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.
Having been thumped 5-0 by the Turkish Football Federation last time out, Maccabi knew that only a win would keep alive hopes of reaching the final.
However, with several players withdrawing on the day of the game, manager Danny Berg put out an under-strength team against opposition fielding several Ryman League players.
Maccabi battled bravely, but ultimately they were flattered by the scoreline.
Maccabi were forced to switch centre-back Jonny Ellis to left back following a late pull out, which also left the centre of defence looking insecure against a wave of attacks by the Cypriots.
Maccabi were lucky to be only a goal down at the break and they switched from an ineffectual 4-3-3 to a 4-4-2 in the second period.
The visitors gave an improved performance in the second 45 but a shot from 25 yards beat an otherwise impressive Dan Cohen, making his debut in the Maccabi goal, to effectively settle the contest. The Cypriots went on to score a late third.
Tony Gold, who stepped in as coach for the evening after manager Berg deputised at right-back, said: “We lost our left-back who didn’t turn up at the last minute and Dan Lee, our regular goalkeeper, arrived late, so we had to make two changes to the line-up as well as a positional change, shifting Jonny Ellis to left back. That said we improved at the start of the second half but the second goal was the killer.”
The Cypriots should have been out of sight in a first half which saw the Reps have just one attempt on goal - lone forward Adam Stolerman’s speculative long-range volley.
Nominal forwards Darren Berne and Dean Nyman spent most of the half being pushed back by assured play from the Cypriot wide men. In particular the Cypriots looked dangerous down the right, cruelly exposing Ellis’ lack of comfort at full back.
The opener came in the 10th minute when a jinking run from the right and smartly placed shot was just out of the reach of Cohen.
The Cypriots then had another good shot but an effort from inside the box was well held by Cohen.The Cypriots had five further good chances in the half, including hitting the bar twice; first through a snap-shot and then from a quick break down the right after Alex Taylor played them onside.
The second half saw Faithfold striker Mike Pearson introduced to support a previously isolated Stolerman, with Berne and Nyman played as wide men in a four man midfield.
A promising move culminated in Pearson playing a one-two with Stolerman before firing over when off-balance from 18 yards.
The home side opened up a 2-0 lead on 65 minutes when a speculative drive dumbfounded Cohen – who allowed the ball to bounce and was left stranded on his line.
Pearson might have found a way back in it for the Reps but he took one touch too many when played in.
The Cypriots finished the job with a third 10 minutes from time when they broke into space on the right and slotted calmly past Cohen.
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