Matchday 22 of the JC MSFL season sees several teams competing in the first national round of the Peter Morrison Trophy with tie of the round featuring London Maccabi Lions A and Manchester Maccabi 1st at Rowley Lane. Danny Caro looks ahead to all the big games in league and cup.
JC CYRIL ANEKSTEIN CUP SEMI-FINAL DRAW
Hendon Utd Sports Club A vs Los Blancos
North West Neasden A vs Redbridge Jewish Care A
Ties scheduled for March 6
JC PHOTOGALLERY GLENTHORNE UTD B vs SHIRLEY PARK
JC VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS GLENTHORNE UTD B vs SHIRLEY PARK
CUP FINAL DATES
JC Cyril Anekstein Cup - April 17 @ Wingate & Finchley FC
Peter Morrison Trophy - May 15 - venue TBC
YOUR WEEKEND PREVIEW STARTS HERE:
PETER MORRISON TROPHY LAST 16
LONDON MACCABI LIONS A vs MANCHESTER MACCABI 1st
It’s the clash of the titans in an afternoon kick-off at Rowley Lane as two former winners of the Jewish FA Cup go head-to-head.
It’s fair to say that Sunday is Lions’ cup final. Lying fifth in the Premier Division with seven defeats in 11, manager Eilon Kennet has been lamenting the loss of key players along with an sick list longer than Dave Snelman’s tips for 2011.
The Lions go into the tie on the back of a 3-2 Anekstein defeat against a Neasden side who played for 75 minutes with 10 men. Pete Lazard and Ben Joseph were the scorers for Lions.
Kennet cites the departure of defender Louis Basger and striker Mike Pearson as “big blows” and admits that they lack “a natural predator”.
Manchester manager Stuart Delmonte believes his side could face a mauling at the hands of the Lions.
The Tameside League side are without four first-team stars and Delmonte fears that they over being overrun by a Lions side desperate for cup glory.
“This is the game we didn’t want because they’re one of the toughest teams we could have faced,” said the Maccabi boss.
“I’m certain Lions will draft in a few players form their Saturday side and that will make it very difficult for us.
“I have got to make sure that the players turn up mentally. On any other day then I think we could give them a really good game but with so many players out, I think it will be hard.
“We’re away from home, we’ve lots of travelling to do and everything is going against us.
“Having said that, we’re going to go out there and give it a really good go. We’ve got some very good players and hopefully we can put in a good performance.
“We might have to park the bus in front of the goal or bore them into submission but hopefully we can do the job.”
Manchester have been in scintillating form in recent weeks, winning their last six games in all competitions and scoring 28 goals in the process, and are well placed in the league, sitting two points off the league leaders with two games in hand.
Jacob Richler-Kleiman, aged 18, will be the man Lions need to watch, with the prodigious youngster achieving a Lionel Messi-esque ratio of goals having scored 11 in his last five games. Threats come from all over from Maccabi, with Adam Lavin in impressive form, whilst the creativity of the likes of Rafi Leker and Ashley Loofe in midfield has impressed assistant manager Tony Rosenberg believes that Manchester can win the clash
“It will be 11 against 11,” Rosenberg told JC Sport. “Whoever performs best on the day will progress to the next round.”
Lions are in last chance saloon as far as their hopes for silverware this season are concerned. I expect their big match players such as Motti Colman, Max Fieldgrass, Ben Joseph and Lee Bibring to stand up and be counted.
This may not be the classic that many expect but I’m tipping the Lions to edge into the last eight.
Venue – Rowley Lane, Ref – C. Stupack, KO: 2pm
JC star man: Max Fieldgrass (Lions)
DC Prediction: LM Lions A 2 Manchester Maccabi 1st 1
NORTH LONDON RAIDERS A vs MACCABI MASTERS REP TEAM
It’s youth versus experience in an early kick-off at The Hive in one of the most intriguing clashes of the weekend.
Premier Division Raiders A will be up against several members of their Masters team who make up the Maccabi Rep Team along with several players from the all-conquering Brady Maccabi veterans.
L’Orange have not played for a couple of weeks which has given one or two players time to cure injuries. They have had a decent first season back in the top-flight with plenty of positives to take out of the season so far.
For the Masters, both Raiders and Brady claimed narrow wins in the Henry Swerner Cup. Raiders beat Glenthorne on penalties while Brady edged past Clayhall Park Casuals.
Looking ahead to the clash, Daniel Collins, the Masters Rep Team player-manager, told JC Sport: “I’m looking forward to the challenge.
“My Rep side as per the last round will be made up of Brady and North London Raiders players. I hope we give a good account of ourselves. The pressure is definitely not on us!”
Three players likely to line up against the Raiders on Sunday are Nigel Goldthorpe, Richard Sacks and Ashley Davidson. Goldthorpe played a handful of matches for the Raiders team who last season won the Division One title. Sacks and Davidson, meanwhile, are stalwarts of the club, and all three are still more than capable of mixing it with the youngsters.
An early kick-off could be something of a leveller with the Raiders management hoping their boys arrive with no hangovers, while Collins hopes that his team does not get held up by the cheder run and swimming lessons.
It should be a cracker.
Venue – The Hive, Ref – M. Fox, KO: 9.45am
JC star man: Richard Sacks (Masters)
DC Prediction: NL Raiders A 2 Maccabi Masters 1
NORTH LONDON RAIDERS B vs OAKWOOD
An all-Division One tie sees table-topping Raiders B take on the Oaks for the second time this season.
Both teams are flying in the league at the minute but a place in the last eight of the Jewish FA Cup beckons.
If you’re looking at the formbook, there will be little to separate the teams who drew 2-2 in September. Ben Myers and Tom Rose were the goal men for Oakwood with Raiders’ goals coming through Lewis Blitz and Nicky Woolf
After the match, Raiders boss Rob Richman told JC Sport: "It was a really enthralling game which could have swung either way but in the end a draw was a fair result.
"Oakwood are a very decent side. They play a good passing game and will no doubt be up there come the end of the season.”
The Raiders have opened up a five-point gap in the league and although this match comes as something of a distraction for Richman and his men, it’s a game they will feel they can win.
"We are very much looking forward to our last 16 cup tie with Oakwood. Our game with them early on this season was a really great tussle and we will be expecting another tough game this week.
“While the league is obviously our priority we still want to progress as far as possible in the cup this season.”
The Oaks have a mountain to climb to catch up L’Orange in the league, but with the acquisition of striker Josh Rubin, they certainly have the personnel with Anthony Kintish, Eddie Manson, Dan Geey and Louis Basger for company.
Like Raiders, the Oaks have quality from front to back as well as strength in depth. Last Sunday, Ian Tussie and Geey registered in the win over Camden Park.
Oaks joint player-manager Ric Blank told JC Sport: "We're looking forward to an old-fashioned ding-dong of a cup tie on Sunday. The league is too close to call this season with any one of five teams capable of winning it, so Sunday provides a welcome distraction.
"We've got a big squad to choose from with only Anthony Kintish unavailable so I've got some big decisions to make. Vic Librae comes back into the equation following a serious head injury (dropped at birth).
"Raiders are a good side and we know both Raiders particularly strong at home on 3G so we've got to be prepared. We're paying particular attention to defender Rik Sherman. I hear he's Raiders Gordon McQueen (though his favourite player is of course the king, Cantona). In short, Oaks are up for the cup."
I can see this being another close contest. On paper there is little to separate the sides and I can see it being much of the same on 3G.
JC team news: For Raiders, Lewis Blitz joins Richard Angel on the sidelines but they welcome back Jonny Hesselberg who has missed the last two league games.
Venue – Brunel Uni, Ref – H. Raffe
JC star man: Vic Librae (Oakwood)
DC Prediction: NL Raiders B 2 Oakwood 2 AET (Oakwood win on pens)
WOODFORD WANDERERS vs NORTH WEST NEASDEN A
North West Neasden A are just a handful of games away from doing what no club has done before. Winning four consecutive Peter Morrison cups.
With manager Jamie Cole back from Vegas with a wad of cash to burn before the transfer window slams shut on March 16, there will be a weight of expectation among travelling fans for their heroes to impress the gaffer.
He was proud of his team last week when, with Darren Yarlett in charge, they moved into the semi-finals of the JC Cyril Anekstein Cup following an epic 3-2 win over Lions at Rowley Lane.
They did it the hard way with Yarlett limping off injured after just 15 minutes in what was already a depleted team. With no subs, they played 75 minutes with 10 men and they did the club proud with Lee Cash (2) and Ben Ellis taking them through.
Yarlett put forward Shai Revivo and Elliot Stern as two of the star performers.
On Sunday Neasden face a tricky trip to Redbridge where they take on a Woodford team that are smelling an upset. They hope to take a leaf out of the book of Los Blancos who beat Neasden’s B team in the Anekstein.
Looking ahead to the crunch clash, Jamie Cole told JC Sport: “Woodford will be no mugs and we will come prepared.”
Woodford’s trio of signings were made too late in the day for them to take the stage against the defending champions but no doubt, Alex Aviram, the Woodford boss, will put out what he believes to be a highly-competitive team, one that can take the mother of all scalps.
Like Neasden, Woodford are packed with quality all around the pitch, but I have a feeling that experience and that bit of extra class will help Neasden come out on top.
JC team news: For Neasden, Sammy Ross and Rob Lerner return while TJ Keterman, James Gershfield and Ben Ellis could be in the squad.
Venue – Redbridge Sports Centre, Ref – A. Lewis
JC star man: Shai Revivo (Neasden)
DC Prediction: Woodford Wanderers 1 NW Neasden A 3
OAKHILL LIONS vs REDBRIDGE JEWISH CARE A
MSFL leaders Redbridge make the long journey north where they take on Manchester Jewish Soccer League strugglers Oakhill in a noon kick-off at Brooklands in Prestwich.
The Essex giants are again missing several key players but I would be surprised if they don’t return home jubiliant. Dean Nyman Adam Hakimi and Adam Stolerman are among notable absentees.
They go into the tie on the back of a 6-1 win over Brady in the Anekstein. Dean Nyman went home with the match ball after firing a hat-trick with Steve Summers, Daran Bern and Sam McCarthy finding the net.
RJC were made to work for the win by a well-drilled Brady team and they did well to recover from the loss of Craig Sandford, who was sent off, with manager Sam McCarthy snr hoping that heavy legs don’t play a part on Sunday.
Looking ahead to Sunday, RJC boss Sam McCarthy told JC Sport: “With a mixture of players unavailable due to other committments or injury, I have had to do some shuffling about. Notwithstanding this, the squad I have selected has I believe sufficient strength and quality to win the game.
“Oakhill are an unknown quantity to me so it’s difficult to get any feel for the opposition and the way they play. I know the team won’t be taking this game lightly. We will enter this game like all the others we have played to date and that is with guns blazing.
“We won’t detract from our style of play as this has held us in good stead up to now.
“Confidence in the team is very high and I am looking forward to a fast-paced competitive game.
Lying third from bottom in the MJSL, Oakhill face opponents in top form. They know that the Londoners top the JC MSFL table with eight wins from their 10 league games and are hoping to pull off a stunning league and cup treble.
Oakhill sit just four points off the bottom of the MJSL Premier Division and were beaten 4-1 by league leaders Manchester Maccabi 3rd last week.
But Oakhill boss Dan Berkley insists his men are going out to enjoy the game and give their visitors a red-hot reception.
“We know they’re top of their league and a good side but it’s going to be a really interesting challenge for us,” Berkley told JC Sport.
“Our main focus is on the Feldman Cup so this can be a bit of fun for us and we’re determined to enjoy the occasion.
“We have home advantage and hopefully that can help but we’re just going to go out there and have some fun with it.
“It has been an inconsistent season but we’re confident we can still finish on a high.”
I believe that visiting keeper Dan Lee will be a key performer for the visitors. The absence of strikers Nyman, Summers and Stolerman will mean that other players will have to stand up and be counted, but I think that the feel-good-factor after a Saturday night jolly will put them in the right frame of mind to move a step closer to the final.
JC team news: Redbridge are without the injured Adam Hakimi (hammy), Brad Frankel (cheekbone), Steve Summers, Dean Nyman and Adam Stolerman.
RJC team: Dan Lee, Craig Sandford, Joel Berg, Sam McCarthy, Ritchie Caplin, Mitch Lassman, Ben Sollosi, Danny Hakimi, Sam Van Gelder, Lewis Walker, Daran Bern, Alex Lishak, James Rubin, Paul Block.
Venue – Brooklands
JC star man: Mitch Lassmanalker (RJC)
DC Prediction: Oakhill Lions 1 Redbridge JC 2
JC MSFL PREMIER DIVISION
HENDON UNITED A vs FAITHFOLD A
Hendon manager David Garbacz misses the crucial clash against Faithfold as the teams meet for the second time in a week.
He was proud of his team after they booked a place in the semi-finals of the Anekstein last weekend, but will miss Sunday’s top of the table clash due to a family simcha.
Garbacz told JC Sport: “I have to be at a family wedding in New York and my marriage would have been in severe jeopardy had I not stayed for the weekend. Greg Corin will be in charge of things on Sunday. We will be well prepared beforehand.”
Last Sunday he saw strikes from Josh Bentley and Ari Last sink the Superhoops in a hard fought contest and he believes that we will see more of the same here.
Speaking ahead of the big match, added: “Sunday is a huge game for us. We cannot afford anything less than three points if we want to keep matters in our own hands.
“Faithfold will be stronger than last week with Pearson returning but I feel we’re more than capable of coping with him and the pressure.
“We will play to our strengths rather than worry about them and we expect another very tight game with chances at a premium.
“Dovid Korman is back fully fit and he might just be the difference.
“I am expecting a huge phone bill but I also expect it to be worth it!”
Faithfold will be looking to bounce from last week. They have not given up on the title and know that victory here would put them back in the mix.
The trio of Levack, Babai and Kaye will look to give Daryl Phillips and Mike Pearson plenty of service to feed off and they will feel that the Hammers defence can be got at.
Zuriel Solomon. the Faithfold manager, told JC Sport: “We hope to put on a better showing than last week. Hopefully it won’t be as windy so we can play our game as we still believe we are capable of winning and my boys will be up for it.”
Pearson will certainly give Faithfold something to think about. His pace and movement will mean that they will have to think about defending deeper, and they must decide how deep they want to go before playing into the hands of the Superhoops.
Once Hendon took the lead last week, they looked comfortable and if they can nick a goal I can see them finishing the day ahead of Redbridge who are involved in cup action in Manchester.
JC team news: For Hendon, out from last week’s squad go Alex Rosenthal and Saul Conway, both of whom are unavailable. They will be replaced by Martin Smulovitch and young Yoav Kestenbaum who has been impressing all season.
Faithfold welcome back striker Mike Pearson.
Venue – Hadley FC, Ref – A. Myerson
JC star man: Dovid Korman (Hendon)
DC Prediction: Hendon Utd SC A 2 Faithfold 1
REDBRIDGE B vs CHIGWELL
Chigwell have been riding on the crest of the wave in recent weeks and they go into the Essex derby in high spirits.
Last week, they put a strong FC Team A side to the sword with Glenn Michaels (2) and Daniel Castle steering them to a 3-2 victory.
The win lifted the Chigs into second spot, five points behind North London Raiders B. With a run of five straight wins behind them, only a brave man would bet against them here.
Looking ahead to the crunch clash, Chigs player-manager Richard Slater told JC Sport: “Sunday will be a tough derby for us, if the recent game at Peter May was anything to go by.
“Sure we were 4-0 up with 15 to play but RJC B kept coming at us, and I’m sure this Sunday will be no different.
“They had a great result last week, but we’re flying at the minute so hopefully we should have enough quality to make it six wins on the spin.”
Neil Tilley (3) and Michael Witzenfeld were the Chigwell marksmen when the teams met in mid-January. Two goals from Jamie Cooper gave the scoreline a sense of respectability for RJC, who went down 4-2 that day.
After the game, Slater told JC Sport: “I'm not quite sure how they're second from bottom. They probably had the majority of possession but we attacked well, in numbers and on the break today and took our chances, and that's what wins you football matches at any level."
The Redbridge boys certainly found their feet against Harmen B last Sunday. Ben Sollosi
(2), Daniel Orgel, Josh Barnett and Jamie Cooper joined Cooper on the scoresheet in a 6-0 win. And when you look who scored for the club’s C team last week - Daniel Gordon, Hadley Silver, Jamie Chapman and James Ryan – it’s clear that the club has an embarrassment of riches.
RJC committee member Richard Bronzite, who also manages the club’s C team, has promised another “competitive” team. He told JC Sport: “I can’t call on any A team boys as they are in Manchester but will be able to use one C team player. I will decide on who that will be when I know who is around.
Ben Norris has been appointed manager until the end of the season. Bronzite said: “This is a great coup for the club and he is more determined then anyone to keep the B team in Division One.”
I'm glad that Norris has stepped up as the last thing we needed was another club to fold, but on Sunday it’s hard to look past Chigwell.
JC team news: For Chigwell, Paul Lenchner and Dean Ben Yosef face late fitness tests. The pair are currently rated “doubtful”. Keeper Jacobs comes back into squad as do Russell Yershon, Adam Goodman and Marc Radzan who were missing last week.
Michael Witzenfeld (holiday), Adam Conway (family commitments), Jon Raven, returns to Liverpool all miss out after featuring in last week’s win and Dean Michaels (back) miss out.
Chigwell squad: Rob Shepherdson, Marc Jacobs, Simon Felstein, Glenn Davis, Adam Shafron, Jon Swead (capt ), Daniel Castle, Sam Rosenthal, Richard Slater, Adam Goodman, Marc Radzan, Russell Yershon, Russell Becker, Doron Weinstein, Neil Tilley, Glenn Michaels, Mark Conway
Venue – Fairlop, Ref – J. Burchell
JC star man: Adam Shafron (Chigwell)
DC Prediction: Redbridge JC B 1 Chigwell Athletic 2
CAMDEN PARK vs MONTANA BOCA UNITED A
On a day of big games, this one won’t get the pulses racing. Sorry lads!
Both teams are still in need of points to ensure that they maintain Division One status and it wouldn’t surprise me if both side adopt a cautious approach.
Camden gave a good account of themselves against Oakwood last Sunday with Sam Bennett registering in a 2-1 defeat.
Camden manager Justin Rockberger has warned his players that he wants them to raise their game. He told JC Sport: “I’ve been a named and unused sub in the last two weeks and am desperate to get on.”
Montana were edged out of the Morrison last weekend, going down by the odd goal in three with James Sandler registering.
The visitors go into the game with a hat-trick of mazals after three players became fathers. So congrats to Darren Cohen, Simon Hecker and Shuey Mirwis. However, unfortunately Raymond nor myself will be able to get you a discount in the JC S&P!
JC latest news: Montana are celebrating yet another birth after Danny Myers' Mrs delivered a bouncing baby boy. Chairman Raymond Harrod has vowed to double Myers' wages as his plans to start an academy gather momentum.
Adam Osper, Montana's joint player-manager told JC Sport: "We're going for a win, three points and a performance similar to that of last week against Harmen A in the cup."
With the sides yet to meet this season, one will be looking to put down their marker. The million dollar question is, will Montana have something else to celebrate or will old man Rockberger get his wish and come off the bench to score JC Goal of the Week?
JC team news: For Montana, there is no change on the injury front, plus Simon Hecker and Danny Myers are out due to new borns. The JC understands that player-chairman Raymond Harrod been given permission to play from the Mrs this weekend.
Venue – The Hive, Ref – R. Benardout
JC star man: Sam Bennett (Camden)
DC Prediction: Camden Park 1 Montana Boca Utd A 1
SOUTHGATE HARMEN B vs LONDON MACCABI LIONS C
Harmen B were hit for six by a strong Redbridge B team last Sunday and manager Mark Engel is hoping for better luck this weekend.
Engel told JC Sport: “We’re looking to regain some momentum after a poor performance last week.
“Last week aside, we have lost by the odd goal here and there to some good teams. It is time to turn that around and put a run together.”
The Lions thumped Harmen 4-1 on the opening weekend of the season when goals from James Gold (2), Nick Astaire and Adam Kosky gave them a flying start.
However, things have gone downhill since then with Jamie Kyte’s men claiming just one other victory.
Lions have lost all six away games and I can see home advantage proving decisive on the day.
JC team news: Harmen boss Engel reports “a few knocks … typical for the time of year”.
Venue – Ashmole School, Ref – G. Silver
JC star man: Marc Cohen (Harmen)
DC Prediction: Southgate Harmen B 3 LM Lions C 1
TEMPLE FORTUNE A vs BRIXTON OLD BOYS
One of the games of the day comes in Hatch End where leaders Temple Fortune A tackles third-placed Brixton.
Andrew Souber’s boys start the match four points clear with a game in hand, and two in hand on second-placed Norstar.
The boys in red and yellow go into the game with a psychological edge having beaten Brixton 4-3 three games into the season, but Souber knows that his team will have to work their socks off if they are to complete a league double and edge closer to that coveted league title.
They warmed up for the game in style with strike partners Rob Benson and Ben Isaacs grabbing two apiece in the 6-0 demolition of Marylebone. A wonder strike from defender Scott Shindler plus one from Michael Goldberg put the icing on the cake.
Souber knows that things will be much harder here. “We are under no illusions about how tough Sunday will be,” he told JC Sport. “We played them earlier in the season and although we came away with the three points I think none of us could have complained if we had only come away with one
“ It was tremendous resolve that got us through that one. They are strong, physical but they can play. However, we also have some players that I am sure they will be concerned about so all in all it should be a good game.
Like Fortune, Brixton are on a roll. They cruised past L’Equipe 4-0 last weekend with goals from Danny Sherman (2), Alon Hershkorn and James Kaye.
It will be an emotional morning for John Nitka, the Brixton boss, against his former club, but he is doing his best to stay focused.
Nitka has labelled this a championship decider and he is confident that his boys will rise to the occasion.
He told JC Sport: “I’m looking forward to it and I feel whoever wins this game will take the championship – lets wait and see.
“I have a few injury problems and unavailability of players but will field a strong enough team to give Temple Fortune a tough game. This is no walkover for them.
“Don’t forget we were winning last time 3-1 but threw the game away in the last 20 minutes. That will not happen again.”
There will be mouth-watering battles all around the park but I believe that the class of Shindler, Goldberg, Benson and Isaacs will help Fortune come out on top.
Souber told me that having Isaacs back is like a new signing. It reminded me of what Kenny Dalglish said when Jamie Carragher returned against Chelsea and we all know what happened there. I know it’s different as Carra is a defender but Souber wouldn’t swap Isaacs for anyone.
It should be another cracker.
JC team news: Fortune have parted company with Ben Glekin who has joined L'equipe. Souber said: “He is a lovely lad and we wish him all the best.”
Venue – Hatch End Playing Fields, Ref – W. Blake
JC star man: Ben Isaacs (Fortune)
DC Prediction: Temple Fortune A 3 Brixton Old Boys 2
FAITHFOLD B vs FC MARYLEBONE
Promotion chasing Faithfold expect to seal their third league double of the season when they host the Frenchmen on Sunday.
It finished 4-2 at Regents Park in the corresponding fixture when Doron Hershkorn, Daniel Hildebrand and Lee Greenfield were among the scorers for Rob Shooman’s men.
With home and away wins over FC Team B and L’Equipe already in the bag, Shooman and co know that nothing less than three points will do as they look to keep up the pressure on Fortune, Norstar and Brixton.
Faithfold go into the game nice and fresh as they had no game last Sunday but Marylebone are probably wishing they hadn’t either as they were on the receiving end of a 6-0 drubbing at the hands of Fortune.
If the hosts score early it will be game over and the floodgates could open. I can see Seth Green, assuming he plays of course, having a big role to play on Sunday and urge his teammates to get the ball to him at every opportunity.
Venue – The Hive, Ref – S. Ansher
JC star man: Seth Green (Faithfold)
DC Prediction: Faithfold B 4 FC Marylebone 0
FC TEAM B vs L’EQUIPE
Time is running out for both FC Team B and L’Equipe.
Both lie just above Marylebone but if I had to give them a mark now, it would say should have done better.
The good news for Team fans is that their A team has no game so there’s every chance that we could see a familiar face on show to help out. My bet would be on a striker as the team has struggled for goals this season although David Silver did fire a hat-trick in last Sunday’s 5-3 defeat against Hendon B.
L’Equipe have also struggled on the goal front this season. They started the season with great ambition but have been unable to live up to the hype.
Now survival is the name of the game but last week’s 4-0 drubbing at the hands of Brixton did little to raise confidence.
That said, they claimed a magnificent 4-2 victory over promotion chasing Woodford earlier in the season and I’m tipping them to produce the goods.
Venue – Old Camdenians, Ref – T. Littner
JC star man: Paul Rubenstein (L’Equipe)
DC Prediction: FC Team B 2 L’Equipe 3
NORSTAR A vs HENDON UNITED SPORTS CLUB B
With Norstar's season finishing on March 6,- manager Phil Peters is looking to loan his star players to struggling clubs in Division Two to try and help them get results against their title rivals.
Eli Houri and Ben De La Fuente are rumoured to be joining Marylebone in time for their crunch match against Temple Fortune.
De La Fuente was crucial in helping Norstar hand Fortune their only win of the season. Sammy Kalms and Jonny Pressman could be on their way to FC Team B with Peters desperate to avoid a third runners-up medal in as many years.
When asked about the ethics behind such a move, Peters denied that any gamesmanship was involved: He told JC Sport: “My players just want to play football and don’t want their season to end at the beginning of March.
“That’s the only motive behind it and having been denied entry into the Minor Cup they’re desperate 'to do a Beckham' and get some playing time elsewhere.”
As for Sunday, Eli Houri returns but may struggle to replace Phil Peters up front after he scored against Woodford. Jonathan Peters should be fit after resuming full training and managing 20 minutes at the weekend.
Hendon were back to their best last weekend with Chaim Gothold (2), Raph Noe, Alex Neiss and Yoav Kestenbaum on target in a 5-3 win at FC Team B.
The Hornets will be going in search of their third straight win. My concern would be the number of goals they concede on a regular basis, but it’s also worth remembering that they are not one of the league’s entertainers for nothing. Like Norstar, they play to win and to enjoy it, so I’m looking forward to what should be an enthralling contest.
Venue – John Lyons School, Ref – A. Djanogly
JC star man: Jonny Pressman (Norstar)
DC Prediction: Norstar A 3 Hendon Utd SC B 2
REAL LIFE vs TEAM JLGB
Relegation six-pointers don’t get much bigger than this.
There will be a pressure-cooker atmosphere at Edgwarebury Park in a game featuring two sides who between them have one just one league game all season.
The tables never lies and the bottom line is that neither club has performed well enough on the pitch.
Neither team will be at full strength for the crunch clash. Real are without player-manager Jamie Beaumont who misses out with a quad strain which was aggravated last Sunday. Ben Kfir, Real’s top performer last weekend, is in Israel and will be missed in the midfield.
Dan Markeson and Charlie Bernstein, Real’s top two players, were on the scoresheet against Heath Banta last Sunday with Bernstein snatching a late equaliser. That point against a team challenging for honours could prove crucial come the end of the season.
Eddie Lewin, the Real Life Director of Media & Communications, told JC Sport: “Despite being winless in the league, morale is up amongst the players and belief in manager Beaumont remains.
“There is a sense that the win is not a matter of when, not if, and Real Life will fancy themselves on Sunday.
Strangely, Real Life are not easy to beat. they have not lost in 50 per cent of valid fixtures - but need to convert some of these draws into three points.
“That Beaumont has managed to keep chins up and chests out is an achievement and atests to his man-management skills. but until the win monkey is off his back, he will not be a happy man.”
Team JLGB go into this game expecting it to be close match. Manager Robert Silverman has a “fairly strong squad to pick from” this week and will be hoping to pick up only their second three point haul of the season.
They were beaten 3-1 at home by fellow strugglers Zig Zag last Sunday and everyone in the camps knows that this is last-chance saloon.
2-2 was how it finished when the teams met on January 9. A point will be no use to either team so I suggest they go flat out for the win.
It should be an open and entertaining affair with goals aplenty.
JC team news: For JLGB, the Stone brothers return this week as does Paul Rich, so the defence should be much stronger.
Scoring goals has been a major problem for JLGB who have struggled in that department since Neil Lux picked up a serious injury earlier in the season. But they can take
Venue – Edgwarebury Park, Ref – S. Levy
JC star man: Charlie Bernstein (Real Life)
DC Prediction: Real Life 3 Team JLGB 2
ZIG ZAG vs NORSTAR B
DJ Neal Cohen, the Zig Zag manager, has named an unchanged squad following last week’s morale-boosting 3-1 win over JLGB.
Neil Marcus, Jonny Winton and Byron Watkins were the goal men for the Zeds in a game where keeper Ryan Selsdon was among their top performers. He was rewarded for his effort between the sticks with a place in my team of the week.
Sunday is the start of a big few days for Cohen who will be making a whistle-stop trip to Milan to watch Spurs take on AC on Tuesday.
Looking ahead to Sunday, Cohen told JC Sport: “We are full of confidence and, after coming back Newcastle style last year from 4-0 down at ht to draw 4-4 with Norstar, we have victory in sight and can feel them trembling all the way down the Edgware road.
“They will come up against a very confident ZZFC that expect a win and at the very worse a draw or a one-goal defeat ;-) (Ed, now that’s what I call hedging your bets, DJ!)
Norstar believe they can still have a say in the promotion mix, but nothing less than three points will do here.
They go into the game on the back of a thrilling 3-3 draw against high-flying Faithfold C when Adam Seres and Adam Sandzer were among the goals.
Jonny Bunt, the Norstar manager, told JC Sport: “It is impossible not to get excited about pitting one's managerial wits against DJ Neal, especially when, as is the case this week, we expect to have a squad of 14 back and are looking to string a run of wins together in a month of winnable games.
“Norstar B’s first-ever friendly as a club was a 1-1 draw with Zig Zag (when I got my only goal in an Orange shirt) and I think the game serves as a measure of our progress that we went into that hoping for respectability and on Sunday we will be strong favourites to win.
“Having said that, Zig Zag have been improving and their recent form is better than ours. It’s been a while since anyone really battered them and I don't expect an easy time at Montrose... DJ Neal always has something up his sleeve ...”
If this preview is anything to go by, then the match itself should be worth every penny of the admission fee.
Venue – Montrose Park, Ref – N. Burns
JC star man: Byron Watkins (Zig Zag)
DC Prediction: Zig Zag 2 Norstar B 2
CATFORD & BROMLEY MACCABI vs GLENTHORNE UNITED A
Leaders Glenthorne go in search of their 11th league win of the season when they take on the Cats.
Meeting for the first time this season, the Thornes will be looking to stretch their unbeaten run to eight games.
Like the Cats, Dan Lipman’s men had no game last week and it’s hard to see anything other than a Glenthorne win.
It’s good to see both Glenthorne’s team doing so well this season. The club have experienced some tough times but the form of both the As and Bs reflects the time and effort that the likes of club chairman Sid Shaw, Lipman and Elliot Coulton put in. I believe the MSFL is all the stronger for having a healthy Glenthorne it in. The next challenge is to reclaim the tag of best club in East London, although with Redbridge Jewish Care, Chigwell Athletic and Woodford Wanderers raising the bar, that is easier said than done.
The Cats have also found things tough in recent years. But chairman Lester Jacobs is keen to see the club back in the headlines as they were in the Premier Division not so long ago.
But that all looks a long way off right now and I can only see the Thornes going from strength to strength this weekend with Lipman and David Blackman continuing their fine run of form.
Venue – Norsemen FC, Ref – A. Yuchetel
JC star man: Danny Shafron (Glenthorne)
DC Prediction: Catford & Bromley 0 Glenthorne Utd A 3
BLIZZARD STORM vs JEWVENTUS
The return leg of Jewventus versus Blizzard Storm comes the week after the teams met for the first time last Sunday.
A 1-1 draw was felt to be the fair result from the Jewve camp, but clearly Storm boss Simon Linden thought his team shaded it.
This week Jewve boss Gabriel John has the whole squad at his disposal and returning marksman Richard Fogelman could be the difference.
John is quoted as saying “if we’d have had Fogey last week, I feel we may have snatched it.”
It’ll be another tasty affair with both sides giving it everything. Last time out proved to be a bruising encounter, we expect nothing less this time.”
Linden has watched his team implode over the last couple of weeks and he knows that nothing less than maximum points will do.
Linden told JC Sport: “We’re looking forward to round two with Jewve. We have to win. It’s to important.”
The Blizzard manager was pulled out of his pre-match press conference for business reasons, but later revealed: “There could be a shock signing, one of the MSFL’s all-time greatest goal-scorers is in talks Blizzard.”
The news has excited Blizzard fans big time. I’m still in the dark but if the forward signs before midnight Thursday, shirt sales could go through the roof Torres style.
We’d also have to rebrand the match as Fogelman against ? Surely he’s not planning a cheeky bid to bring in Lee Cash, Michael Pearson, Daryl Phillips, Steve Summers, Daran Bern, Jacob Gold or a Charlie Bernstein. Only time will tell …
Breaking: Blizzard have failed in a cheeky bid to sign Stevie Bloom for North London Raiders B. However, manager Simon Linden has signed former Essex Wanderers and FC Marylebone striker Alex Gold and he goes straight into the squad for Sunday. Linden said: "That could clinch promotion!"
JC team news: For Blizzard, Sean Ladier misses out but Stuart Muller returns.
Jewventus welcome back striker Richard Fogelman.
Venue – Edgwarebury Park, Ref – M. Lavender
JC star man: Stuart Muller (Blizzard)
DC Prediction: Jewventus 2 Blizzard Storm 3
GLENTHORNE UNITED B vs NORTH LONDON RAIDERS C
If last Sunday’s performance is anything to go by, Glenthorne will have to raise their game for the challenging of a rapidly improving North London Raiders C team.
Thornes boss Elliot Coulton cut a relieved figure after a late strike from Fabio Revieccio, his second of the game, steered them past promotion rivals Shirley Park in a 2-1 victory.
It’s fair to say that Glenthorne won ugly, but Coulton knows that it was just the kind of display that could see them crowned champions come May.
Winning has become a habit for Raiders of late and manager Oli Shorts knows that a sixth consecutive victory would be the best yet.
They succumbed to strikes from Richard Rosenthal and Revieccio against the Thornes earlier in the season but the hosts know that L’Orange are a very different team from then.
Raiders manager Oli Shorts told JC Sport: “I go into this weekend’s game with belief, confidence and expectancy. One month ago we would have been heading out to Essex making sure we didn't get humiliated. Now we go into the game full of confidence and believing we can pull off a major upset.
“Rich Abrahams and myself have a fantastic group of lads who all want to play football and that is just fantastic for the whole of North London Raiders Football Club.
“Five wins on the spin, three clean sheets and four goals conceded speaks for itself. We need to keep our feet firmly on the ground and continue doing what we're doing. The lads are up for this and so am I.”
A Raiders win would really open up things at the top. Glenthorne’s destiny lies in their hands right now, but that could all change come Sunday lunchtime.
JC team news: Glenthorne are without 16-year-old wonder kid Josh Wynne who is out for six weeks after breaking his arm. Coulton said: “He will be missed.” Simon Bagel makes his debut.
Venue – The Old Chigwellians, Ref – M. Vandermolen
JC star man: Matt Greene (Raiders)
DC Prediction: Glenthorne Utd B 2 NL Raiders B 2
HENDON UNITED SPORTS CLUB C vs ATHLETIC BILBAUM
Nine points separates the Hustlers and Bilbaum going into this game but I can see this being a tight contest.
Seb Silverman was the Bilbaum hero last weekend when they beat Temple Fortune B 2-0.
Manager Josh Ejdelbaum described it as “our best game of the season” as the Bilbaum boys registered a second consecutive win and a rare clean sheet to boot.
Ejdelbaum went on to say: “We’ve got some hard games between now and the end of the season, but if we play like we did last weekend, we should be able to pick up some points.
“Simon Finklestein should have recovered from an ankle injury, and will hope to re-form the Baum’s all-ginger strike-force.”
The Hustlers go into the game on the back of four straight defeats. They haven’t played for a fortnight and if they take time to get out of the blocks I can see Bilbaum getting some joy.
JC team news: Hendon will be missing player-manager Avi Gelley through injury.
Venue – West Hendon, Ref – L. Thorne
JC star man: Simon Finklestein (Bilbaum)
DC Prediction: Hendon Utd SC C 2 Athletic Bilbaum 3
INTER BOREHAMWOOD vs NORTH WEST NEASDEN C
Title-chasing Inter Borehamwood have been identified as Glenthorne’s main title challengers but they face a busy run-in if they are to win the championship.
Oluseun Thomas’ men still have 12 games remaining and they will not be one of the teams invited to the proposed JC Barry Goldstein Cup, should the competition go ahead.
The Inter boys have been doing their best to keep match-sharp with fixtures postponed since January 23.
Thomas hopes that the unexpected break will allow midfield maestro Jerome Colmans to return to his best form following a shocker last time out.
Neasden go into the game boosted by the news that keeper Ed Bloom will remain with the team for the rest of the season.
Manager Louis Taylor has been buoyed by the news and he took time out of his busy schedule to tell JC Sport: “We’re at almost full-strength for the Inter clash. Ed Bloom has joined us in goal for the rest of the season. He’s our captain fantastic and makes a massive difference to the team.”
Dom Hallett and Colmans were the scorers in Inter’s 2-0 victory at Neasden on November 7. They will need to bring their shooting boots to get past Bloom, but I think that on the day, they will have too much about them.
JC team news: For Neasden, Elliott Setyon is available again while Jamie Isenwater hopes to return from a broken wrist. Adam Levene is stepping up his rehabilitation on a pulled hamstring
Venue – The Hive, Ref – D. Cohen
JC star man: Jeff Gotch (Inter)
DC Prediction: Inter Borehamwood 3 NW Neasden C 1
PINNER JFC vs LOS BLANCOS
Sunday should, and I say should, be a stroll in the park for Los Blancos.
Last weekend they reached new heights when they booked their place in the semi-finals of the JC Cyril Anekstein Cup after coming from behind to beat Premier Division North West Neasden B 3-2.
Danny Kon and Sami Birnbaum were the goal men in a match that put the club well and truly on the map in their first season in the Maccabi League. You can read all about their heroics in tomorrow’s JC.
Manager of the Week Joel Minsky now faces a big task in keeping his players’ feet on the ground. Any thoughts of a final at Wingate & Finchley must be put firmly to the back of player’s minds as they prepare to take on the team at the bottom of the league. Yes, it just doesn’t get any more glamorous than Pinner away!
But as Minsky will tell you, good teams must be capable of winning anywhere and against anyone. And if Sunday is a case of after the Lord Mayor’s Show, everyone in the LB camp will be kicking themselves.
Pinner won’t mind all the attention being on the away dressing room. They have only won once in the league this season but must approach this game with no fear, hoping that LB heads are still in the clouds.
Pinner gave a good account of themselves against Raiders C last weekend and manager Vivian Emanuel is calling for more of the same.
He told JC Sport: “Sunday’s game is an interesting one. The last time we played Los Blancos, we were 2-0 down at half time and the game was called off. The pitches are a lot better and the game should be played in full.
“We came out of the half and really felt we could have got something. I am hoping that this week we will show this spirit again but of course we want to be 2-0 up not 2-0 down.
“Yes LB are a great team but everyone has their weaknesses and I hope we get exploit them.”
Emanuel has predicted a 2-2 draw, but if you ask me, not even Les Conway can stop Los Blancos this time!
Venue – Bannister Sports Centre, Ref – D. Jorden
JC star man: Sami Birnbaum (LB)
DC Prediction: Pinner JFC 1 Los Blancos 3