It is amazing the lengths I go to watch a game of football. Handed baby-sitting duties last Sunday morning, I treated my daughter to the Maccabi League match of the day.
On the way to a painting café, we took the diversion to see Hendon A take on Chigwell A. Hammers boss Jonathan Kestenbaum worked me out within seconds. "Have you told the missus you're going to the park?" he chuckled. "It's the oldest trick in the book!" I'd been caught red-handed.
There must have been something in the air last weekend as two birthday boys scored hat-tricks in the JC MSFL. It was certainly a case of many happy returns for North London Raiders B's Australian striker Steve Silver and UJS Norstar front man Maurice Franks.
Temple Fortune have suffered a massive blow after Ben Isaacs, their Player of the Year for the past two seasons, suffered a recurrence of a knee injury. He will be sidelined until the new year. Fortune boss Andrew Souber commented: "No question it is a big blow and we wish Ben a speedy recovery. It is now up to the rest of the team to step up to the plate."
Chigwell Athletic chairman Richard Slater hopes to get the all clear from his physio in his bid to overcome patella tendonitis.
The final round of games before the Jewish New Year features some mouth-watering action. The East London derby between Glenthorne United and Chigwell Athletic A is expected to be a bruising affair.
Faithfold A and North West Neasden A have been involved in some epic tussles over the years. As is the case most weeks, Neasden start as strong favourites but they go into the match without Ricky Kennet, Sammy Ross and Matt Stock while Jake Gottlieb faces a late fitness test. The champions expect to welcome back Daniel Cole, Daniel Stanton, Lee Bibring, Ben Forman and possibly Ben Ellis.
Looking ahead to the game, joint Neasden manager Jamie Cole predicted: "This will be our toughest test so far this season. Last season we got away with a 1-0 away win."
Hendon United A expect to preserve their unbeaten record when they take on Montana Boca United A. It's a game that Montana joint-manager Elan Ovits is looking forward to. Having earned a league winners medal with the Hammers the season before last, Ovits is relishing the chance to pit his wits against his former club. "Our attention is on picking up our first three points in the league against an excellent and experienced Hendon A side," he said.
The hosts have several injury doubts while Hendon are expected to give a competitive debut to striker Michael Pearson.
Having beaten Redbridge Jewish Care in pre-season, London Maccabi Lions B boss Gavin Stollar believes his team has the "psychological edge" going into Sunday's meeting.
South Manx B are confident of signing an ex-Premier Division striker before Sunday's visit to AC Cricklewood.