JC CYRIL ANEKSTEIN CUP FINAL
REDBRIDGE JEWISH CARE A 2
HENDON UNITED SPORTS CLUB A 1
Sam McCarthy described his Redbridge team as “simply the best” after they completed a first-ever double with a hard fought victory over Hendon at Wingate & Finchley.
Dean Nyman’s brilliant extra time winner capped a memorable season for the east Londoners and left the manager believing that his team can dominate Jewish football for years to come.
McCarthy said: “I’m delighted although I wanted to win in more convincing fashion.
“I have a fantastic set of boys here. No manager could ask for any more in terms of how hard they work as a unit.”
Redbridge forged ahead inside 10 minutes when Steve Summers released Nyman with an exquisite pass over the Hendon defence. Nyman raced into the area and was clipped by keeper Russell Corin. Daran Bern converted from the penalty spot, sending Corin the wrong way.
Hendon were not behind for long as after a game of head tennis in the Redbridge box, defender Alex Rosenthal drew them level with a stunning diving header into the top corner.
The two keepers on show were on top form with Dan Lee at his best to keep out a pile-driver from Paul Bentley after 30 minutes.
Redbridge came close minutes later when an excellent pass from Richie Caplan found Summers in the area. He turned sharply and fired goalwards but Josh Lipman slid in with a brilliant goal-saving tackle.
The match continued to ebb and flow into the second half and Nyman thought he had scored after going around Corin but he was denied by some last-ditch intervention from Bentley who cleared off the line.
Redbridge were getting closer and a pinpoint corner from Sam McCarthy was met with a bullet header from Corin who tipped the ball over the bar.
Then from a Bern corner, Joel Berg flicked the ball goalwards but again Hendon cleared off the line.
A winner looked on the cards with five minutes remaining. Bern outpaced the Hendon defence and cut the ball back to Nyman but he was unable to apply the finishing touch.
Corin, who was constantly heckled by Redbridge fans in the Harvey Ackerman stand, kept focus to produce a string of fine saves, the best of which was a reflex stop to deny Redbridge substitute Adam Stolerman from six yards.
The match moved into extra time and the chances kept coming. The ball was fired across the Redbridge box and Greg Corin’s snapshot forced a flying save from Lee who plucked the ball out of the bottom corner.
Stolerman was denied by Corin for a second time and then Hendon came within a coat of paint as Josh Bentley’s brilliant free-kick smashed against the stanchion with Lee beaten. Bentley came close against second later, heading on to the roof of the net.
With penalties looming, it appeared that Hendon had weathered the storm until one last throw of the dice from Redbridge. Nyman produced an excellent burst down the left. He beat his marker, cut in and clipped the ball over Corin.
Hendon rallied in the dying seconds, having the ball cleared off the line on two occasions with Bentley coming close again but it was Redbridge, playing in their first Wingate final, who lifted the cup to complete a memorable season.
Looking back on the game, McCarthy said: “It was a typical final, very tense, with not much football played. I felt we should have had it sewn up in the second half.
“The two best teams reached the final. Although I was confident, Hendon always pose a big aerial threat once the game went to extra time, but Dean took his goal brilliantly.”
“This is a great way to finish the season. Now we’ll look to do it again next year.”
Matchwinner Dean Nyman said: “I went past the defender, kept going and was glad to see it go in. It reminded me a bit of the goal I scored against Neasden.
“Credit to the Hendon keeper. He had a great game. Hendon had experience on their side today but the boys dug deep and were magnificent.”
Hendon boss David Garbacz commented: “It was an honour to take part in such a great game. Obviously we’re devastated but the boys can be very proud of themselves. I cannot fault them for effort.
“After the second goal, we showed great character to create a couple of chances at the end. It was a glorious defeat.”
Paying tribute to Redbridge, Garbacz added: “They are a fantastic, top quality team, who were very gracious in victory.
“They’ve been brilliant all season, and we’ve only just come up short against them.
“I think it was a fitting end to the season.”
Redbridge: Dan Lee, Craig Sandford, Joel Berg, Adam Hakimi (capt), Richie Caplin, Ben Sollosi (sub: Mitch Lassman 98), Sam McCarthy, Steve Gevertz (sub: Brad Frankel), Daran Bern, Dean Nyman, Steve Summers (sub: Adam Stolerman 75). Subs not used: Danny Sugarman, Sam Van Gelder
Hendon: Russell Corin, Rafi Kon, Josh Lipman, Paul Bentley, Alex Rosenthal (sub: Alex Gilbert 65), Martin Smulovitch, Greg Corin, Yishai Last, Josh Bentley, Ben Kon, Dovid Korman (sub: Saul Conway 65). Subs not used: Arthur Caplan, Avidan Last
JC MATCH STATS
On target: 12
off target: 14
On target: 6
off target: 8
Yellow - Redbridge 2 (Nyman, Caplin), Hendon 1 (Last)
Reds - 0
Stats by Daniel Cohen