Once they went 1-0 up they grew in confidence and we panicked. Saying that we must have had 20 clear cut chances but our strikers had an off day."
A hat-trick from Pete Lazard, 48, earned London Maccabi Lions A their first victory, a 5-3 win over South Manx A. Motti Colman (2) was the other marksman. Daniel Kent, Jamie Kent and Shai Davidi accounted for the Manx goals.
Manx boss John Nitka said: "At half time we were 3-2 up and deservedly. We gave away two silly penalties in a game that could have gone either way but credit to the Lions who kept their heads - we now have four weeks off and we will bounce back."
Assistant-manager Shaun Simons added: "We're very disappointing but Lions had the organisation that we didn't. Good luck to them for the season."
Goals from Danny Reuben (2), Ian Hartstone and an own goal earned London Maccabi Lions B a 4-0 victory over Catford & Bromley Maccabi in the second round of the London FA Sunday Junior Cup.
Faithfold A let slip a three-goal lead as they went down 5-3 to Greengate after extra time in the London FA Sunday Intermediate Cup. Benji Diamant, Mickey Field and Daryl Phillips were their scorers.
Southgate Harmen A moved clear at the top of Division One following a 5-0 success over Brixton Old Boys. Alex Bourne (2), Ori Kobi, Paul Andrews and Dan Beckwith eased them home.
Harmen gaffer Dan Uzan said: "The team played well but must maintain their fitness so that they can keep up the same good tempo for the whole 90 minutes".
A last-minute penalty save from Richard Stern rubber-stamped Redbridge Jewish Care B’s 4-3 victory over Montana Boca United A. Richie Caplin (2), Daniel Orgel and Steve Faye netted for RJC. Gary Cohen and Toby Lustigman replied.
RJC boss Richard Bronzite said: "Neither side played good football today but we showed the right attitude and are happy to take a win in what I believe is the hardest division to get out of. I believe that eight out of 10 teams are vying for promotion and we've just beaten one of our rivals.
"This is a new era for Redbridge Jewish Care. Everyone is pushing for a place in the team and I've got no idea of my strongest XI."
Montana joint-manager Marc Ziedman said: "I'm very disappointed. We arrived with high expectations today and gifted them four goal through individuals errors. If we want promotion we're going to have to buck up our ideas. We were missing seven players but I have no excuses."
Ryan Sher, Alex Bowman and Joel Sharp were on the mark as North West Neasden B beat Camden Park 3-0.
FC Team A and Rapid Banta top Division Two. Mitch Young, James Ryan and an own goal eased FC Team A to a 3-0 victory over Holy Mount Zion.
Manager Jonathan Pearl commented: "I felt we were very professional today and completely dominated the game. It has been a good start to the season so far but we need to build on this if we are going to challenge for promotion. I was happy with the display but know there is a lot more to come from this group of talented players.
A late winner from Stefan Simons gave Banta the points against North London Raiders B.
Adam Savitz (2), James Gold, Daniel Alexander, Jonathan Green and Craig Henry struck as London Maccabi Lions C thumped title rivals Chigwell Athletic 6-1.
"It was a very good all round performance with some great passing football, good spirit and commitment," said Lions boss Frank Steinberg.
Chigs boss Richard Slater commented: “'To give three goals away from dead ball situations and twp unforced defensive errors is simply not good enough.
“We'll write this week off and bounce back in a few weeks when we will use this time to push our fitness.”
Dave Silver bagged a brace as FC Team B drew 3-3 against North West Neasden C.
Team boss Ben Simon said: "We dominated the vast majority of the game but started off sloppily going 2-0 down after 20 minutes again. Anyway, the boys played much better and gives us more confidence for the rest of the season."
Ben Isaacs (2) and Rob Benson found the net in Temple Fortune’s 3-3 draw with Faithfold C whose goals came from Ben Lewis, Adam Morris and an own goal
"We should have buried them in the fiirst half but missed too many chances,” Fortune's Mike Shorvon said. “Overall not the best of performances but I can't criticise the commitment and spirit of the team. We must stop going to sleep for 20 minutes which we did. But we never gave up and got our just desserts by the end."
Gav Noe (2), Ben Russell and Adam Hersh paved the way for Hendon United C’s 4-2 win over AC Cricklewood. Simon Barbarash and Elliot Chalmers replied.
FC Marylebone are off the mark with Yann Besseyere and Yoann Girard on target in the win over FC Heath.
Marylebone manager Jonathan Davody commented: "It feels good to take three points before a long break as we will not play on erev Yom Kippur. I was also pleased with the way we played, in particular because we kept a good shape throughout and we made some great passing combinations.
"All 14 players were superb and our subs made a huge impact. A clean sheet is extra bonus and it will give us more confidence. Finally, I'm happy we converted a penalty at last after two bad misses last weekend."
Byron Watkins (2) and Neil Marcus were the scorers as Zig Zag opened with a 3-0 success against Faithfold C.
Zig Zag manager Neal Cohen said: "It was a great start to the season. We defended well in the second half and found it quite easy to see them off. A clean sheet, three points, bring on L'Equipe on the 27th."
UJS Norstar B maintained their winning start with Eli Houri (2), Adam Seres (2), Maurice Franks and Josh Kleiman inspiring a 6-0 victory against HMH.
Rob Rodney (3) and Ed Green (2) did the damage as Athletic Bilbaum thumped Pinner JFC 5-1. Joe Callum and Benny Goldberg exchanged goals as Team JLGB shared the points with Hendon United D.
Craig Sanford and David Castle heaped more misery on Jewventus as Redbridge Jewish Care C started with a 2-1 win. Louis Taylor replied.
RJC boss Michael Winehouse said: "I'm impressed that a completely new team has gelled so well together. We were 1-0 down and showed a strong spirit to battle back. We hit the bar and missed a couple of other chances but over time we will start to convert these. A good start to the season."
Gary Chajet (2) and Matt Radstone were among the scorers as UJIA beat Real Life 4-2. Charlie Bernstein (2) replied.