Premier Division leaders Redbridge Jewish Care A take on last season's champions North West Neasden A in the match of the day on Matchday 27 of the JC MSFL season. Danny Caro looks ahead to all the action in league and cup.
PREM DIV: REDBRIDGE JC A vs FAITHFOLD A
JC VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS:
JC GOAL OF THE WEEK
Benji Gourgey (NW Neasden C) - picked up the ball on the left in his own half, turned the right back with a Zidane-esque move, drove into the box and curled the ball into the corner past the flailing keeper. An absolutely superb goal
JC SAVE OF THE WEEK
Mike Perkin (NW Neasden C) - amazing finger-tip save from a downward header early in the game - almost like Gordon Banks, but possibly better!
PETER MORRISON TROPHY FINAL
May 15 - venue TBC
JC CYRIL ANEKSTEIN CUP FINAL
Hendon United Sports Club A vs Redbridge Jewish Care A
April 17 - Wingate & Finchley FC - 6.30pm KO
JC BARRY GOLDSTEIN CUP FINAL
April 17 - Wingate & Finchley FC - 2.30pm KO
YOUR WEEKEND REVIEW STARTS HERE:
PETER MORRISON TROPHY SEMI-FINALS LINE-UP
Faithfold A vs NW Neasden A
Leeds Maccabi 1st or Manchester Maccabi 1st vs North London Raiders A
LONDON INTER-LEAGUE CUP
CYPRIOT LEAGUE 3 MACCABI LEAGUE 0
The Maccabi League Rep Team crashed out of the London Inter-League Cup last night after suffering a comprehensive defeat against the Cypriot League at Haringey Borough FC.
Maccabi League: Dan Cohen, Danny Berg, Kyle Bentwood, Alex Taylor, Jonny Ellis, Matt Sofier, Andy Glynne (sub: Mike Pearson 46), James Taylor (sub: Steve Field 67), Dean Nyman, Daran Bern, A Stolerman. Subs not used: Mitch Young, Dan Lee
YOUR WEEKEND PREVIEW STARTS HERE:
JC MSFL PREMIER DIVISION
REDBRIDGE JEWISH CARE A vs NORTH WEST NEASDEN A
Bouncebackability is the name of the game for Redbridge on Sunday, and it’s not often I’ve had to say that this season.
Sam McCarthy’s men saw their treble hopes ended last weekend when they were put to the sword 3-1 by Faithfold A.
So Neasden should be expecting a backlash from a team that thumped them 5-1 on the opening weekend of the season. Daran Bern led the riot with a four-goal salvo with Brad Frankel also on target.
Frankel has since been forced on to the sideline with a fractured cheekbone that has ruled him out for the rest of the season. He was missed last Sunday but McCarthy and co believe they have enough in reserve to see them through to the double.
Looking ahead to Sunday, McCarthy told JC Sport: "After last Sunday's disappointment, the team now need to get refocused and shake off one poor performance and get back to winning ways.
"We can't afford any more slip-ups at this late stage of the season and must at all costs take three points against Neasden to ensure we maintain our grip on the title.
"It's all about character and having a side that can bounce back when things don't go always according to plan. Maybe a little complacency crept in last week, thinking we could just turn up and turn over the opposition.
"That wont happen this week. I believe we have the right attitude and the boys know that nothing short of a win will suffice. They will be up for this one."
Neasden were made to sweat on their way to the Morrison semi-finals last Sunday. They came from behind following a blooper from Max Shields with Danny Cole, Rob Lerner and Matt Sofier saving their blushes.
Manager Jamie Cole was delighted that his team overcame a potential banana skin as they hopes of silverware stayed alive.
But they can expect a different game all together here as Redbridge go into the clash three points clear of nearest rivals Hendon. The Essex giants have three games remaining with North London Raiders and a potential title decider against Hendon to follow in their pursuit of a first-ever Premier Division crown.
Looking ahead to the clash, Cole told JC Sport: "We're suffering from multiple injuries but we will go to Redbridge and put in a positive display. We are not a team to roll over.”
McCarthy knows that like his team, Neasden are packed with quality from front to back. In central defenders Carl Peters and Kyle Bentwood, they have two northern bruisers capable of mixing it with the best, and by that I mean Steve Summers, Lewis Walker, Dean Nyman and Bern.
The boys from Redbridge want that first piece of silverware on board badly, and ideally before their meeting with Hendon in the Anekstein Cup final on April 17. Victory here would go a long way to making that happen.
JC team news: For Neasden, Jake Gottlieb, George Fierstone, TJ, Lee Cash, Rob Lerner, Elliot Stern, Shai Revivo are out. Adam Levene makes a return from the C team. Captain Lee Cash looks set to miss out with a hamstring strain. Mark Lazare, Dave Fox, Zac White and Alex Bowman are expected to come in from the B team.
RJC boss McCarthy is pleased to report a full-strength squad at hisdisposal. The only change is that keeper Dan Lee is away and his stand-in will be Matt Davis.
Neasden: Max Shields, Adam Klein, Jonny Ellis, Kyle Bentwood, Carl Peters, Matt Sofier, Sammy Ross, Adam Levene, James Abrams, Rob Lerner, Mark Lazare, Dave Fox, Zac White, Alex Bowman
Venue – Fairlop, Ref – C. Stupack
JC star man: Danny Hakimi (RJC)
DC Prediction: Redbridge JC A 3 NW Neasden A 1
BARRY GOLDSTEIN CUP
GROUP A STANDINGS
1. Faithfold C Pl. 2, W. 1, D. 1, L. 0, F. 5, A. 4, Pts. 4
2. North London Raiders C Pl. 2, W. 1, D. 1, L. 0, F. 4, A. 3, Pts. 4
3. Real Life Pl. 2, W. 1, D. 0, L. 1, F. 6, A. 6, Pts. 3
4. Heath Banta Pl. 2, W. 0, D. 0, L. 2, F. 4, A. 6, Pts. 0
REAL LIFE vs NORTH LONDON RAIDERS C
It’s winner-takes-all at Edgwarebury Park on Sunday as third division Real Life welcomes Raiders C of division four with the semi final of the cup beckoning for the victor.
It was a case of close but no cigar for Real Life last Sunday as they fell just short against Faithfold C. Trailing 3-0 going into the closing stages, they hit the target twice with goals from Ed Lewin and Dan Markeson but it proved too little, too late.
The Raiders should expect a determined Real Life to stand in their way on Sunday. A spokesman for the home camp told JC Sport: “RLFC are right up for it, wishing to banish the memory of last week’s refereeing injustices which cost us the match.
“RLFC have been a breath of fresh air for the minor cup, and it has been for them. The squad can sniff Wingate and they like what they smell.”
While the hosts are packed with experience, the Raiders are jam-packed full with young talent, and I’m not talking about the kind you would wish to meet at Movida on a Saturday night.
The lowest-ranked team in the group, they have been punching above their way with the Franks brothers leading from the front.
The maths are simple on Sunday. Oli Shorts’ Raiders need just a draw to secure a place in the last four. I have no doubt that Shorts will send his team out to win the game, although he knows that victory for Real would take them through.
Shorts described last week’s 2-1 win over Heath Banta as “one of the sweetest we've had of our season”. He went on to say: “We rallied hard to win the game and got the rewards we deserved.
“But however good last weekend’s win was, it will all be forgotten if we don't qualify for the semis. We know a draw is good enough to see us through which can only play to our advantage as Real Life will have to go at us from the off.
“Myself and Rich Abrahams are really looking forward to the game and as I said before, if we could manoeuvre ourselves past the group stage game then we have a really good chance of winning the cup.
“I still echo these words to my players as they are all up for it. Last season it was the A and B team making all the headlines and we will do our upmost to put the C team on the MSFL map.”
Sunday will come down to which team wants it most.
Venue – Edgwarebury Park, Ref – B. David
JC star man: Bob Vickers (Raiders)
DC Prediction: Real Life 1 NL Raiders C 3
FAITHFOLD C vs HEATH BANTA
According to one of their strikers, Faithfold look “odds-on” reaching the semi-finals when they entertain Division Three rivals Heath Banta at the Hive.
They put themselves into a strong position with a 3-2 win over Real Life which came courtesy of strikes from top-scorer Ben Simons (2) and Jonny Blain.
The Barry Goldstein Cup holders are looking to become the first club to retain the trophy and player-manager David Garson expects them to hit the ground running here.
Garson told JC Sport: “We have everyone available from last week so would expect to be unchanged, and we welcome back Steven Moss and Nic Viola to the squad.
“Both games against Banta have been enjoyable to play in and were played in a good spirit. But having drawn and lost one in the division it would be nice to win and get one over on them.”
Beaten by Raiders C and Real Life, Heath Banta have nothing more than pride to play for, although I expect Oli Shorts and Jamie Beaumont to pass on a bottle of champers if they can pull off an unlikely victory.
Promotion remains a possibility for Ben Nathan’s men and if he’s planning to put all his eggs into one basket then I can see the Superhoops having plenty to smile about come Sunday lunchtime.
Looking ahead to kick-off, Nathan told JC Sport: “We are out the cup so are going to give a run-out to players that haven’t started that many this year. They deserve it and we need to freshen things up before our last four league games of the season as are on an awful run of form.
“We are playing without the pressure of the cup so hopefully can go out and express ourselves like we did for the first part of the season, and turn a corner to end the season on a high.”
So there’s one team playing for pride and another preparing for another assault on the twin towers of Wingate. I know which side my money is on.
Venue – The Hive, Ref – D. Nathan
JC star man: Steven Moss (Faithfold)
DC Prediction: Faithfold 3 Heath Banta 1
GROUP B STANDINGS
1. Temple Fortune B Pl. 2, W. 2, D. 0, L. 0, F. 7, A. 3, Pts. 6
2. UJIA Pl. 1, W. 0, D. 1, L. 1, F. 1, A. 1, Pts. 1
3. Zig Zag Pl. 2, W. 0, D. 1, L. 2, F. 4, A. 6, Pts. 1
4. Catford & Bromley Maccabi Pl. 1, W. 0, D. 0, L. 1, F. 2, A. 4, Pts. 0
CATFORD & BROMLEY MACCABI vs ZIG ZAG
There could be a big incentive for Catford or Zig Zag on Sunday with the victor standing a decent chance of qualifying for the last four. The emphasis will be on Zig Zag who finish the round robin in Edmonton in a game I expect both sets of players to go in all guns blazing.
Both sides have failed to hit the heights in the league this season and with the Zed men fighting for survival, they must give it their all as Sunday is last-chance saloon as far as DJ Neal Cohen is concerned.
I expected the Cats to make this group their own, but they still have time on their side as they go in search of qualification. It has not been easy but the feel-good-factor is back in the camp thanks to contributions from Rafi Marom, Ashley Stokes and Eli Baraty.
Having recently disposed of Division Three leaders Glenthorne, the challenge of Zig Zag will certainly not scare them. DJ Neal, however, might!
The Zeds are still waiting for their first win in the competition this year. The return of Danny Jacobs promised much but has so far delivered little. Byron Watkins and Ash Ilsen have found the net in recent weeks but I fear that Sunday could be one game too many.
Venue – Norsemen FC, Ref – S. Ansher
JC star man: Jonny Lee (Catford)
DC Prediction: Catford & Bromley 2 Zig Zag 1
TEMPLE FORTUNE B vs UJIA
You could’ve got 20-1 on Fortune winning this group at the outset but they are now just 90 minutes away from proving many experts wrong.
I can’t pick a winner at Cheltenham for love nor for money at the minute and naming the victor here appears no easier.
Division Four Fortune have stepped up to the plate big style in their first two games. The old guard including Dave Sawyer and Marc Herman have come into their own in recent outings, doing the business alongside the likes of Gideon Wetrin and Terry Jeffries.
Ahead of Sunday’s clash, when a point would confirm them as group winner and ensure home advantage in the semi-finals, joint-manager Rob Jay told JC Sport: “We have a relatively unchanged team from the last couple of weeks.
“I’m back from injury but will struggle to get back in after recent results. It’s our last group game and we hope to continue our good run of form in the cup.”
UJIA start the game in second place in the group but ahead of a matchday three showdown with UJIA, they must get something here if they are to keep their destiny in their own hands.
Player-manager Darren Rolfe is taking nothing for granted. He told JC Sport: “It’s a big game for us on Sunday. Fortune have won their first two games in the competition and have virtually placed themselves in the semi final.
“To be sat second from bottom in Division Four and turn over two well established Division Three teams, we will be on guard.
“I’ve done my homework; they are a physical bunch of lads having played them in pre-season so we will have to watch out for set-pieces and make sure we defend like kings.
“We come into this game off the back of a famous 5-2 win over the leaders Glenthorne. We have a strong side out this Sunday, especially with my strikers Assi Avital and Ben Nassim hungry for more goals. It’s a must win game for us and we’re up for it.”
Another Fortune win would be quite remarkable as the late David Coleman would say, but my money is on UJIA doing enough on the day.
Venue – Hatch End Playing Fields, Ref – D. Nathan
JC star man: Ben Nassim (UJIA)
DC Prediction: Temple Fortune B 1 UJIA 3
BRADY MACCABI vs SOUTHGATE HARMEN B
Brady’s destiny lies in their own hands for now, but only just. The squad has not responded to an extended break as their last two results have shown.
That said, they remain hard to beat, especially with keeper Oli Colmans in top form. If my memory serves me correctly, Colmans is the first stopper ever to have retained his place in JC Team of the Week, following top displays against Oakwood and Chigwell.
The fact that manager Josh Rosenfeld is keen to tie him down to a three-year contract does not surprise me one iota.
With games in hand on FC Team and Chigwell, Brady have a little breathing space, but it’s Oakwood they must watch out for. Rosenfeld’s men have some testing fixtures coming up, starting with Harmen on Sunday. This is followed by FC Team (away), Raiders (home), who could by then have clinched promotion, and Camden Park (home).
Rosenfeld is doing his best to keep the pressure off his men but it’s clear that he will be left kicking himself if they throw it away from here.
The man has worked wonders getting the very best out of his squad and if anyone deserves promotion, you guessed it, it’s the very likeable Rosenfeld – the Harry Redknapp of the MSFL.
The Brady bunch will need no reminding that it was Harmen who inflicted their only league defeat of the season. A strike from Ian Bean settled a tight contest back in September.
After the game, Harmen manager Mark Engel told JC Sport: "'This was just deserves for many weeks of hard work. The boys made me proud and should be proud of themselves - a great way to start the year."
This is what Rosenfeld said: "Harmen B played very well, wanted to win the game that little bit more than we did. We had the better chances of the game and more possession but was second to every ball.
"This just shows how unpredictable the league is and its given our boys a wake-up call.”
Harmen’s have failed to maintain those heady heights over the course of the season. Injuries have hit them hard and there is a chance that they might still need a point or two in order to ensure Division One football next season.
Looking ahead to what is a hugely important game for both teams, Rosenfeld told JC Sport: "Three points are a must. We need to ensure we start brightly and play to our full potential."
I can Harmen looking to put numbers behind the ball in a bid to stifle the likes of Josh Hershman and Steven Field but man for man, and over the course of 90 minutes, I think Brady will have too much with the wise old head of Jason Sears offering some much-needed experience at the business end of the season.
JC team news: Striker Mark Smith is out for Brady.
Venue – The Hive, Ref – R. Benardout
JC star man: Jason Sears (Brady)
DC Prediction: Brady Maccabi 2 Southgate Harmen B 1
CAMDEN PARK vs REDBRIDGE JEWISH CARE B
There’s a big relegation six-pointer in store in Edgware on Sunday as Redbridge attempt to drag Camden into the danger zone in their penultimate game.
All eyes were on Redbridge C last Sunday but as things stand, there’s a good chance that they could have two teams in the same division next season.
Victory for Camden would consign Redbridge to Division Two football next season. That is the bottom line. It’s a game where something must give although I can see the east Londoners drafting in a C-team player or two.
Camden know exactly what they have to do and they certainly have experience on their side with the likes of Rick Harris having been in this position time and again. Manager Justin Rockberger has relied on his old guard in recent weeks and he’s confident that they will do what is required in their last 180 minutes of the season.
I expect James Ryan and Anthony Mendel to line-up for the visitors. They would frighten the life out of most defeats with pace and movement second only to Chicarito and Rooney.
Referee Nigel Burns might needs eyes in the back of his head in a game where the tackles will be flying in.
I’m tipping Redbridge to take the relegation battle into a final week.
Venue – The Hive, Ref – N. Burns
JC star man: Anthony Mendel (RJC)
DC Prediction: Camden Park 1 Redbridge B 2
FC TEAM A vs NORTH LONDON RAIDERS B
The JC cameras are expected to be in Mill Hill this weekend as long-time Raiders go in search of a win that would see them clinch promotion.
With Temple Fortune A having become the first team to win MSFL promotion this season, Raiders boss Rob Richman hopes that his men are next in line.
The suffered a rare defeat last week, tumbling out of the Peter Morrison Trophy at the hands of holders North West Neasden A. I was at the game and can tell you that there was not too much between the sides.
L’Orange gave an excellent account of themselves and the bookies certainly fancy them to be playing Premier Division football in season 2011-12.
Looking ahead to what could be a monumental 90 minutes for the club, Richman told JC Sport: “We all went away from the cup game against Neasden a little disappointed as we put in a lot of effort but didn't get much reward.
“That being said, the league has always been much more of a priority. We are currently on a very good run but we know we will have to be at our best Sunday as we play a very strong FC Team side."
FC Team have been back to their best in recent weeks with last week’s 2-0 win at Harmen B the result of a highly professional performance. Two clean sheets in three games has put the smile back on the face of manager Mitch Young.
The FC Team chief has been busy fine-tuning his squad ahead of the crunch clash and has signed Lee Bibring from London Maccabi Lions A for the remainder of the season. Any questioning his ambition should think again. He will not give up on automatic promotion at any cost and believes that with games against Brady and Chigwell still to come, anything is possible.
Commenting on the signing of Bibring, Young told JC Sport: “Lee's talent and experience will give us a big boost for our remaining four games
“This is the start of four massive games for us in our bid for promotion. We are finally starting to see some consistency in team selection which is why we are picking up results.
“We are in good form so this should be a great game. We always go all out for the win but know it will be very difficult against a great Raiders side.
“Rob is a great manager and has done a tremendous job. His team have been the most consistent and therefore deserve to win the league.
“It should be a great game with little between the sides, the best team will win.”
Fans are advised to get there early and rumour has it that Arsenal Wenger and David Dein have respected VIP seats for a must-watch on their Sunday morning stroll.
I expect this to be a high-octane affair with plenty of chances at both ends. It should be a classic.
JC team news: For Raiders, Dave Esterkin is back after missing the defeat to Neasden last week.
FC Team look set to be without Danny Moss and Richard Salmon out, while the red-hot Andy Sheena is rated 50/50. Lee Bibring may be involved
Venue – Old Camdenians, Ref – A. Djanogly
JC star man: Dave Esterkin (Raiders)
DC Prediction: FC Team A 2 NL Raiders B 3
OAKWOOD vs LONDON MACCABI LIONS C
There could be tears at Parmiters as the Lions go in search of a win that would keep them alive.
But they could not have asked for a tougher opponent as the Oaks are focused on making a late push for a top two finish.
It finished 2-2 when the teams met recently. The Oaks raced out of the blocks with strikes from Ian Tussie and Anthony Kintish putting them in pole position. But the Lions showed great character with goals from Danny Reuben and Ricky Rinder earning them an unlikely point.
It’s clear the Oaks are up for the challenge. Joint-manager Ric Blank told JC Sport: “After a week off we’re looking forward to getting back into it this Sunday.
“I think this will be our toughest game of the season. Lions are fighting for survival and we know they’ll draft in some A-team players and whichever ex-B-team players are available – that’s the advantage of having so many players signed up.
“So we’re expecting an incredibly tough and physical game but, as ever we’re up for it. We didn’t play well at Rowley Lane and are determined to make up for that on Sunday. We’re looking forward to the game.”
I expect the Lions to line-up with Jon Green and Reuben up top, and there should be a place for Scott Levy as well. He was on target in the A-team win over Neasden B last Sunday.
Deep down, I’m sure the Oaks will want the Lions to put out their strongest possible squad, and I’m sure they’ll be as close to full-strength as they can be.
The Oaks have games against Raiders B, Harmen B and Montana coming up and they will prepare for this game in the same they that they will for Raiders next week.
This season has been very stop-start for Oakwood. But you certainly could not say that their squad is tired or fatigued. They have not kept a clean sheet in the league since mid-December and I’m sure that is something messus Blank and Schock are looking to put right, starting on Sunday.
That won’t be easy against a Lions pack fighting for survival but I think that they should have just about enough on the day.
JC team news: Oakwood are missing Bobbie Cousins but we welcome back captain Adam Levine amongst others.
Venue – Parmiters, Ref – L. Benson
JC star man: Adam Levine (Oakwood)
DC Prediction: Oakwood 2 LM Lions C 1
FAITHFOLD B vs BRIXTON OLD BOYS
Brixton remain favourites to go up with already-promoted Temple Fortune A this season but they will have to play very well to take maximum points against Faithfold on Sunday.
John Nitka’s men won an extraordinary first meeting 7-4 in October. Jamie Kent went home with the matchball after claiming a simply stunning five-goal salvo. Gavin Rhodes and Dan Warwick completed the win.
After the game, Nitka told JC Sport: “We played as a team and it became the Jamie Kent show with his five goals. We were 0-2 down after 12 minutes however we then woke up and started to play and within 20 minutes of the first half we were 4-2 ahead, we then never looked back.”
Kent has been in top form this season and is the man I can see taking the game to the Superhoops. Keeper Jake Doffman and James Kaye have been among their other most consistent performers, and it looks only a matter of time before Doffman catches the eye of the Rep Team management. He is also a strong contender for my Young Team of the Year, although Dan Cohen might have a thing or two to say about that!
Do not write us off. That has been Nitka’s catchphrase since I bumped into him in Edgware last summer. Not only is his talking the talk, they are walking the walk.
Having won three out of four away games, they are confident of doing what is needed to take a big step closer to promotion.
Looking ahead to Sunday, Nitka told JC Sport: “I should be able to field a strong enough team to compete for the three points needed to get promotion.
“Unfortunately I feel with only two games left the Championship is out of our reach as Temple Fortune need to slip up twice in their last two games and we need to win ours – I cannot see them losing.
“However as I said at the beginning of the season, we will be promoted back to Division One, even as runners up. Lets see after Sunday.”
I’m sure that Faithfold will be looking to right the wrongs from the first meeting. Matt Kleinman has been an influential figure in recent outings and his battle with Kaye could be key.
Brixton are unbeaten in nine and it will take a near-perfect display from Rob Shooman’s men to stop them here.
They were forced to watch one promotion party last weekend and I can see them suffering a case of deja vu on Sunday.
Venue – The Hive, Ref – M. Fox
JC star man: Jamie Kent (Brixton)
DC Prediction: Faithfold B 2 Brixton Old Boys 3
L’EQUIPE vs NORSTAR A
Phil Peters, the Norstar supremo, was in jovial mood in his midweek press conference.
I opened the questions and started with a nice, easy one. “What are hopes for Sunday,” I asked. This was his response. “Norstar beat L’Equipe, Faithfold beat Brixton and Temple Fortune beat Woodford. Three out of three would make us all very happy at 12.30 on Sunday.
“We need to score goals and we’ll have plenty in the team as skipper Jeremy Elster and Eli Houri return to the squad as does Adam Jason - scorer of two early season hat-tricks before heading off to uni - and Josh Green who’s finally found his shooting boots.”
The Norstar boss did not end there. He said: “To quell the rumours, I'm ruling myself out of the Lions job. It’s a fantastic job to be linked with but I’ve got unfinished business at Norstar.
“I’d like to see Rob Richman take the job – he’s the best young manager in Jewish football and would definitely be able to turn Lions around.”
The room was then opened to the floor, and Peters went on to say: “I want to congratulate Temple Fortune on securing promotion - thoroughly deserved and we look forward to hopefully battling with them again next season.
“Also, I want to take this opportunity to commend B team manager Jonny Bunt for the amazing form his team are on. As a club we’re trying our best to get Jonny to sign an extension to his current deal to keep him at the club longer term. However, he’s decided that he can only sign life-long contracts each month and so we’ll have to wait until April to tie him down and wish him and Marge all the best for their forthcoming wedding in Manchester next weekend.”
There is a small matter of a game against L’Equipe on Sunday, in case anyone forgot. And it’s not any old game. It’s their last of the season. Peters has fond memories of the first meeting when Eli Houri fired a hat-trick in a 3-1 win.
Peters took particular pride from the fact that his man-management skills had got the best out of his star striker. Rumour has it that Roman Abramovich is considering getting his people to talk to Peters’ people so he can work his magic on record signing Fernando Torres, who could not hit a cow’s backside with a banjo at the minute.
Sunday is also the last game of L’Equipe’s season. It has been a disappointing campaign for Gideon Chain’s men and I can’t see them going out on a high.
L’Equipe have done well in their last two outings, picking up four points out of six against FC Team B and Woodford. Having consigned FC Team to the wooden spoon, the fact that they have taken four points from Woodford this season says a lot about them.
But I think that Sunday will be all about Woodford, as long as Peters is at King George V Playing Fields rather than Stamford Bridge ahead of the big clash against Manchester City!
Venue – King George V Playing Fields, Ref – W. Blake
JC star man: Eli Houri (Norstar)
DC Prediction: L’Equipe 1 Norstar A 4
WOODFORD WANDERERS vs TEMPLE FORTUNE A
Having clinched promotion last weekend, Fortune are taking 10 coach-loads to Redbridge for what could be a title party and a half.
But manager Andrew Souber is taking nothing for granted as they could not have asked for tougher opposition.
Woodford have been plagued with injuries all season and are hurting that they are not in Fortune’s position so I can see them wanting to put the record straight on Sunday.
Souber told JC Sport: “Whatever team Woodford put out will be full of quality. It will be a very tough game and I would have hated having to go there without promotion being secured.
“On paper in my opinion they probably have the best starting 11 in the division so we will give it our best shot and see what happens.”
Fortune go into the game with a slight psychological edge having beaten the Wanderers 3-2 on January 9. It was a bruising encounter, settled by strikes from David Gance and Michael Goldberg, plus an own goal from keeper Jay Jaffa.
Alex Aviram’s men will be hell-bent on taking maximum points from their final two games. They finish with Brixton next week and will be pulling out all the stops in a bid to stop their next two opponents from rubbing salt into their wounds.
The Woodford boss will look back on the two games against L’Equipe as to where their season slipped up. But there’s no point in looking back as they can do nothing to change the past.
It’s now about the last 180 minutes of what has been a frustrating campaign and trying to go out with a bang.
There will be some fantastic battles all around the pitch including Mitch Hahn versus Scott Shindler, Matt Gilberry against Jerome Marks and Michael Goldberg and Darren Ezekiel.
Mark this one down as one to keep an eye on.
Line-ups last time:
Fortune: Glekin; Fegan, Natoff, Gilberry, Woolfe (sub: Morris); Gance, Walker, Schindler, Goldberg (Cooper), Fisher (sub: Benson), Isaacs
Woodford: Jaffa; Schacter (sub: Kay), Levy, Poole, Golding; Gold, Ezekiel, Avram, Pearey; Marks, Midda
Venue – Redbridge Sports Centre, Ref – K. Gold
JC star man: Dan Woolfe (Fortune)
DC Prediction: Woodford Wanderers 2 Temple Fortune A 2
GLENTHORNE UNITED B vs PINNER JFC
The dust has settled over the shenanigans of last week when Glenthorne manager Elliot Coulton vented his spleen over team selection policies ahead of the Division Three match featuring his A team and Redbridge C.
Glenthorne got the right result in that game and the chances are that they will do so again here.
However, as someone said this week, Glenthorne B are not as good as they think they are. They might be top of Division Four but they have been beaten home and away by Blizzard Storm.
After the first victory, a 5-1 success, Blizzard boss Simon Linden told JC Sport: “We made Glenthorne look average and for a defence that has hardly conceded we tore them apart. “
Last weekend was closer, as they won 2-0 but Glenthorne can have no excuses as they lined-up with top-scorer Fabio Revieccio who drew a rare blank. Surprise, surprise, the Italian Stallion is 1-2 on to open the scoring on Sunday, and only 5-2 to fire a hat-trick.
The good thing about Glenthorne is that they have always bounced back from a defeat. They beat Temple Fortune B 4-1 after the mauling by Blizzard earlier in the season and hit four against Neasden following defeat against Los Blancos. There is a good chance of four goals flying past Pinner on Sunday.
Vivian Emanuel’s men were soundly beaten by Los Blancos last weekend and I can’t see their season getting any better here and the journey home will seem a little longer as and when the floodgates open.
They were hammered 11-0 by the Thornes on the second week of the season when Revieccio hit a famous five and Dan ‘the Beast’ Lassman added four. Jamie Crawford
and Liam Stein completed the rout.
It may not be 11 on Sunday, but they have conceded 23 goals in the last three games and much depends on how the Thornes are planning to go. They already boast the best goal difference and I can see them wanting to flex their muscles once more.
Venue – The Old Chigwellians, Ref – D. Jorden
JC star man: Liam Stein (Glenthorne)
DC Prediction: Glenthorne Utd B 7 Pinner JFC 1
JEWVENTUS vs INTER BOREHAMWOOD
Remember the song ‘Where is the love’ by Haddaway? I’m probably showing my age here but that could be the tune coming out of the Jewventus dressing room on Sunday.
The patience of manager Gabriel John is wearing thin. He had no complaints last week when his team were hit for six but he will be looking for an all-round improvement second time around against a very strong Inter team.
Scott Ackerman (2), Jerome Colmans, Joel Lassman, Adam Lenz and Adam Newman were the goal-scoring heroes for Oluseun Thomas with Lassman excelling in his new role in central midfield.
The performance of Nick Smith last week also left a lasting impression on John but it was Ackerman who impressed Thomas the most with his first goal coming out of the top-drawer. Rumour has it that the boy has plenty of that in his locker.
Thomas is a hard man to impress but I managed to get some words of praise out of him earlier this week. Reflecting on what was the perfect display, he told JC Sport: “My boys really showed again the true strength we posses and put in a faultless performance which we believe was the evidence we are in this. To win it, not just earning default promotion."
Looking ahead to Sunday, Thomas said: "We are working very hard in our preparation as we are aware they will intend to bring the game to us.
"We are staying 100 per cent focused on playing our game and intend to give everything we have to bring home the three points."
If they can do it all over again and maintain a high standard and focus for 90 minutes, few would argue against that statement of intent.
JC team news: Borehamwood will line-up with a similar squad to last weekend, apart from the return of Richard Winton who has been looking forward this game since his sending off against them pre-season.
Venue – Chase Lodge, Ref – S. Levy
JC star man: Richard Benson (Borehamwood)
DC Prediction: Jewventus 1 Inter Borehamwood 4
LOS BLANCOS vs NORTH WEST NEASDEN C
There’s a mouth-watering contest in prospect in South Oxhey this weekend when title-chasing Los Blancos take on an in-form Neasden C.
LB were in fine form themselves last Sunday when they romped home 5-0 against Pinner with Zvi Ormonde (3) and Eddy Nathan (2) on target.
Manager Joel Minsky was delighted with the performance of Nathan who was desperately unlucky not to make JC Team of the Week. And the performance of Ormonde was a bonus too as he gave the team another dimension and took the burden of scoring goals off the shoulders of Dany Kon.
With games against North London Raiders C, Jewventus and leaders Glenthorne B coming up, it looks a big ask for LB to win the title. And it’s clear that manager Minsky is unhappy that his troops have been asked to play the game.
Minsky told JC Sport: “We lodged a request with MSFL six weeks ago to not have a game on this weekend due to Purim. This was unfairly rejected and we now go into
Sunday's game without at least 10 regulars.
“Getting a team out is our main priority, we'll worry about the result later on.”
However, my sources have told me that LB have bolstered their ranks in the build-up to the game with long-term Chigwell servant Doron Weinstein has joining the squad.
Chigwell manager Richard Slater told JC Sport: “We thank Doron for 10 years committed service to CAFC, but he needed to move on for us and for him.”
Glenn Davis, assistant-manager of the Chigs, added: "We would like to thank Doron for 10 years service and wish him well at his new club."
Neasden go into the clash unbeaten in four. New signing Mike Perkin had a memorable debut last Sunday while Adam Levene was the star of the show in the impressive 2-1 win over Shirley Park. Laurence Spear and Benji Gourgey were the marksmen.
It’s clear that this is a good moment in the Neasden camp. As manager Louis Taylor explains: “We’re on the back of a great run and we're relishing the challenge to play another top team.
“After seeing them beat our B team earlier this season, I know what to expect from Los Blancos and I know it will be tough.
“I’m confident, however, that we can give them a run for their money. We have beaten Shirley Park, Hendon and Blizzard Storm this season and fear no-one.”
It’s fair to say that Sunday could be Los Blancos’ toughest league game of the season and it will be a huge test of their character, especially with so many regulars missing.
JC team news: For Neasden, Laurence Spear (unavailable) and Elliot Setyon (injury) miss out, leaving player-manager Louis Taylor to try to regain his scoring touch after two weeks without a goal. Adam Levene continues in the heart of the defence alongside Tony ‘never been on time, never will’ Chadwick.
Los Blancos are expected to give a debut to new signing Doron Weinstein. Fellow new boys Yoni Ben-Ari, who recently joined from FC Team A, is currently sidelined with a short-term injury while Norstar old boy Adam Waters is unavailable.
Venue – South Oxhey, Ref – R. Cahill
JC star man: Doron Weinstein (Los Blancos)
DC Prediction: Los Blancos 2 NW Neasden C 1
SHIRLEY PARK vs BLIZZARD STORM
Sunday spells the end of a horrible run of games for Shirley Park. Meetings with Glenthorne, Los Blancos, Blizzard and Neasden have brought them just four points from a possible 12.
With games against Bilbaum and Raiders C coming up, the Park boys know that three points are a must here. But they will have their work cut out against a Blizzard team that has just completed a league double over table-topping Glenthorne.
Looking ahead to the big clash, joint-manager Dave Lusman told JC Sport: “I guess we go in as the underdogs for this one against Blizzard after our recent run of results.
“We were really disappointed about last week. The game should have been tied up in the first half by Park yet we couldn’t find the back of the net.
“Apparently Neasden’s defence were solid and they scored two fantastic goals. Fair play. Blizzard gave us a good game a few weeks ago. Park have been rocked in recent weeks, but we hope to bounce back. We need our players especially our star players to step up for this one.”
Blizzard go into the game unbeaten in four. Simon Linden’s men have not conceded in more than 180 minutes but it’s a big ask against a Shirley team for whom Jason Lindsay and Gideon Gold have registered more than 40 goals between them.
Defences dominated in the recent stalemate but having just beaten the team at the top, Linden knows that victory on Sunday could prove crucial come the end of the season.
The Blizzard boss told JC Sport: “It’s another cup final for us. We will have to be ready for Shirley Park. They are a very good side, possibly the best we have come across this season. We have to be on our game and dig deep to get three points.”
My money would be on Blizzard edging it.
JC team news: For Blizzard, Ryan Colet is ruled out with a neck injury. The good news is the return of Stuart Muller who looks set to fill in at centre back. Team of the week hero Adam Zecharia keeps his place at left back.
Venue – Gladstone Park, Ref – M. Lavender
JC star man: Stuart Muller (Blizzard)
DC Prediction: Shirley Park 1 Blizzard Storm 2