Southgate Harmen A 3-3 Redbridge Jewish Care B
Southgate Harmen manager Dan Uzan believes his team showed championship quality after they twice came from behind to earn a 3-3 draw against Division One promotion rivals Redbridge Jewish Care B.
Having seen his newly-promoted team shoot to the top of the table just months after winning the Division Two title, Uzan was delighted with his team’s spirit and quality in a match they recovered a 0-2 and 1-3 deficit.
“We showed good character to come back from conceding,” said Uzan. “We’ve more than matched a good side so I think we can aim to win the league.”
Harmen had the better of the opening exchanges with striker Ben Murrell, hitting the bar with a crashing drive from 25 yards.
However, it was Kanolik who opened the scoring, after receiving a pass from Steve Faye on the right-hand side of the area and sliding the ball past keeper Ziggy Lichman. It was the first goal the former Big Brother star had conceded in 287 minutes this season.
A second arrived on 24 minutes as striker Dan Gordon capitalised on poor defending to turn and shooting home from six yards.
Harmen, who last season won the Division Two title, refused to panic and came back into the game with recent signing Ben Forman scoring on the stroke of half time with a delightful chip from 35 yards over Richard Stern in the RJC goal.
Harmen were level two minutes into the second half when Stern could only turn a shot by Forman out towards Dan Beckwith, who side-footed home from a tight angle.
RJC regained the upper hand midway through the second half when Kanolik struck a first-time drive under Lichman, who should have done better.
However, the hosts managed to preserve their unbeaten start to the season, with Alex Bourne scoring a near-post header 15 minutes from time. They even pressed for winner, as Redbridge were forced to play an outfielder in goal for the last five minutes after Stern was winded by a challenge.
Redbridge boss Richard Bronzite said: “It’s annoying to let the match slip but they kept fighting back and that’s to their credit.
“But we’ve played three close games this season and we’ve hopefully shown we’re going to challenge for promotion.”
Uzan said: “I thought we edged it for possession, but they took their chances and scored three good goals.”
Harmen: Lichman; Morris, Hyams, Andrews, Phillips (sub: Knaifo); Taylor, Beckwith (sub: Sandler), Kobi, Forman (sub: Becker); Murrell, Bourne
RJC: Stern (sub: Gevertz); Pomeroy, Faye, Silver, McKenzie; Kaplin, Kanolik, Cooper, Howard (sub: Tabor); Sugarman, Gordon