PETER MORRISON TROPHY QUARTER-FINALS
Brady Maccabi A 3 North West Neasden A 1
Two goals from Josh Hershman helped Brady Maccabi A book their place in the semi-finals of the Jewish FA Cup following a famous victory over former winners Neasden at Rowley Lane.
Neasden settled first as Brady took time to find their feet but it was the home side that created the first opening.
Some excellent inter-play saw Josh Gordon win the ball midfield and found Lee Platt. The former Neasden midfielder fed the impressive Jon Green who in turn played a great through ball to Gordon who took a touch away from Neasden centre half Scott Shinder just inside the area and fired it against the far post only to see it somehow fly back in to the arms of Neasden keeper David Fox.
Brady were dealt a blow after 15 minutes when Danny Cohen, another Neasden old boy, was forced off with a pulled hamstring. He was replaced on the right side of midfield by Steve Field.
The hosts continued to come forward and they came close again five minutes later when a corner from Platt was flicked on at the near post by Gordon. The ball to Paul Hakim at the far post but he somehow managed to fire over the ball.
The opening goal came on 25 minutes and it went the way of Brady. Green tracked back to win the ball in midfield, played it to Gordon who played a pass in between Sammy Ross and Schlinder for Hershman to sprint on to and score with a delicious and extravagant chip over Fox from an acute angle. It was a goal that their play merited.
Neasden took 35 minutes to create their first serious opening. Some sloppy defending enabled the unmarked Danny Daggers to try his luck but he dragged his shot wide.
The visitors thought they had equalised on the stroke of half time when Jonny Haik produced a neat finish by dinking the ball over the onrushing Oli Colmans, but the strike was ruled out for offside.
Brady went in search of a second goal at the start of the second half. After being played in by the diminutive Field, Green squared the ball to Hakim who, with only the keeper to beat, smashed his shot against the bar.
But the former St Albans City and Wingate & Finchley marksman made up for his earlier misses with the all-important second goal on the hour. A mix-up in the Neasden defence allowed the industrious Green to nick the ball away and find Hakim who opened his body up to place his shot beyond Fox
Indeed Fox, standing in for the suspended Max Shields, was by far the busier keeper and he was in action again minutes later. A delicious cross from Hershman was met sweetly by the boot of Field but Fox was alert to parry the shot away and keep Neasden in the game.
Fox was the hero again on 70 minutes, denying Hakim again after Gordon robbed Ben Joseph in midfield and put the Team GB star clean through.
Brady opened up a 3-0 advantage 15 minutes from time when Green won the ball deep in Neasden territory and found Hershman who cut inside on the edge of the box. His right-footed strike took a wicked deflection and sent Fox the wrong way. Spark mass Brady celebrations.
Knowing they had 14 minutes to keep their season alive, Neasden threw men forward and a near-post header from Joseph brilliantly blocked by Brady keeper Oli Colmans.
The visitors grabbed a consolation three minutes from time when substitute Mark Lazare fired the ball past Colmans. But it was too little, too late.
A Brady spokesman told JC Sport: "Neasden edged the game possession-wise, but they lacked a cutting edge.
"They couldn't break down our midfield or defence and certainly could not handle us on the counter.
"It was a great game and a great performance by the whole team."
Brady caretaker-manager Joel Nathan told JC Sport: "I would like to say that for the first 20 minutes NWN controlled the game but failed to create any clear-cut chances.
"From then we grew in confidence and took the game by the scruff of the neck and created chance after chance and it was only due to the crossbar, post and some heroic saves from their keeper that the scoreline was only 1-0 at half time.
"The second half was dominated by us with chances created a plenty and it was only in the last 10 minutes did we let NWN a sight at goal.
"Overall, I was delighted with our passing and movement and it just shows that on our day we are a match for anyone and now we can looked forward to two cup semi-finals, whilst also maintain our position in the Premier League."
Neasden joint-manager Darren Yarlett told JC Sport: "You have to give all the credit to Brady who defined the meaning of 'wanting it badly'. They were everything that my players weren't.
"In the dressing room before the game, I told the lads it doesn’t matter how technically gifted they are or how good of a player they think they are, but if you don’t go out and show a little bit of fight, determination and spirit then you will be going out.
"We got ourselves in a great position after beating Lions in the previous round with 10 men, and should have been bang up for a quarter-final of the national cup, but for some reason some of the boys were going through the motions and having a stroll.
"After watching a gutless second half performance like that it makes me think is it all worth it?
"It was all summed up by Lee Cash dropping into centre half to try and get us playing in the second half. I have to give David Fox a special mention for an outstanding display in goal, with out him it could have been five or six.
"We have five games to go and pride to play for."
Brady: Colmans; Fox, J. Ellis, Presky, Littas; Cohen (sub: Field 15), Gordon, Platt, J. Hershman; Hakim, Green (sub: Grant 75)
Goals: Hershman 25, 75 Hakim 60
Neasden: Fox; Ross, Shindler, Bentwood, Sharp; Haik, Babai, Daggers, Joseph; Cash, B. Ellis
Goal: Lazare 87