North West Neasden A were given an almighty scare by Division Three side UJS Norstar A in the JC Cyril Anekstein Cup.
Last season’s double champions, who included Maccabiah star Matt Stock and Daniel Stanton, were expecting an easy run-out but they were taken to the wire by Phil Peters’ troops.
Going into the closing seconds, NWN led 5-4. Norstar missed a great chance and with that went their hopes of taking the match to extra time as NWN scored on the counter.
Matt Sofier (2), Daniel Stanton (2), Lee Cash and TJ Keterman netted for Neasden whose dream of five pieces of silverware continues, but only just.
Josh Green (2) and Eli Houri were the scorers for Norstar.
NWN joint-manager Jamie Cole commented: “I felt that we were always in control although there were some immature errors throughout the team.
“The important thing is that we won and we can put this display behind us and look forward to the next round.
“Well done to Norstar who battled for the entire 90 minutes.”
Norstar boss Phil Peters said: “This result will send shockwaves through the Maccabi League. The boys were fantastic, with a show of strength and character that’s going to help us on our way up the Jewish football ladder.
“Neasden are a superb team but they looked a little bit mortal today and after getting back from 4-1 to 4-3 we had them rattled and it could have gone either way. Who knows what might have happened had we not lost Dan Gilbert with a horrible ankle injury.
“We can now concentrate on our league campaign after valiant displays against the three big boys in the various cup competitions.”
Former winners Faithfold A thumped Catford & Bromley Maccabi 4-0 courtesy of goals from Benjy Dymant, David Lederman, Dan Howard and Joe Cohen.
Goals from Glenn Davis and Neil Tilley helped Chigwell Athletic overcome Hendon United C 2-1.
The Premier Division clash between Hendon United B and South Manx was abandoned after 25 minutes at West Hendon Playing Fields, due to a frozen pitch. Rob Hershkorn put Manx ahead with Gav Noe replying. Manx boss John Nitka said: “It was rock hard and dangerous however the sun was shining and the referee decided to give it a go – it didn’t last.” Hendon joint-manager Martin Smulovitch described the surface as “harder than concrete.”
A 35-yard strike two minutes from time from Mike Hershman helped Division Two leaders North London Raiders B overcome Faithfold B 3-2.
Top-scorer Stephen Bloom headed the Raiders in front in the first half but Faithfold claimed a deserved equaliser 12 minutes from time when substitute Ben Lewis volleyed home a corner.a pinpoint cross into the top corner.
The result took Raiders nine points clear, though they have played three more games than nearest rivals Harmen B.
A late strike from Mark Truman helped Zig Zag climb to third in Division Three following a 3-2 win over L’Equipe. Having played the first 45 minutes in goal, Truman came back to haunt his former club, adding to strikes from Josh Flax and Jason Rich.
Daniel Caplan and Jason Miller netted for L’Equipe.
Manager Gideon Chain commented: “We were on top the whole game, we created chance after chance but couldn’t seem to find the winning goal.
“Zig Zag had three chances the whole game, and credit to them, they scored from each one. It’s obviously a disappointment but we know we still have what it takes to win this league. There are plenty more games and now it’s about keeping our confidence high and utilising every bit of ability we have within our squad.”
FC Heath climbed into the top five after thumping Faithfold C 6-2 with goals from Anthony Isaacs (2) and Ben Peters (2), Jamie Bernstein and Matt Keston.
Josh Gaon (2), Nick Benson, Rafi Addlestone and an own goal saw unbeaten UJS Norstar B leapfrog Redbridge Jewish Care C after running out 5-2 winners. David Castle and Craig Sandford netted for RJC. RJC boss Michael Winehouse said: “We were 3-0 down inside 10 minutes, two being from corners. Our heads dropped and the belief died.
“Norstar fully deserved their three points. I am disappointed in how we started but that shouldn’t have been the end.
“Three defeats at this point in the season is hard to swallow but I believe the title will be decided in the games between us, UJIA and Glenthorne. Whoever takes the most points out of those games will win the league.”
Edward Green (3), Ben Chadwick and Josh Ejdelbaum steered Athletic Bilbaum to a 5-4 win over Real Life. Charles Bernstein, Paul Franklin, Jonny Bruck and Jake Masteran replied.