It's the first national round of the Jewish FA Cup on Sunday and there’s some mouth-watering action in store as four teams from the provinces travel to London. Danny Caro looks ahead to a bumper programme of league and cup action.
MATCHDAY 20 HIGHLIGHTS & AWARDS
GLENTHORNE B PROMOTED: SEE MATCH REPORT
JC MSFL SAVE OF THE WEEK
Jay Jaffa (Woodford)
JC SUPER-SUB OF THE WEEK
Stanley Offord (London Maccabi Lions A)
REFEREE OF THE WEEK
Rob Benardout (Camden Park vs London Maccabi Lions B)
JC CYRIL ANEKSTEIN CUP QUARTER-FINALS
Brady Maccabi A
Brixton Old Boys A
Hendon United Sports Club A
North London Raiders A
- semi-final draw will take place on January 30
YOUR WEEKEND PREVIEW STARTS HERE:
NORTH LONDON RAIDERS B vs MANCHESTER MACCABI 1ST
The first big match of the weekend sees holders Manchester Maccabi 1st make the long journey south to take on Premier Division new boys North London Raiders A in Hatfield.
Raiders go into the tie on the back of a bruising victory against Brady Maccabi. They have acclimatised superbly to life in the top-flight and will be relishing the challenge of playing the team who beat their A team in the semi-finals last year.
Looking ahead to the big match, Raiders boss Rob Richman told JC Sport: "Having not played for six or so weeks, it was nice to get back into the rhythm of things again last week. The boys are aware we still have a lot left to play for this season both in the league and the cup and we are all very much excited for the final part of the season.
"We let ourselves down in the Cyril Anekstein this season and so we are doubly determined to put things right in the PM cup.
"That being said we are under no illusions at the task at hand. Manchester are the holders of the cup and having beaten Lions, our 'A' side and Faithfold last season, we are expecting a really stern encounter.
"We look forward to welcoming Stuart's team down South and look forward to what we hope will be a really exciting cup tie."
Manchester Maccabi boss Stuart Delmonte is known for his mind games but he believes his team need an 'absolute miracle' if they are to reach the quarter-finals.
Last season they beat Faithfold A in the final at Oldham, but Delmonte says that they could be struggling for numbers on Sunday.
Co-managing the team with Stuart Rosenberg, Delmonte looks set to be without a whole host of key players.
Inspirational skipper Michael Sacks was rushed to hospital during Sunday’s 3-1 defeat by Windmill Failsworth after suffering a knee injury and has already been ruled out.
Sacks required 20 stitches after being on the wrong end of a reckless challenge, while Sam Vangelder and Ben Tyer are also both likely to miss out.
And Delmonte says his team will start as underdogs against a Raiders B side enjoying a fine debut year in the MSFL Premier Division.
"We need an absolute miracle to get though," he told JC Sport. "At this stage, I'm not even sure I'll be able to raise a full team. We’ve got lots of players missing and a couple who we're sweating over.
"They're about 70-30 against and whereas last year we had strength in depth, we really don’t have that this time around.
"We're playing on 3G which will really favour the home side and doesn't really help us. But we'll go there and give it a go."
I can see this being a very tight game. Raiders have come on in leaps and bounds this season and if they play with belief and take their chances then you never know. But in the end I think Manchester's big match experience could hold the key.
JC team news: Raiders' James Foley-Comer has been ruled out for the season. Manager Rob Richman told JC Sport: "He has been a stand out player so far this year and we wish him luck for his knee op on Friday. We look forward to having him back for next season." David Esterkin is also unavailable this week and he misses the opportunity of facing his home town team. Other than that Raiders are hoping to be at full strength.
Manchester are missing defender Michael Sacks while Sam Vangelder and Ben Tyer are doubtful.
Venue – Hatfield Uni, Ref – W. Blake, KO – 1.30pm
JC star man: Louis Basso (Manchester)
DC Prediction: NL Raiders B 1 Manchester Maccabi 1st 2
(Additional reporting by James Masters)
SHIRLEY PARK vs HYDE PARK ROVERS
Third division Shirley Park are preparing for their big match against the third-placed team in the Manchester Jewish Soccer League, Hyde Park Rovers.
Dave Lusman’s boys warmed up for the tie with an easy 8-0 demolition of Hendon C – a match in which top-scorer Saul Conway smashed home a fab four-goal salvo.
Now Lusman wants all his players to stand up and be counted in what could be a feisty affair.
Having got themselves into pole position for promotion in the league, the home side can now give full focus to the next 90 minutes as they look to reach the last eight for the first time in their history.
Looking ahead to Sunday, Lusman told JC Sport: “It’s a big game for the Park faithful at Gladstone Park.
"We go into this one with a strong squad with only a few absentees. We’re in fair form on the back of brushing Hendon C aside in the league.
"Gideon Gold and Simon Shelley, who will be taking over the reigns from star man Nicky Plotnek, both looked sharp, while Stefan Benfredj chipped in last week with a goal and four assists.
"It was great to see Sauly Conway banging them into the back of the net on his return after six weeks out and the lads at the back put in a solid performance.”
"We're not expecting an easy ride this coming Sunday, but hope to give account of ourselves. We've got a decent pool of players here at Park who are capable of turning over teams from all divisions across the MSFL. Let's see what the London park massive can do against Leeds contingent in the battle of the parks."
Rovers have won six out of 12 in the MJSL and have been solid at the back this season. They’re also averaging little under four goals a game. They go into the game on the back of a 2-1 defeat against Manchester Maccabi 3rds. Dave Herman was the scorer for the Leeds student-based team.
Of all the northern teams, Rovers appear to have the kindest draw but they will come up against some players with Premier Division experience.
Much depends on who is available for the students and what they get up to on Saturday night!
JC team news: Shirley are missing Dan Beckwith (honeymoon) and Nicky Plotnek (away)
Venue – Gladstone Park, Ref – R. Benardout, KO – 1pm
JC star man: Gideon Gold (Shirley)
DC Prediction: Shirley Park 2 Hyde Park Rovers 2 AET (Shirley to win on penalties)
HENDON UNITED SPORTS CLUB A vs REDBRIDGE JEWISH CARE A
It's the battle of the big guns at Hadley FC on Sunday in a re-run of last season's JC League Cup.
One of two all-Premier Division clashes will guarantee five-star entertainment as league leaders Hendon host Redbridge.
While Redbridge are keeping their cards close to their chest, in what is the first meeting between the sides this season, Hendon are not. Hardly surprising on the back of a 10-1 win!
It promises to be a high-quality affair with so many talented players on show.
However, it appears that Hendon are unhappy with their opponents. Manager David Garbacz told JC Sport: "This game has caused a certain amount of controversy before we even kick off. We appealed to the good spirit of Redbridge to delay the start due to the Corin stone-setting, but unfortunately they were not willing to accommodate.
"On the one hand I don't blame them for trying to gain an advantage, but on the other hand it has left a slightly bitter taste.
"As a result, we are without our regular keeper and in all probability we will be forced to play Avidan Last in goal for one of the biggest games of the season.
"We had some cracking matches against Redbridge last year, but there is no doubt that the pendulum has swung and this year we would go into a game like this as favourites.
"We are expecting Redbridge to turn up with all their big guns for a game like this and we will prepare accordingly. However, as long as we concentrate on our own game and the strengths which has worked so well for us so far this season then we are confident that we can turn around last season’s form and march on.
"Of course we will grant them enormous respect and we expect a very hard fought cup tie. I envisage an open highly entertaining match and although I might need to take a few extra heart pills, we will be going all out for the win in our quest to go for an unprecedented treble."
When Garbacz says big guns, he of course means Daran Bern, Josh Kennet and possibly Dean Nyman. He doesn’t care. He fears no-one and neither does his team. Granted Bern and Kennet helped RJC claim an important win over Neasden A a fortnight ago, but Hendon will be right up for this one, have no doubts about that.
Redbridge will be buoyed by the recent win over Neasden but Hendon are bang in form and they’ve been scoring from all over the pitch.
However, it appears that manager Eilon Kennet may not know his starting XI until just before kick-off. He told JC Sport: "We have a bit of an injury crisis and we won't know until the weekend if a number of regulars will recover in time, which is bit of a blow.
"Also, to make matters worse, we have a couple of players whose availability is still in question.
"Not a great way to prepare for what I'm sure will be the most difficult game so far.
"Hendon are definitely the in-form team and we need our strongest squad available to match them.
"If that was the case, I'd be confident of getting a favourable result.
"However, that's not the case, so I guess we'll just have to dig deeper and ensure that the team spirit is strong and that we get our tactics right."
This match really ticks all the boxes in terms of Jewish football A-listers and keeper or no keeper, as long as they can keep Kennet in check, I'm tipping Hendon to pull out all the stops and sneak through.
JC team news: Hendon will be missing goalkeeper Russell Corin and his brother Greg who have a family stone-setting. Ari Last and Josh Bentley will both face late fitness tests on recent injuries.
Daran Bern and Tony Gold are not available for Redbridge. Steve Summers could feature after making a goal-scoring return for RJC B last Sunday.
Venue – Hadley FC, Ref – A. Myerson, KO - 10.45am
JC star man: Avidan Last (Hendon)
DC Prediction: Hendon Utd SC A 2 Redbridge JC A 1
BRADY MACCABI A vs TEMPLE FORTUNE A
Bouncebackability is the name of the game for Brady this weekend.
Manager Josh Rosenfeld admitted they lost their discipline in the defeat at North London Raiders B last weekend and they will be looking to get back into the headlines for the right reasons on Sunday.
On Sunday they entertain first division Temple Fortune – a team who have come into a little bit of form.
Looking ahead to the game, Rosenfeld told JC Sport: "We need to bounce back quickly from last Sunday’s poor performance. The Fortune game is a great opportunity for that.
"We are, however, very short so it will be a very tough game. Fortune will be up for it and we cannot underestimate anyone."
"No question about it, this will be a tough game for us with our shortage of players. We relish these cup games having already reached one semi-final its important for us to win on Sunday.”
Fortune are unbeaten in three and last week a late strike from John Fisher earned them a creditable point at Chigwell.
The boys in red and yellow are playing with bags of belief and they certainly won’t be giving the Brady bunch the red carpet treatment.
Lee Fegan told JC Sport: "I can tell you that all our players are really looking forward to the cup match this Sunday.
"It's nice to go into a cup game as massive underdogs. All the pressure will be on Brady to live up to their Premiership status and play against a team who is mid-table in the division below.
"Jack and I have been really pleased with our performance when we have played the top teams in our league and we will be expecting a similar performance from the lads this week.
"We urge all friends, family and wags to come and watch this game at the Hive because this has the potential of being a cracking game."
Fortune's Jack Morris added: "If we can show the same sort of attitude and spirit we have shown so far in 2012 then you never know what could happen.
"This is the sort of game everyone wants to be involved in and I'm looking forward to seeing our players give a good account of themselves.
"We're striving to be a Premier Division team within a couple of years, so this is a great test for us."
Two players to watch out for on Sunday are Jonny Ellis of Brady and Fortune's Michael Goldberg. A former Morrison cup winner, Ellis will be looking to give keeper Oli Colmans ample protection, especially in the absence of his regular defensive partner, while Goldberg will be looking to run at the Brady defence at every opportunity. Matt Gilberry’s long-throw could also be a weapon on the compact pitch at the Lane.
I don't expect this to be a one-sided contest. I can see Fortune putting numbers behind the ball and play on the counter-attack but that will be easier said than done against a talented Brady team with the likes of Zak Presky keen to impress.
JC team news: Brady are missing left midfielder Josh Hershman (skiing), centre half Nicky Smith (injured), striker Jon Green (futsal duty) and forward TJ Keterman (unavailable). Lee Platt made a welcome goal-scoring return last weekend but it remains to be seen whether or not he’s named in the starting XI.
Venue – The Hive, Ref – L. Thorne
JC star man: Lee Platt (Brady)
DC Prediction: Brady Maccabi A 2 Temple Fortune A 1
OAKWOOD vs LEEDS MACCABI 1st
It’s the clash of the titans at Parmiters on Sunday as big-hitting Oakwood and Leeds 1st go head-to-head in a tie where the ground could quite literally shake.
Both teams are going great guns this season and I can’t see there being much between the teams.
The Oaks go into the tie on the crest of a wave after going top of Division One following a nail-biting 3-2 win over Brixton. They did it the hard way, coming from 2-0 down to win 3-2 with goals from Dan Geey, Josh Rose and Dan Ash. But the challenge of Leeds is a different proposition all together.
There is lots at stake for both sides. Oakwood joint-manager Ric Blank told me why. “I cannot tell you how much everyone at the club is looking forward to Sunday,” he told JC Sport. “There are so many plots and sub-plots among the players that it’s hard to know where to start.
“When we set up Oakwood one of our fist signings was Rob Davidson who had played for Leeds Maccabi for years and used to regale us with stories about the great Leeds sides he played in. He used to dream of drawing Leeds in the Peter Morrison and unbelievably that day has finally come. To say the man is excited is an under-statement.
“In the summer we signed Brad Wine from Leeds who has been outstanding for us and will be a key man on Sunday. Robbie and Brad’s old men will be on the coach with the Leeds boys on Sunday morning so hopefully they don’t get too much stick for supporting the Oaks.
“Then there’s the brothers Rose – both of whom are now Oakwood heroes having previously plied their trade at Leeds. Josh has had an unbelievable start to his Oakwood career while Dan despite being beset with injuries, is still a massive part of the club. That said, he will go down as the worst social secretary the club has ever had!
“Current social sec David Epstein will be on the sidelines watching while his best mate and previous social sec Steve Berkey plays at centre half for Leeds. Berkey is an Oakwood legend – one of my best ever signings. He was massive for us on and off the pitch and is still missed around the club. Sort of. He will be the first to admit how much he improved playing for the mighty Oaks and he’ll be looking forward to showing his game’s gone to another level playing for Leeds Maccabi.
“And then there is Victor Librae. Vic went to Leeds University for a couple of years so will always retain a strong affinity with the place – despite no one remembering him actually being there. All very strange.
“Anyway, when the emotion is out of the way and the players step past the white line, it will be one hell of a battle. We know we are underdogs, but we don’t mind that.
“Leeds have always done well in this tournament and play at a higher level each week back in Leeds. They’re also bringing a very strong and physical team with them to Parmiters. We won’t shirk that challenge – in fact it’s something we’ll relish.
“Ian (Leeds manager) has called this game ‘Oakwood’s cup final’ – which is interesting. In some respects he’s right but we’ve also been in great form in the league and have a close eye on Southgate in a couple of week’s time. That is another big game.
“This game is a massive bonus for the club and a great occasion we’re delighted to be part of. We’re going to enjoy ourselves and give it everything. And you never know, anything can happen in the cup.”
Leeds are keeping their cards very close to their chest. Goal machine David Woolman was on the mark against last weekend as the team claimed a stunning win over league leaders New Ireland Wood.
Indeed Oakwood old boy Berke scored a stunning winner goal from fully 45 yards. Keeper Mark Miller earned rave reviews after a sensational performance in goal. The chances are that he will have a big part to play on Sunday.
Looking ahead to the tie, Leeds boss Ian Selwyn told JC Sport: “We know it will be a very tough game against Oakwood and to be fair to them, this is the draw they wanted. It’s their cup final.
“But we’ll go there and just concentrate on what we do and hopefully we can get a result.”
A bumper crowd is expected for a match that is one not to miss.
Venue – Parmiters, Ref – G. Silver KO – 1pm
JC star man: Mark Miller (Leeds)
DC Prediction: Oakwood 1 Leeds Maccabi 1st 2 AET
FC TEAM A vs CHIGWELL ATHLETIC
Two teams who have been going about their busy quietly but competently get ready to rumble in what should be another enthralling contest.
Having drawn against Faithfold and Neasden in recent weeks, FC Team will be looking to make their traditional fast start, but manager Mitch Young is urging them to improve at the back as they have started to leak goals.
Last week they let slip a 2-0 advantage against the Superhoops in a game where the red-hot Shai David and Jake Weiner netted for the boys in yellow and blue.
FC Team boss Mitch Young knows that Chigwell will be looking to put one over the side that finished seven points above them in Division One last season.
Looking ahead to Sunday, Young told JC Sport: "We're very excited for the cup this week. After a good performance against Faithfold A, we go into the game in high spirits.
"With some top Premier teams playing each other, we see this competition as a chance to go all the way. However Chigwell are having a great season in Division One and we have played them a number of times so know how good they are and if we are not on our game they could cause an upset. However I have full confidence in my team and we look forward to a great game."
Promotion is the priority for Chigwell this season but with the draw opening up from the next round, victory in Borehamwood would go down a treat for chairman and player-manager Richard Slater.
He came away disappointed from last week’s draw against Temple Fortune – a game where Dan Castle maintained his excellent scoring form.
"We've enjoyed some great battles over the last three years with FC Team,” Slater told JC Sport. “Luckily enough for us, we've won three of the last four, but all have been very close high-scoring games and we're prepared for another tough battle on Sunday.
"A place in the quarters is up for grabs so we turn our attentions to that this week."
There’s a big crowd at Meadow Park with so many important battles all over the park, but victory for either team could be priceless.
JC team news: FC Team welcome back Richard Salmon, but Jules Noti is out injured and James Korn is away
For Chigwell, Lloyd Becker, Adam Goodman and Glenn Davis all return.
Venue – Meadow Park, Ref – M. Fox
JC star man: Richard Salmon (FC Team)
DC Prediction: FC Team A 2 Chigwell Athletic 1
LONDON MACCABI LIONS A vs NORTH WEST NEASDEN A
Revenge will be the name of the game for Neasden on Sunday as they look to book their place in the last eight of the competition.
Last weekend they could only look on and admire the Alex Bowman show - their former marksman came back to haunt them with a match-winning hat-trick that earned him the title of JC Player of the Week.
Neasden made a woeful start, going 3-0 down inside the opening 12 minutes and by half-time they trailed 5-1. Credit to them for making a fist of it second half. Joint-manager Darren Yarlett came away describing it as “a Jekyll & Hyde performance”.
I expect both teams to shuffle their packs and rumour has it that they could bring in some reinforcements for a competition that finds the top Sunday Jewish team in the land, but London Lions manager Tony Gold told me this week that “no Saturday players will be involved”.
Neasden felt the wrath of the Yarlett hairdryer last weekend and a few home truths are sure to make them hit the ground running on Sunday.
It was another major scalp for Lions managers Malcolm Newman and Josh Newman. On Sunday, captain Yoav Lebens will be demanding the same effort levels, desire and, ultimately, result from the troops.
A. Strong-wind played a key role in the match last week and nearly won the man of the match award but I think it’s safe to say that the only thing blowing hot air on Sunday morning will be Lions kitman Dave Snelman!
Another action-packed 90 minutes is on the cards as Neasden look to right the wrongs of last week. I’m expecting big performances from the likes of Danny Daggers, Paul Babai, Scott Shindler, Jonny Haik and Lee Cash, while Ben Joseph will be looking to impress against his former club.
I can’t see it finishing 6-5 second time around and can see Neasden doing just enough over the course of 90 minutes.
JC team news: It remains to be seen whether or not Neasden defender Kyle Bentwood plays, due to his commitments for London Lions’ Saturday team.
Pete Lazard and Dominic Cheniart could return for the Lions.
Venue – Rowley Lane, Ref – C. Stupack
JC star man: Danny Daggers (Neasden)
DC Prediction: LM Lions A 1 NW Neasden A 2
LONDON MACCABI LIONS B vs SOUTH MANCHESTER SPORTS 1st
Stuart Delmonte, the co-manager of cup holders Manchester Maccabi, believes that South Manchester are favourites to win the Morrison, and we might just see why on Sunday.
South boss Darryl Lee has put together an excellent squad and they are flying high at the top of the Manchester Accountants League. The treble is on for Lee and co after they claimed a 4-3 win over The Village in the Handicup last Sunday.
Marc Parry, Marc Yaffe (2) and Toby Levy were the marksmen for Lee’s dream team in a win that left Lee a very happy man.
After the game, Lee told JC Sport: “To get to any final is a great feeling and is reward for our season so far.
“What was impressive was the attitude of players who have not featured regularly but who really stepped up to the plate.”
Lee will be hoping for more of the same when the team makes the long journey south to Arkley in a competition he wants to win.
Lions B go into the tie on the back of a morale-boosting league win over previously unbeaten Camden Park. Man of the moment James Gold and Adam Kosky were among the scorers in a 4-2 win against the leaders.
Manager Jamie Kyte hopes to have Joey Lazare and Will Beresford back this week after they were called up for the A-team squad last weekend.
No disrespect to Camden, but South Manchester are several notches up in terms of standard. I’ve heard some great things about the boy Levy and can the visitors giving the Lions defence a thorough work-out.
Lions keeper Declan Green earned rave reviews last Sunday and he will need to be on top form again. Otherwise this game could be over long before the final whistle.
Looking ahead to the big match, Lions boss Jamie Kyte told JC Sport: "Last week's result was exactly what we needed before this week's clash.
"Last I heard South Manchester had gone unbeaten this season, but ending unbeaten runs is what we do.
"This week will be more or less the same team as last week and the boys are really up for super Sunday at the Lane.
"South Manchester are favorites for the cup, but we're odds on to cause an upset"
JC team news: South Manchester are without top-scorer Adam Lavin through injury. Club chairman Jonny Davis will miss the tie after having a knee replacement operation.
Venue – Rowley Lane, Ref – L. Benson, Asst-refs – G. Meranda, H. Raffe, KO - 1.30pm
JC star man: Declan Green (Lions)
DC Prediction: London Maccabi Lions B 0 South Manchester Sports Club 1st 3
JC MSFL DIVISION ONE
15 - Jamie Kent (Brixton)
13 - Josh Green (Norstar A)
12 - Glenn Michaels (Chigwell)
BRIXTON OLD BOYS A vs WOODFORD WANDERERS
The Woodford revival continued against Neasden B, but on Sunday they will have to step things up again for the trip to Brixton.
Both teams start the match lying in the bottom three, although Brixton have three games in hand.
While survival is now the name of the aim for Woodford, the Brixton boys are focusing on winning all six games in hand on their promotion rivals, but manager John Nitka knows catch-up is easier said than done.
His troops conceded a two-goal advantage against Oakwood last Sunday to eventually go down 3-2. Rob Hershkorn and Ben Weinberg had put Brixton in the box seat but the dismissal of Josh Franklin assisted an Oakwood comeback.
Discipline is a key word for Brixton between now and the end of the season. They have finished matches a man down on more than one occasions and Nitka will be asking for cool heads before the game on Sunday.
He told JC Sport: "We have a few injury problems but we need to get back to winning ways after two successful defeats and hope to do this on Sunday."
Bradley Gayer and goal-poacher Jerome Marks fired Woodford to victory last Sunday and manager Alex Aviram knows that victory would lift them above Southgate Harmen B. Even a point would be massive for the east Londoners.
It looks set to be a fiery affair in Palmers Green, one in which referee Stephen Levy will do his best to keep his cards in his pocket.
Venue – Clowes, Ref – S. Levy
JC star man: James Kaye (Brixton)
DC Prediction: Brixton OB A 3 Woodford Wanderers 2
MONTANA BOCA UNITED vs NORTH WEST NEASDEN B
Getting information out of Montana and Neasden B is like getting water out of a stone, although I can confirm that Neasden striker Jonny Blain has scored nine goals this season. Fact!
Neasden look set for a comfortable mid-table finish but in truth, if they had their strongest team week in, week out, they’d be pushing for promotion.
Manager Dan Hodes cut a frustrated figure at the final whistle against Woodford last weekend, but he was in upbeat mood at his midweek press conference.
Hodes told JC Sport: "After having only three regulars available last week, I'm hoping to have a strong side out to meet the task of what it no doubt a key relegation fixture."
The Neasden gaffer will be showing a full hand in a bid to put Montana through the mill. And with the free-scoring Blain and Ricky Engleman hitting it off like a house on fire, I think they will hammer another nail into Montana’s relegation coffin.
For Montana, chairman Raymond Harrod has reported a "full-strength squad, as long as Adam Osper’s wife lets him out".
Being a good, honest bunch as they are, there’s no doubt that having reached rock bottom, Montana will scrap to the very end in a bid to avoid the dreaded drop.
Venue – The Hive, Ref – S. Russell
JC star man: Jonny Blain (Neasden)
DC Prediction: Montana Boca Utd 2 NW Neasden B 3
14 - Ben Simons (Faithfold C)
12 - Raph Noe (Hendon B)
10 - Chaim Gothold (Hendon B)
HENDON UNITED SPORTS CLUB B vs FAITHFOLD C
Hendon will be looking to take another step towards promotion when they welcome lowly Faithfold C on Sunday.
The reds returned to winning ways last weekend with a 7-1 demolition of basement battlers L’Equipe and managers Motty Korman and Chaim Gothold will be looking for more of the same on Sunday.
RA Noe was the main man for Hendon last week, and with games in hand on the top three, three points are essential.
Looking ahead to Sunday, Korman told JC Sport: "Two great results for us last week - our win and Camden losing - has thrown the league wide open and now a few teams are back in the mix with a few games to go - exciting times in Division Two.
"Revenge is on our minds against Faithfold C as they beat us before Chanukah 3-2 after we were 2-0 up at half time.
"Credit to their second-half performance and we won't take anything for granted and know we have another tough game in store.
"With seven games left there is a lot to play for and with players coming back from injury and Alex Neiss available more frequently there is a lot of competition for places.
"RA Noe is on fire - probably due to his role model Henry returning to London."
Hendon’s task will be made tougher by the fact that legendary A team striker Daryl Phillips will start, as the club have no game in the Premier Division.
Phillips replaces top-scorer Ben Simons who is missing his first game in two years. It’s a bit like replacing Izale McLeod with Jordan Rhodes!
Faithfold boss David Garson told JC Sport: "We're looking forward to seeing ageing reserve team striker Phillips gets a rare opportunity. Everyone else is available so the rest of the first team get a lie-in."
Phillips is still a class act. Give him a chance and he will score, but if Hendon mark him properly I think they will come away with maximum points.
JC team news: For Hendon, Alon Blitz is sidelined with hamstring injury. Gav Krieger could make his debut this week.
Venue – West Hendon Playing Fields, Ref – N. Cooper
JC star man: Daryl Phillips (Hendon)
DC Prediction: Hendon Utd SC B 4 Faithfold C 2
L’EQUIPE vs GLENTHORNE UNITED A
Last week’s defeat against promotion rivals Faithfold B was a bitter pill for Glenthorne to swallow.
They don’t lose many at home but will be looking to get back on track with the long trip to Mill Hill against basement battlers L’Equipe on Sunday.
Dan Lipman, Jordan Sapler and Joe Grant were the scorers when the teams met back in September and I expect normal service to be resumed here.
Thornes boss Dan Lipman told JC Sport: "We're hoping to get back to winning ways. I've got a strong team available and hopefully they'll be able to do a job for me."
L’Equipe were on the receiving end of a 7-1 drubbing last Sunday. That’s now 11 goals that David Prager’s troops have conceded in the last two weeks and I can’t things getting much easier at the weekend.
If Glenthorne remain patient their class will tell. I can only see one winner.
Venue – Copthall, Ref – N. Bloom
JC star man: Joe Grant (Glenthorne)
DC Prediction: L’Equipe 0 Glenthorne Utd A 3
REDBRIDGE JEWISH CARE C vs CAMDEN PARK
There’s a juicy top of the table clash in store at Fairlop as leaders Camden travel to third-placed Redbridge C.
Table-topping Camden suffered their first loss last week and manager Josh Marks has pulled off two major coups in the transfer window that will add another dimension to the squad. The Camden faithful will be delighted to see two ‘young’ old boys return to the club.
Camden’s Nick Kagan told JC Sport: "The loss was tough to take last week, especially as we weren't the weaker side despite numerous injuries, in the end, playing against the wind in the first half and individual errors cost us.
"We've been busy this week securing two Premiership signings in the form of Luke Brookner and Ben Harris, who will give us much-needed extra bodies and important talent and experience.
"Providing personal terms are agreed without a hitch both will go into the squad for this weekend. It’s great to have the boys back."
Looking ahead to Sunday, Kagan added: "Redbridge are a good side, especially sharp up front but a bit dodgy at the back, so we'll look to exploit that, go out with all guns blazing and get back to winning ways."
Redbridge start the match four points behind Camden, but they've played a game more. A four-goal salvo from leading marksman Doron Weinstein was not enough to earn them victory when the sides met in November.
It finished 6-4 to Camden that day with Richard Silver firing a hat-trick for Camden.
RJC gaffer Dan Gordon has labelled this "a must-win game." He told JC Sport: "This Sunday sees us entertain my tip for the title – Camden Park. We had a week off last week and spirit in the team is high after beating Lions B after a big help from our keeper Paul Sanders. From what I remember in the last meeting, I think Paul will have to be once again on the top of his game.
"With four games left, we know promotion is out of our hands but we will be fighting all the way to the last kick of the last game to see if we can go up. We know this Sunday will be one of our hardest games of the season; out of all the teams we have played I think Camden Park have been the best.
"We have been very unlucky with injuries over the second half of the season and are hoping that top goal-scorer Doron Weinstein will be fit enough to lead the line as he came off with a hamstring injury in the last match.
"I have heard from a very reliable source that Camden have strengthened there squad and hopefully our new signing will be signed in time as well.
"We should have a squad of 14 and I will only be taking the best players available to me. This is a game we must win."
Another high-scoring affair is on the cards as Camden look to preserve their proud unbeaten run away from home and I can see them defying the heroics of Sanders to win a thriller.
JC team news: David Khalastchi joins Sam Bennett and Guy Fenton on the Camden treatment table for the rest of the season, whilst Jake Bernstone has departed - chasing one last lucrative contract in Asia. Camden wish him well.
Venue – Fairlop, Ref – A. Lewis
JC star man: Luke Brookner (Camden)
DC Prediction: Redbridge JC C 2 Camden Park 3
NORSTAR B vs FAITHFOLD B
Faithfold B could finish the weekend top of the table if they do the business against Norstar in Wembley.
Rob Shooman's men surged into second place with a 5-0 routing of FC Team B last Sunday, courtesy of strikes from Josh Kaye, James Sandler, Matty Kleinman, Seth Green and Jonny Horowitz.
The Superhoops even have the luxury of selecting an A-team player if need be, but if they line up with anything similar to the XI that started against Team, then they should have for Norstar.
It's a similar story for the Stars. Their A team doesn't have a game either so don’t be surprised if the in-form Josh Green or Jonny Kay makes a guest appearance.
An ugly win would suffice for Norstar boss Jonny Bunt. It won't be easy though as Faithfold have not conceded for more than 180 minutes. They’ve kept four clean sheets in total this season including one in the 5-0 mauling of Norstar as recently as December 7.
Looking ahead to Sunday, Bunt told JC Sport: "We're missing a few to long-term injuries and exams and in addition, myself and Lloyd Kafton are likely to be absent, so the side will be managerless, which according to our record this season improves their chances of success by 35 per cent!
"With that in mind, we are hopeful of the bad Faithfold B turning up and are getting something from the match."
Faithfold's away form has been good enough to make me think they’ll notch up fourth win and do their C team a favour on Sunday.
Venue – The Ark Academy, Ref – N. Cohen
JC star man: James Sandler (Faithfold)
DC Prediction: Norstar B 1 Faithfold C 3
22 - Craig Sandford (Glenthorne B)
20 - Saul Conway (Shirley Park)
19 - Doron Weinstein (Redbridge Jewish Care C)
BLIZZARD STORM vs LOS BLANCOS
There have been some classic encounters between Blizzard and Blancos over the years.
Simon Linden, the Blizzard boss, reports a “strong squad” for Sunday’s crunch clash and he’ll need it as Blancos go into the game with the psychological edge following the seven-goal thriller on the opening weekend of the season.
There are so many big games this weekend – Liverpool vs Man Utd, QPR vs Chelsea, Oakwood vs Leeds, Lions vs South Manchester, Lions vs Neasden and Hendon vs Redbridge, but Linden is warning Blancos that there will be a red-hot atmosphere at Mill Hill Park to greet one of their former heroes.
Linden told JC Sport: "Kutner's coming to town. The fans will give him some stick. I have been in the bookies and slapped £50 on Kutner scoring first but Blizzard winning 3-1.
"We need to win to give us a chance of finishing in a top five spot so I’m looking for a big performance."
Indeed it was Kutner who was the matchwinner in September – scoring three out of Blancos’ four goals. Adam Hersh grabbed the other. But Blizzard are in the middle of a four-game unbeaten run which has included two clean sheets, so the visitors won’t have things all their own way.
There will be some great battlers all over the park but the key one for me is between new Blizzard favourite Stefan Simons and Blancos No. 1 Josh Cohen.
The momentum is with Blizzard and I think they will have the last laugh on Sunday.
JC team news: Michael Woolf is away for Blizzard while Ben Robuck is suspended.
Venue – Mill Hill Park, Ref – D. Nathan
JC star man: Stefan Simons (Blizzard)
DC Prediction: Blizzard Storm 2 Los Blancos 1
TEAM JLGB vs NORTH WEST NEASDEN C
“We score when we want, we score when we want, we are Neasden, we score when we want”. Those were the chants coming off the terraces last Sunday when they put eight past Catford.
Player-manager Louis Taylor helped himself to a hat-trick at Norseman FC and he will be encouraging his men to go for the jugular from the very first whistle on Sunday.
Taylor predicted that he would hit a purple patch sooner rather than later and he couldn’t have rediscovered his shooting boots at a better time.
Neasden are one of the league’s form teams with no defeats since November 13. Taylor’s troops have gone seven games without defeat and with two games against rock bottom JLGB over the next fortnight, it looks like they’ll take the race to the runners-up spot down to the wire.
Looking ahead to Sunday, Taylor told JC Sport: “We have another large squad to choose from this Sunday and we won't be taking the game lightly.
“We expect another three points but we'll need to defend better than we did in our last game.”
JLGB couldn’t have asked for a tougher run-in. They suffered a 14th straight league defeat last Sunday, going down 1-0 against Blancos in a game where the heroics of keeper Rob Levene kept them in the game.
There could be a huge gulf in class between the teams on Sunday with Adam Levene looking to put in another imperious performance and the chances are that the JLGB stopper will be the busiest man on the pitch. His counterpart, Mike Perkin, on the other hand, will be a mere spectator so I advise to take along his pipe, slippers and copy of this week’s JC.
Venue – Peter May Sports Centre, Ref – M. Vandermolen
JC star man: Elliot Setyon (Neasden)
DC Prediction: Team JLGB 0 NW Neasden C 6
20 - Dan Hildebrand (Brady B - includes 7 for Faithfold)
17 - Terry Jeffries (Temple Fortune B)
16 - Ben Hart (NL Raiders C)
BOCA JEWNIORS vs ATHLETIC BILBAUM
Mark Pasha, the Bilbaum joint-manager, says that his team are treating every game like a cup final ahead of the trip to wooden spooners Boca.
The Baums registered their 10th league success of the season last Sunday when Ed Green, Joe Bekhor, Jake Gilbert and Eli Lew steered them past Jewventus.
But it needed some "inspiring" words from keeper Simon ‘the Monk’ Roth at half time to get the best out of them. With a crunch clash against SPEC FC next Sunday, they will be looking for an easy work-out against Sefton Monk’s men.
"We are all too aware of the importance of this weekend in the Division Four title race,” Pasha told JC Sport. "There are some massive fixtures this Sunday, and at this key stage in the season we are treating every game as a cup final.
"The Baummobile will be as focused and prepared as ever on Sunday as we know any slip-ups now could prove extremely costly indeed.
"Players have been strongly encouraged by the training staff to spend an extra eight- minutes-a-day on the elliptical this week, just to be sure the preparations are complete."
The end of the season cannot come soon enough for the Boca boys. They have two bites at the cherry left to get their first MSFL win on the board but I just can’t see that happening.
Eli Lew will be pushing for a place in the starting XI for Bilbaum on Sunday after impressing last Sunday. His goal-scoring cameo earned him the JC Super-Sub of the Week accolade last week.
So it would be fair to say that damage limitation could be the way forward for Boca on Sunday.
Venue – South Oxhey, Ref – A. Yuchetel
JC star man: Eli Lew (Bilbaum)
DC Prediction: Boca Jewniors 0 Athletic Bilbaum 5
BRADY MACCABI B vs SPEC FC
The finishing line is within sight for both Brady B and SPEC FC and much more than pride will be up for grabs in the Division Four match of the day on Sunday.
The visitors start the match a point behind the Edgware club, but they have played two games more so three points are essential in the pursuit of the title.
It’s the second in a trilogy of crucial games for Laurence Conway’s men. Last weekend they edged out promotion rivals North London Raiders C 2-1 with strikes from Dan Pike and Dan Cohen. Next weekend they take on current leaders Bilbaum and the return of keeper Michael Rhodes could not have been better timed.
Conway’s boys are unbeaten away from home in the league this season with four wins out of five. But they will have to pull out all the stops against a multi-talented Brady team.
SPEC FC’s Ricky Lawrence told JC Sport: “After a great result against Raiders, we are hoping to carry that form into our biggest game of the season to date.
"Laurence has drilled into us what we need to do for the rest of the season and what is expected of us.
"We know just how good Brady are so we will have to bring our A-game. If we do then there is no reason why we can't come away with three points in the bag.
"This is obviously the replayed game from when Elliott Wallis got injured so we'll be hoping to get the win for him as well as for the club.
"We defended our 2-1 lead well last week and we were really under the kosh in the closing stages.
"We know we'll be have to be solid at the back once again against the free-scoring Brady.
"Hopefully Michael Rhodes, who returned so well last week, will give us a helping hand on that front."
Replays are something of a rare commodity in the JC MSFL, but Brady fans will remember that their team were leading 1-0 prior to the serious injury and given that they ran out 3-2 winners over SPEC in November, they will go into the game with bags of belief.
SPEC came away from the game unhappy with some of the decisions that went against them but there was no way back after a decisive strike from Ollie Kay – the Nemanja Vidic of Division Four.
This match has all the ingredients to be a classic contest with the key battles involving Hildebrand, captain James Joseph and Reiss Mogilner against Lawrence, Ashley Burns and Marc Hecht.
I expect both teams to be going for it from the very first whistle in what will be a proper game of football. With so much at stake, don't be surprised if it finishes honours even.
Venue – Rowley Lane, Ref – N. Burns
JC star man: Sam Sinclair (Brady)
DC Prediction: Brady Maccabi B 1 SPEC FC 1
JEWVENTUS vs ATHLETICO FINCHLEY
Ambitious Athletico go into the game against Jewventus boosted by a super new signing.
Club chairman Zach Margolin is delighted to welcome Daniel Mattey to the club. ,
Margolin told JC Sport: "Dan has played for London Maccabi Lions and Brady Maccabi and has now officially signed for Athletico.
"He's a very versatile player who has always been used at right-back, but will now get the chance to play in his favourite position of right midfield.
"Dan was branded 'the best crosser in the Watford Friendly League' last year, but now has stepped up to men;s football."
Margolin hopes that his new signing is the final piece of the jigsaw. The Athletico boys are looking to finish the season strongly and Jewventus are definitely within their sights.
Looking ahead to Sunday, John told JC Sport: "We want to win this match. Anything other than a win would be a disappointment. We aim to finish above Jewventus."
As you know, Jewve also bolstered their squad significantly not so long ago with Mike Gill and Ami Wynbourne giving the team a new dimension. Together with James Alexander, they look really tasty up front.
Gabriel John’s men thumped Athletico 5-1 earlier in the season and the manager will be looking for another big performance from his star men.
I can see this being an open and entertaining affair between two teams who are better at attacking than they are defending. Take my word, it definitely won’t finish goalless.
JC team news: Athletico are missing Ashley Diamond, Jake Barnett, Andrew Greenwall Cohen and Charlie Hollis. They welcome back Joel Barnett in the centre of midfield.
Venue – Chase Lodge, Ref – B. David
JC star man: Daniel Mattey (Athletico)
DC Prediction: Jewventus 2 Athletico Finchley 2
NORTH LONDON RAIDERS C vs FC TEAM C
Having been at the top of the table for a large chunk of the season, the Raiders really have it all to do as they look to cement a top two finish.
With Bilbaum, Brady and SPEC FC showing no signs of choking, Oli Shorts hopes that his men have what it takes to see off a talented FC Team side on Sunday.
Indeed this will be the curtain-raiser to the B team’s lunchtime Peter Morrison Trophy clash against holders Manchester Maccabi.
L’Orange went down 2-1 to promotion rivals SPEC last Sunday, with a strike from top-scorer Ben Hart not enough to save them.
Consistency has been a problem for Shorts and co since mid-November and they know that only a string of positive results will help them climb the table now.
The sides played out a thrilling 2-2 draw in November when Max Worth and Dave Cohen registered for Michael Myers’ men.
Adam Aminoff was their star man in the hard fought 2-1 win over Temple Fortune B last Sunday and if they can come away from Hatfield with maximum points there’s a chance they could finish above Raiders come May. And you can bet that both Rob Sanford and Matt Sheldon will be keen to impress against their former club.
History tells both teams that finishing as high up the table could be rewarded with an invitation for promotion over the summer so Sunday will come down to who wants it most.
Venue – Hatfield Uni, Ref – D. Cohen
JC star man: Adam Aminoff (Team)
DC Prediction: NL Raiders B 2 FC Team C 3