The Peter Morrison Trophy takes centre stage on Sunday as Oakwood and Hendon are involved in two north versus south clashes, while there is another full programme in the JC MSFL. Danny Caro looks ahead to all the action.
JC BARRY GOLDSTEIN TROPHY QUARTER-FINALS DRAW
Faithfold B vs North West Neasden C
Winner Group B vs FC Team B
Blizzard Storm vs Temple Fortune B
Shirley Park vs Runners-Up Group B
- all games will be played on the March 25, with the semi-finals on April 1
JC MSFL MATCHDAY 27 OSCARS
JC MSFL REFEREE OF THE WEEK
Daniel Cohen (Blizzard Storm vs North West Neasden C)
JC MSFL CELEBRATION OF THE WEEK
Andrew Greenwall Cohen and Joel Barnett (Athletico Finchley)
CLICK HERE TO SEE CELEBRATION
JC MSFL SAVE OF THE WEEK
Rob Shepherdson (Chigwell) - crucial penalty save diving to his right
JC GAFF OF THE WEEK
Ben Mandell (Athletico Finchley) - somehow managed to fire over the bar with the goal at his mercy. Six inches lower and his team would've recorded a famous draw
CLICK HERE TO SEE THE MISS
JC MSFL ASSIST OF THE WEEK
Tony Plaskow (UJIA) - arrowed a 30-yard defence-splitting pass diagonal ball for Russell to run on to and put UJIA 3-2 up
JC MATCH REPORT OF THE WEEK
SHIRLEY PARK vs SPEC FC
PETER MORRISON TROPHY SEMI-FINAL DRAW
South Manchester Sports Club vs Oakwood (Mar 18)
Brady A vs Hendon A or Hyde Park Rovers
CUP FINAL DATES
JC Barry Goldstein Trophy - April 22 - 2.30pm (Wingate & Finchley)
JC Cyril Anekstein Cup - Hendon Utd SC A vs Brady Maccabi A - April 22 - 6.30pm (Wingate & Finchley)
Peter Morrison Trophy - April 22 (Wingate & Finchley)
YOUR WEEKEND PREVIEW STARTS HERE:
PETER MORRISON TROPHY SEMI-FINAL
SOUTH MANCHESTER SPORTS 1ST vs OAKWOOD
The first semi-final of this season’s Jewish FA Cup sees treble-chasing South Manchester welcome already-promoted Oakwood in a lunchtime kick-off at The Armitage.
Despite playing in separate leagues, the teams know one another inside out and have plenty of respect for each other. That said, once that first whistle blows, all friendships will be put to one side for 90 minutes in what will be a high-quality affair between two talented sides.
South Manchester have had an excellent season to date. With the Manchester Handicup already in the bag, they got their Manchester Accountants League Premier Division title bid back on track with a 2-0 win over Lawds. Mark Stewart and Ben Peppi were the scorers in a deserved victory.
The wide men were on top of their game, with striker Adam Lavin also impressing. Having starred for the Team GB Open Futsal squad at the last Maccabiah, he could be the one to watch on Sunday.
Keeper Conor Rabbett has also received some rave reviews this season and he will be looking to pull out all the stops once more.
Speaking after the game, Lee told JC Sport: "We are now down to the run-in with seven league games left but we get a week away from league pressure with the glamour of the Peter Morrison semi final next week.
"Unfortunately we are somewhat limping into that game with a raft of injuries and pretty poor form, but hopefully we can raise our game and get some players off the treatment table and onto the pitch."
Oakwood have had plenty of rest of hitting Chigwell Athletic for six to seal promotion from Division One. There is an air of confidence around the camp that comes from a winning mentality and managers Ric Blank and Alex Schock have some big decisions to make with regards to the starting line-up.
Eddie Manson, Dan Ash and Brad Wine have been among the top-performers this season, while Anthony Kintish won my JC MSFL Player of the Month for February. It remains to be seen whether or not Jason Lindsay will start or be used as an impact substitute later in the game.
Looking ahead to the journey north, Oakwood joint-player-manager Ric Blank told JC Sport: "If you'd said 12 months ago we’d have promotion to the Premier tied up and were in the semis of the Morrison against South then I’d have laughed. We'd just lost to Montana and our promotion charge was falling apart. It just goes to show how far we've come in such a short space of time.
"Sunday is the icing on the cake of a great season. It's a great occasion and we’re incredibly excited for the game and the opportunity to play in the semis of this famous competition against such a good side.
“Half the side grew up playing for South and the other half grew up playing against them – so it's a game that means a lot to everyone. I will never ever forget playing as a 17-year-old with the likes of Ian Gabbie, Adrian Jacob, Mo G, Stewie The King, Robbie Glass and, of course, the great Buzzer Horwich.
"The spirit from that side is something that I have always tried to bring to Oakwood. It was a great bunch of guys who loved playing football, but didn't take themselves too seriously. The banter was brilliant and I was privileged to be one of the last of the Buzzer Babes before that side broke up.
"That was a long time ago and now it's all about Oakwood. Right now this feels like a club going places and everyone wants to be a part of it.
"We go into this game as massive underdogs. We know that. We know that South are a big club with a great history and they will have their eyes on the trophy.
"They've got some great players including several Maccabiah players, such as Toby Levy, Adam Lavin and, of course, Lawrence Newman - but we can’t get carried away with that. We will focus on our game and give it our best shot. Our aim is to give a good account of ourselves and enjoy it.
"I'm looking forward to seeing some old faces and might even have a ceremonial cigar swap with Johnnie Davis. How I've missed hearing his dulcet tones each week ("Blanko you're ****" rang through my ears every Sunday night for 15 years). Hopefully Dave Tussie and Neil Collins will also be there to make me feel right at home.
"We will be without Eddie Manson who is at an all-you-can-eat buffet on a boat for two weeks and Josh Rose (cup-tied). Victor Librae is back, looking lean, mean and fighting fit - which is a boost for the club. Any rumours that Louis Basger is flying back for the game can be put to bed right now. There’s not a chance that's happening. I trust my players and we will just be playing as we play each week, giving it our all and que sera sera."
If you recall, South completed a miraculous comeback against arch rivals Manchester Maccabi in the last round. They came back from the dead with four goals in the last 20 minutes earning them a thrilling 5-4 victory.
I don’t think there will be much between the teams on Sunday and I can’t see it being a particularly high-scoring affair. Home advantage could play a part in a tie that could go the distance.
Venue – The Armitage, KO – 12.30
JC star man: Adam Lavin (Manchester)
DC Prediction: South Manchester 1 Oakwood 1 AET (South to win on penalties)
PETER MORRISON TROPHY QUARTER-FINAL
HENDON UNITED SPORTS CLUB A vs HYDE PARK ROVERS
Treble-chasing Hendon potentially have 10 games left this season and take nothing away from Rovers, but this could be the easiest one of them all. On paper at least.
The Reds roared to a 3-0 victory over Faithfold last season with goals from JC MSFL Player of the Year contender Greg Corin, Ben Kon and Ari Last. Manager David Garbacz was delighted with the performances of left-back Martin Smulovitch and striker Avidan Last and they will go into the tie all guns blazing.
Having already cemented a place in the JC Cyril Anekstein Cup final against Brady, Garbacz is looking to set up a last four clash against the Josh Rosenfeld’s men in the other cup competition.
Looking ahead to Sunday, Garbacz told JC Sport: “We have been given a lifeline in this competition and we are determined to make the most of it.
“I must confess to not knowing a great deal about our opposition and can merely presume that they must be a decent outfit to have got this far.
“They will be young and fit but undoubtedly we will have the experience for an occasion like this.
“We will aim to use that experience to the full and hope it takes us through. We are full of confidence at the moment and are playing some great stuff.
“The big games are coming thick and fast, but at the moment we are still fighting for that historic treble and we don’t expect to be losing that dream come Sunday afternoon.
“The opposition are university students and they will be learning another lesson on Sunday.”
Hyde Park boss David Domb has told his players they have nothing to lose when they travel to Hadley FC on Sunday..
The Leeds students have been ravaged by injuries in recent weeks and were forced to forfeit last weekend’s MJSL game with South Manchester 2nd after having just six players available.
Domb’s believes his men have already exceeded expectations following a fourth round win over MSFL Division Three side Shirley Park.
And the Rovers boss believes his men have nothing to fear here. “Everybody is expecting us to go down to London and get absolutely battered,” he said.
“That’s everyone apart from me. I am expecting us to go there and give it a really good go.
“There’s no pressure on us and we can play with the sort of freedom which allows us to play our best stuff.
“Nobody gave us a chance against Shirley but we were relaxed and we played really well.
“We have a great goal-scorer in Oli Grant and we’ve got a midfield who can compete and win games.
“I’m not an idiot. I know how tough it’s going to be, but the pressure is all on Hendon.”
Influential midfielder Ben Roback should return for the capital clash, while Domb is hoping to recover from an ankle problem.
But he still has a number of question marks hanging over the fitness of several key players.
He added: “Simon Falk has a shoulder problem and Josh Lewis is out so we’ll have a team out although it might not be our first-choice side.
“But this is a cup game and you just have to look at the FA Cup and see how Stevenage ran Tottenham close.
“The boys are excited and as long as we are disciplined, do our jobs and play well, then we’ll have a real chance.”
I can tell Domb that there are simply no weak links in the Hendon team this season. They fight for one another and they always keep fighting and believing until the final whistle.
I believe that this is Hendon’s time and they will have too much ammunition for Rovers on Sunday.
(Additional reporting by James Masters)
JC team news: Paul Bentley is still out injured for Hendon and there is a small doubt over Alex Rosenthal.
For Rovers, Ben Roback is expected to return while player-manager David Domb faces a late fitness test. Simon Falk is rated doubtful, while Josh Lewis is definitely out.
Venue – Hadley FC, KO – 12.30pm
JC star man: Ari Last (Hendon)
DC Prediction: Hendon Utd SC A 3 Hyde Park Rovers 1
JC BARRY GOLDSTEIN TROPHY
Glenthorne Utd B (Q) Pl, 2. Pts. 6
UJIA (Q) Pl, 2. Pts. 4
Athletico Finchley Pl. 3, Pts. 1
Los Blancos Pl, 3. Pts. 2
GLENTHORNE UNITED B vs UJIA
A tie at home to second division FC Team B is up for grabs in the quarter-finals as Division Three rivals Glenthorne B and UJIA go head to head on Sunday.
Glenthorne, who were recently crowned Division Three champions, were given an almighty scare by Athletico Finchley last Sunday in a game where they were indebted to the heroics of young keeper Jordan Davidson.
The Thornes were not at their best last weekend but a dose of the hairdryer treatment from Sam Rosenthal should do the trick as they look to finish the group with a 100 per cent record.
Goals from Richard Rosenthal and Daniel Lipman did the trick in a game where co-boss Craig Sandford missed a golden chance to add to his 25-goal tally by spurning a late penalty kick.
It's clear that Sandford expects things to be just as tough this weekend. Looking ahead to the game, he told JC Sport: "We go into Sunday’s game knowing it will be battle as are all games against UJIA.
"They are strong, experienced and organised. Both league games this season has seen us come out on top but it hasn't been easy.
"They are always a threat from set-pieces and if you give them time on the ball then they can punish you.
"We haven't blossomed in the BG Trophy so far although we have won two out of two. We need to play with a smile on our faces and I’m sure the quality will come out.
"I always love playing against Rolfe as he likes to cuddle me!"
Glenthorne have amassed 17 points than UJIA from the same number of games played this season, but as Sandford rightly points out, the two league meetings have been close encounters.
Two goals have separated the teams on both occasions with a 4-2 win in November followed by a 3-1 success in January. Sandford has scored in both games and he will be looking to extend his lead at the top of the JC MSFL Golden Boot leaderboard on Sunday.
U’s player-manager Darren Rolfe knows that a trip to Shirley Park awaits his troops unless they can pull something special out of the hat.
He told JC Sport: "“It will be a hard game against Glenthorne, but we’re well up for it."
They’ll need to be!
JC team news: Glenthorne welcome back inspirational defender Adam Shafron who returns from his holiday.
Venue – London Marathon Playing Fields, Ref – K. Gold
JC star man: James Rubin (Glenthorne)
DC Prediction: Glenthorne Utd B 2 UJIA 0
JC MSFL PREMIER DIVISION
REDBRIDGE JEWISH CARE A vs FAITHFOLD A
Both Redbridge and Faithfold have plenty to do to haul themselves back into the title race, and some will say they have already fallen too far behind
The east Londoners are nearer the top two, although they have played a game more than Hendon, and it would be fair to say that only a five-match winning run between now and the end of the season will be good enough to keep them in contention. They certainly have the players to do that.
Neither team managed a victory last weekend, with last season’s champions frustrated by Raiders B, while Faithfold were well-beaten by Hendon. So there will be a lot of pride on the line at the Hive on Sunday.
Faithfold have lost their last two home games and I can see manager Zuriel Solomon adopting a cautious approach on Sunday.
It’s hard to believe that we’re already in mid-March and this is the first meeting of the season between the two Jewish football giants.
RJC top-scorer Adam Bolle, Steve Summers and Adam Stolerman came up a brick wall in the shape of Dan Grossman, Rik Sherman and David Simnock last weekend and they will be looking to get the team back on the winning trail.
Faithfold will be keen to ensure they finish above the east Londoners, but they have it all to do on Sunday.
Venue – The Hive, Ref – D. Cohen
JC star man: Adam Stolerman (RJC)
DC Prediction: Redbridge JC A 2 Faithfold A 0
LONDON MACCABI LIONS A vs SOUTHGATE HARMEN A
Season 2011/12 has been a real struggle for Harmen and I think the A team’s fate will be sealed in the top against bottom clash at Rowley Lane on Sunday.
The Southgate boys have had to pull out of three matches due to insufficient numbers, including the games against the teams directly above them – Raiders A and FC Team A.
The club must make some big decisions over the summer months, with their B-team bottom of Division One.
On Sunday they take on a team in top form and the term home banker springs to mind.
Joey Lazare, Alex Bowman and Yoav Lebens were the goal men when the teams met in November and I can see the Lions cruising to their 11th league win of what has been an excellent seasons, cup competitions apart.
The core of the team has been pretty consistent from back to front, starting from keeper Sam Castle who has a really bright future ahead of with. The club are blessed with a plethora of top goalkeeping talent, with Declan Green also in the ranks.
In defence, Jacob Lew, Ollie Leslie and Pete Lazard have played their part in seven clean sheets. Lew and Leslie were in top form again last weekend in the 3-0 success over Raiders A – Lions’ fifth victory by that scoreline this season.
Consistent availability is something that the Lions have over many of their rivals this season with Aviel Schwarz and captain Yoav Lebens pulling the strings, with joint-player-manager Josh Newman, Joel Ross, Alex Bowman and Oli Craig also catching the eye on a regular basis. It’s been all about a team ethic this season with no superstars.
Another impress stat is that the Lions have not conceded for more than 270 minutes. Harmen will do well to break them down on home territory and I can the Rowley Lane faithful coming away with big smiles on their faces once more.
Venue – Rowley Lane, Ref – M. Fox
JC star man: Josh Newman (LML)
DC Prediction: LM Lions A 4 Southgate Harmen A 0
NORTH LONDON RAIDERS A vs FC TEAM A
"The pressure is all on Raiders." Those were the words of FC Team manager Mitch Young ahead of the trip to Brunel.
Young's side were handed three crucial points last weekend when Harmen forfeited. Some will say it's evened things up after the Southgate club pulled out of a recent match against Raiders, but the timing has done few favours for L’Orange ahead of a game they needed to win either way.
FC Team ran out worthy winners the first time the sides met this season when a strike from Dan Cohen settled it and Young believes they have nothing to lose against their crest-fallen opponents.
"We know no matter how we got the three points last week we got them in a manner we would rather not have liked but we got them!
"This now puts us in an incredible position but saying that, until it is mathematically impossible we cannot relax.
"We know a point on Sunday will see us safe, but of course we will not be settling for that we will be going for the win.
"We are relaxed going into the game knowing the sheer amount of pressure on our opponents.
"Raiders are a good team and have been unlucky this season. We know it will be extremely difficult and we respect the quality they possess, but we are going to take the game right to them.”
Raiders go into the game on the back of a second consecutive 3-0 defeat against Lions A. They more than matched their opponents for an hour, but lacking a cutting edge. Captain David Rhodes, Carl Peters, Mayer Schultz, Nick Wiseman and Mark Leader were rock solid, but once the first goal went in there was no way back.
Raiders' injury and unavailability problems have been well-documented this season. Ben Sheldon became the fourth Raiders player to go in goal this season. He will be lifted after being selected for the Team GB squad that travels to France next month.
The Raiders management are hoping for big things from Jacob Gold, Igal Yahya and Adam Posner on Sunday in what should be a high octane affair.
I’m backing Raiders to win on Sunday, but it could be too little, too late.
JC team news: Raiders remain without long-term casualties Joe Tankel and Andrew McMaster. Keeper Danny Berliner is also still out, but Jamie Wolfson and Adam Joselyn are expected to return.
FC Team are missing Gideon Moss and Dave Ossack.
Venue – Brunel, Ref – S. Russell
JC star man: Jacob Gold (Raiders)
DC Prediction: NL Raiders A 2 FC Team A 1
NORTH WEST NEASDEN A vs BRADY MACCABI A
The games don’t get any easier for Brady who are in the middle of a tough run of games.
Josh Rosenfeld hopes that the dreaded JC Manager of the Week curse doesn’t strike again as he prepares his troops for a testing 90 minutes against Neasden A.
Having virtually guaranteed Premier Division football next season, the team have saved their best performances for the cup this season, but they are currently on a glorious run and go into this game on the back of a performance that saw them seal their passage into the JC League Cup final. They have been on an upward curve for the last two years.
Rosenfeld knows that if they win their games in hand and win on Sunday, Brady would leapfrog their illustrious opponents, although that will be easier said than done.
Josh Gordon and Josh Hershman were the match-winners against Brixton last weekend, while defenders Nicky Smith and Adam Littas, along with Jonathan Green, put in eye-catching performances.
Rosenfeld has plenty of respect for his former club, but having lost to them 2-0 in November, he’ll be hoping to exact some revenge.
Looking ahead to the crunch clash, Rosenfeld told JC Sport: “Neasden have an excellent squad with a lot of quality throughout.
“We will do our best to pick up as many points as possible in the league and keep up the momentum.”
It would be fair to say that the season has not gone as planned for Neasden. It will be the second consecutive season that they finish empty-handed and the signs are that they will finish in sixth position.
Neasden have conceded nine goals in their last two games and they will have to stop an in-form team, but they remain a force and can beat anyone on their day.
Many people, myself included, were expecting them to push for honours this season but they have failed to hit the heights for one reason or another. But when you look at the names in their squad – Shindler, Bentwood, Sharp, Klein, Daggers, Joseph, Sofier, Cash and Engleman – it’s hard to understand why.
Adam Klein returns to the fold after seeing the bright lights of Amsterdam on duty with a Maccabi futsal team last weekend. Rumour has it he was a star both on and off the pitch, even if he can’t remember much about it.
Man for man there won’t be much between the teams so it could all boil down to which team wants it most.
JC team news: Neasden are without Jonny Haik, Marc Lazare and Paul Babai, while keeper Max Shields is suspended. Jake Gottlieb is rated 50/50.
Brady have a few walking wounded after last weekend’s cup win, while Jon Ellis, Nicky Smith, Lee Platt and Danny Cohen are ruled out. But they welcome back Zak Presky.
NWN squad: GK (TBC), Fox, Stern, Shindler, Bentwood, Gottlieb, Sharp, Klein, Daggers, Joseph, Sofier, Cash, Engleman, Glynne, Ellis
JC star man: Zak Presky (Brady)
DC Prediction: NW Neasden A 2 Brady Maccabi A 3
22 - Jamie Kent (Brixton Old Boys - includes goals scored for Brixton B)
17 - Dan Orgel (Redbridge JC B)
BRIXTON OLD BOYS A vs NORSTAR A
There’s a mouth-watering game in store at Clowes on Sunday as Brixton take on second-place Norstar A.
Norstar boss Phil Peters believes that two wins from the team’s last three games will be enough to take them up with Oakwood. However, that could be easier said than done as two of them are against a Brixton team smarting from last weekend’s JC League Cup semi-final defeat against Brady.
Peters was in a relaxed mood when I caught up with him earlier this week. Having just named the Team GB squad for the forthcoming European Maccabi Football Trophy in Marseille, he’ll be keen to impress and take maximum points as the Oranges look to close the gap at the top.
Peters and co will go in search of a fifth straight win on Sunday, knowing that would all but end Brixton’s promotion hopes.
Looking ahead to the crunch clash, Peters told JC Sport: “After a week off, we’re desperate to get playing again and are looking forward to the challenge of a resurgent Brixton team.
“Last season we drew with them twice in the league and once in a friendly so we're hoping it’s us that breaks the stalemate this time around.
“They’ve got some very talented players including Ben Weinberg and Rob Blackman, who are part of my EMFT squad next month, and Jake Doffman, who narrowly missed out, but is one of the best ‘keepers about at the moment.
“But that said, I’ve got a huge amount of talent at my disposal as well and we’re in pole position - if we can equal Brixton over the two games we have to play against them then promotion should be ours. If we can’t do that then we don't deserve it.
“Josh Green returns from his break in Israel to lead the line and we hope he rediscovers the form that has seen him score 10 goals in four games in 2012. There will be a few late fitness tests and we hope that those who have been skiing this week come back with everything intact.”
As expected, Brixton gave a good account of themselves against Brady last Sunday and gaffer Nitka knows that he won’t have to say much before kick-off to motivate his troops.
“It’s bBack to the league programme and a very difficult final four games, twice against promotion rivals Norstar, one against Chigwell and one Woodford,” he told JC Sport.
“Once again, I have a selection problem however we have had a tremendous run in the cups and would be delighted to cap it off with four wins and promotion to the Premiership.
“It’s in our hands – ask me in four to five weeks time.”
Both teams boast excellent defensive records this season. Norstar have kept two clean sheets to Brixton’s four.
History will tell you that these two teams are well-matched and I think the full-time score will reflect that in a game that comes down to which team wants it most.
Venue – Clowes, Ref –D. Lazarus
JC star man: George Fierstone (Brixton)
DC Prediction: Norstar A 1 Brixton OB A 1
WOODFORD WANDERERS vs TEMPLE FORTUNE A
There is no love lost between Woodford and Temple Fortune and that could result in a rather tasty affair at Redbridge Sports Centre on Sunday.
Alex Aviram, the Woodford player-manager, has clearly not forgotten the events of last autumn when his team was penalised for not having enough corners flags.
The east Londoners have since let their football do the talking and, with a top-quality front six, including Team GB hotshot Jerome Marks, I expect them to collect enough points in their remaining games to survive.
Aviram told JC Sport: "We have not played Fortune this season yet due to my club getting suspended for a pathetic corner flag reason.
"I believe David and the MSFL management committee definitely got that decision wrong and, to be honest, I’m still bitter about the whole thing.
"Anyway, my players tell me we can relegate them on Sunday and almost guarantee first division football next year.
"Our aim is to fight the drop then come back harder than ever next year and win the division hands down!
"We will make sure we barricade the walls off the temple and prove there is no fortune left on there side."
With Montana folding, I think the Woodford players are somewhat mistaken if they believe victory on Sunday will send Fortune down. The boys in red and yellow lie two points above Southgate Harmen B who are favourites to go down.
Fortune have been hard-hit by a lack of goals this season and the club are doing everything they can to get Ben Isaacs fit for next season. Without a win since January 8, manager Lee Fegan must be tempted to throw Michael Goldberg further forward as they look to improve on a record that has seen them hit the target just 17 times in 14 games.
Jack Morris, the Fortune no. 2, told JC Sport: "We go into our penultimate game of the season feeling much better after the game against Norstar.
"Against Brixton it was simply unacceptable, but the effort was there last week and in truth we were quite unfortunate to come away empty-handed.
"Our main problem has been scoring goals, but we welcome back Josh Marks this weekend who we expect to create chances on his return.
"We are missing one or two, but we have a decent squad available and are looking forward to the game."
JC team news: Woodford are missing Paul Shone (travelling), Jay Jaffa (hamstring) and Mark Burges (travelling).
Venue – Redbridge Sports Centre, Ref – A. Lewis
JC star man: Jerome Marks (Woodford)
DC Prediction: Woodford Wanderers 3 Temple Fortune A 1
CHIGWELL ATHLETIC vs REDBRIDGE JEWISH CARE B
Victory in the latest east London derby could see either Chigwell or Redbridge finish the weekend in second place. I’ll dangle that carrot in front of these two great rivals who are hoping that Norstar slip-up against promotion rivals Brixton.
The Chigs are still recovering from last weekend’s derby where they came from two goals down to beat Woodford. It appeared that their promotion dreams had gone until a stirring comeback, aided by goals from two-goal hero Jamie Fox and Anthony Mendel.
Player-manager Richard Slater praised the efforts of Craig Pearl and Mendel and he will be looking for a repeat performance here.
Slater told JC Sport: “A strong second half from us last weekend saw great spirit and our desire levels return which was really pleasing to see.
"The league title is gone for this season, but the aim is to finish as high as we possibly can and finish our season with two wins.
"We've had two good battles with RJC B this season, and we're ready for another one Sunday.”
The Chigs have won both league derbies this season but Sunday could be the toughest of the lot. There was huge relief all round when Stirling Kay’s men ended their losing streak against Neasden last time out but it will need something special to come away from the Peter May with something to show for their efforts.
Looking ahead to Sunday, Kay told JC Sport: "Each time we have played Chigwell, we have gone out with a much weakened side. Unfortunately this game will be no different. We go into this game not knowing if we can get 11 players on the pitch.
"This is a big shame with so much work and effort gone in this season from those players left. However, the last two games have made me very proud of my lads, and I have no doubt they will give everything for the cause, and the players coming in will do them selves proud. There is no more than I can ask for.
"We will be the underdogs,but we will give our best."
It promises to be a classic battle between youth and experience. The Chigs have held all the aces so far and only a brave man would bet against a hat-trick.
JC team news: Chigwell welcome back Richard Klein and top-scorer Glenn Michaels.
Venue – Peter May, Ref – C. Stupack, ko – 10.15
JC star man: Daniel Castle (Chigwell)
DC Prediction: Chigwell Athletic Redbridge JC B 1
FAITHFOLD B vs HENDON UNITED SPORTS CLUB B
“It’s all to play for on Sunday.” That is the view of Hendon joint-player-manager Motty Korman ahead of the Division Two match of the day.
The Hornets have been the model of consistency this season and on Sunday they go in search of their 12th win in 16 games.
They have bounced back well since losing against leaders Camden Park, although Korman believes there is still room for improvement.
“It’s a massive game this week,” he told JC Sport. “We have picked up six points from our last six games, but didn’t play to the best of our abilities last week.
“The boys know that we will have raise our game against a “busy” Fathifold B who are going strong in the Minor Cup.
“With promotion on the cards for the winners there is all to play for this week.”
Faithfold won the corresponding fixture with goals from Jonny Horowitz and Louis Green and victory at the Hive on Sunday would really make things interesting.
Confidence will be high after three consecutive wins in the Barry Goldstein Trophy and striker Richard Winton is bang in form.
Assistant-manager Ben Lewis told JC Sport: “We’re looking forward to what should be a good game.”
As well as Faithfold have done this season, instinct tells me that Hendon will up the ante and put in a season-defining performance.
JC team news: For Hendon, Parys Hammonds is suspended and Ari Nevies faces a late fitness test. Arthur Caplan is still sidelined and Pinty Baddiel is yet to return from his honeymoon.
Venue – The Hive, Ref – A. Myerson
JC star man: James Josephs (Hendon)
DC Prediction: Faithfold B 2 Hendon Utd SC B 3
FAITHFOLD C vs FC TEAM B
Sunday is a must-win for Faithfold C. Simple as that. Anything less and they’re down.
Having lost 3-2 against the Barry Goldstein Trophy quarter-finalists 3-2 in September, the signs don’t look good, but with 16-goal striker Ben Simons fit and raring to go, you have to give them half a chance.
Looking ahead to the game, Faithfold player-manager David Garson told JC Sport: “I am hoping that the team turn up for the full 90 minutes, not just 60 as they did last week.
“The long-term injury list hasn’t improved but nobody has dropped out yet, despite it being Mother’s Day, though I’m worried if it doesn’t warm up or it rains that we may have a couple of drop outs....”
Ben Simon’s FC Team have impressed in recent weeks with a nice little run in the Minor Cup keeping alive their hopes of a trip to Wingate & Finchley.
Emile Ben-Atar has been in top form of late. He bagged a brace against Raiders C last weekend, with Eddie Sternberg and Robbie Blair putting the icing on the cake.
The season has been a tough slog for Faithfold and I can’t see there being any light at the end of the tunnel.
Venue – The Hive, Ref – N. Cooper
JC star man: Eddie Sternberg (FC Team)
DC Prediction: Faithfold C 2 FC Team B 3
L’EQUIPE vs LONDON MACCABI LIONS B
There’s every chance that the relegation issues in Division Two could be resolved on Sunday as lowly L’Equipe take on an in-form Lions B team.
The Lions are one of the form teams in the league this season and in James Gold, they have a striker in the form of his life.
Jamie Kyte’s men are flying at the minute and a top three finish is well within their reach. The boys from Rowley Lane have won their last five games, with star man Gold smashing home 11 goals in his last five games following last weekend’s brace in the 6-2 demolition of Faithfold.
Having beaten L’Equipe by the same scoreline earlier in the season, I can see the Lions cruising home without needing to get out of first gear.
Venue – Copthall, Ref – Q. Fox
JC star man: Ryan Springer (LML)
DC Prediction: L’Equipe 1 LM Lions B 4
NORSTAR B vs CAMDEN PARK
The Division Two title race looks set to go down to the wire, but Camden player-manager Josh Marks is confident that victory in the team’s last two games will be enough to give them the coveted prize.
Marks will take a full-strength squad to Wembley as he goes in search of his 13th win of the season.
Camden have been the model of consistency so far this season and it appears that nerves won’t get the better of them as they look to go again after the thrilling 3-2 win over title rivals Hendon B.
Looking ahead to Sunday, Marks told JC Sport: “We’ve kept the momentum going during our three-week break with two-three training sessions a week.
“We’re all focused on the task ahead – two games, two wins = league title.”
Norstar fans breathed a sigh of relief as they won the basement battlers 2-1 against L’Equipe with strikes from Yoni Ben Ari and Jonny Kaye.
Manager Jonny Bunt claimed that the occasion got to his men, but they have nothing to lose on Sunday although it’s important they show the right attitude from the off.
Camden will take a large number of supporters to the Ark and I can see them coming away with plenty to smile about come Sunday lunchtime.
Venue – Ark Academy, Ref – J. Feenstra
JC star man: Guy Marks (Camden)
DC Prediction: Norstar B 1 Camden Park 3
BLIZZARD STORM vs CATFORD & BROMLEY MACCABI
Simon Linden, the Blizzard manager, still has his sights set on a top five finish as his team prepares to take on the Cats on Sunday.
Having booked their place in the last eight of the Goldstein, the Blizzard boys are in a good moment as they look to register their sixth league win of the season.
Another wonder strike from Joe Stolerman was the pick of the goals in the 3-2 cup win over Neasden C last Sunday. Stefan Simons and Dean Shaw finished the job, with gaffer Linden kvelling over the performances of Ben Graham, Stolerman and Shaw.
Looking ahead to Sunday, Linden told JC Sport: “When David Nathan comes to town to referee, we always enjoy the banter. He is a regular at Fonehouse Borehamwood - his wife, Anita, is very pleased with her HTC Wildfire, but David prefers to stick with the Nokia 2730, which suits him down to the ground.”
Moving on to the football, Linden went on to say: “We’ve got one eye on the quarters of the cup. However, I’m determined to hit a top five finish.
“Sunday isn’t about Blizzard and Catford. It’s about the return leg of Mark Rubin and David Nathan. They had a funny argument last time.”
The Catford management may struggle to lift the troops for the run-in. Any hopes of an appearance at Wingate were ended by Temple Fortune B last weekend and the end of the season cannot come soon enough.
Joint-manager Adam Lewis told JC Sport: “With our cup dreams over, and being unlikely either to move up or down in the table, we're playing for pride in the last few games now.
“Hopefully we’ll be able to get a strong team out and put on a better performance than we managed last week.
“Our last game against BS was very close and was decided by Fortune taking one of just a handful of chances in the game. We're looking forward what should be a good game.”
Momentum is important in football and Blizzard have that and confidence on their side.
JC team news: Blizzard are still missing Seb and Dan Vandermolen. Ben Robuck and Ryan Colet are likely to return.
Ref – D. Nathan
JC star man: Ryan Colet (Blizzard)
DC Prediction: Blizzard Storm 3 Catford & Bromley 1
LOS BLANCOS vs SHIRLEY PARK
Shirley Park will look to cement second place when they travel to South Oxhey on Sunday.
Dave Lusman’s men booked their place in the last eight of the Goldstein last weekend, despite losing a five-goal thriller against fourth division SPEC FC.
The Park boys will also be looking to complete a league double over a Blancos team they beat 3-2 in November with goals from Nicky Plotnek (2) and Gideon Gold.
But they may not have things all their own way on Sunday. As Blancos boss Joel Minsky told JC Sport: “Sunday is our last game of the season, and we'd like to go out with a bang.
“We are all disappointed with how our campaign has gone, with mid-table obscurity looking all but certain now - despite the fact we feel we are very well matched against a few of the teams above us.
“Three points on Sunday is achievable - we we're close last time against Shirley, going down 3-2 to a last minute winner.”
Goals are guaranteed.
Venue – South Oxhey, Ref – A. Djanogly
JC star man: Ilan Shaki (Shirley)
DC Prediction: Los Blancos 2 Shirley Park 3
NORTH WEST NEASDEN C vs TEAM JLGB
JLGB finish their season with a tough looking match against third-place Neasden C.
It’s been a tough season for Rob Silverman’s men who have finished bottom of Division Three and of their Minor Cup group. But to their credit, they have stuck to their guns and played with a smile on their faces, come rain or shine.
Neasden hope to come through the game unscathed with one eye on next weekend’s Goldstein Trophy quarter-final against second division Faithfold B.
Looking ahead to Sunday, Taylor told JC Sport: “We play a JLGB side that we have struggled against this season.
“I’m never sure what Neasden C are going to turn up these days - if we prepare right and play to our strengths, I'm confident of a win.”
I think it will be a case of close but no cigar for JLGB.
JC team news: For NWN, Elliott Setyon misses out, Jamie Isenwater returns in the squad after getting married in New York last weekend (Mazeltov Bato!) and player-manager Louis Taylor should start after his cameo off the bench last week.
Ref – S. Ansher
JC star man: Jamie Isenwater (NWN)
DC Prediction: NW Neasden C 3 Team JLGB 2
ATHLETICO FINCHLEY vs ATHLETIC BILBAUM
Title-chasing Bilbaum take on Finchley in the Athletic(o) derby in Mill Hill in a game that promises goals.
Both teams go into the match after failing to reach the latter stages of the JC Barry Goldstein Trophy, although there were plenty of plusses for both teams to take away from their games last weekend.
Benjy Aarons-Richardson won JC Goal of the Week for his wonder strike in the win over Team JLGB. Joint-player-manager Ed Green and Mark Pasha completed a 3-1 victory.
The Baums go into the game three points behind leaders Brady B, but they are looking over their shoulders with SPEC FC four points behind with two games in hand.
But they should take nothing for granted against an Athletico team who came oh so close to recording a famous win over Division Three giants Glenthorne B.
Craig Sandford, the Glenthorne joint-manager, was waxing lyrical about this young Athletico team and top-scorer Ben Mandell will be out to make amends for that miss of the week.
Looking ahead to the game, Athletico chief Zach Margolin told JC Sport: “We face another tough fixture this Sunday. Athletic Bilbaum have been great this season and are second in the league.
“However, despite losing some key players, I believe that we can get something from the game.
“There is a great amount of belief in the Athletico camp after two great performances against Division Three teams and I think that belief may get us a result.
“Looking at the table, we are the underdogs and Bilbaum may underestimate us. That is when we play our best!
“I am sure it will be another great game.”
So am I! It finished 4-3 to the Baums in September and I can see the respective keepers being the busiest men on the pitch.
JC team news: Finchley are without Doug Carson, Joel Barnett and Andrew Greenwall Cohen, who were all fantastic last Sunday. Aron Keller faces a late fitness test. However, after a set back, defender Ed Brafman looks set to make his Athletico debut.
Venue – Copthall, Ref – N. Cohen
JC star man: Benjy Aarons-Richardson (Bilbaum)
DC Prediction: Athletico Finchley 2 Athletic Bilbaum 3
SPEC FC vs FC TEAM C
"Four cup finals are what we are preparing for now.” Those were the words of SPEC FC midfielder and press officer Ricky Lawrence ahead of Sunday’s meeting with FC Team C.
Lawrence goes into the game on a high after being one of two SPEC FC players selected for the Team GB squad that will go to Marseille next month in defence of the European Maccabi Football Trophy.
SPEC FC manager Lawrence Conway knows that FC Team C will be tricky opponents. Michael Myers’ men gave an excellent account of themselves in the matches against leaders Brady and they will be looking to make things as tough as possible for the side chasing promotion.
Looking ahead to Sunday, Lawrence told JC Sport: “Hats off to Brady. They don't look like slipping up and just seem to keep winning.
“However, we have to be ready to capitalise on any mistakes they do make. We are also determined to finish in the top two and anything lower than that would be looked on as failure.
“Laurence had some tough decisions to make regarding the squad after another great turnout at training and the starting line up will be equally difficult.
“If Adam Lenz can display the kind of finishing on Sunday as he showed at training he may even open his league account and there isn't a player we would love to see score more than Mr Deep Heat himself!"
The chances are that FC Team C will finish where they are now, in fifth, but they certainly won’t lay on the red carpet treatment for SPEC FC.
But SPEC FC are on a roll. They have won their last six matches and do not concede many. I’m backing them to do the business on Sunday.
Venue – Hatfield Uni, Ref – L. Thorne
JC star man: Adam ‘Deep Heat’ Lenz
DC Prediction: SPEC FC 3 FC Team C 1
TEMPLE FORTUNE B vs BRADY MACCABI B
“Win on Sunday and other results go our way then we can be crowned champions.” Those were the words of Brady player-manager Josh Dagul ahead of the trip to Temple Fortune B.
The division’s top-scorers look in for a big test of their title credentials against a Fortune team who have reached the last eight of the Goldstein once again.
It promises to be a classic battle of youth against experience. Brady will go into the game with a psychological edge having beaten Fortune 4-2 in December.
Looking ahead to Sunday, Dagul told JC Sport: “If we win on Sunday and other results go our way then we can be crowned champions.
“The team have been fantastic all year and with the title within our reach I'm expecting the boys to win the game.
“I’d rather we win in style, but I wouldn’t be upset with another scrappy victory!”
Joey Glynne made it four goals in two games with another double in the impressive 3-1 win against third division Catford. The former Team GB star is flying at the moment and he’ll be looking to make life difficult for the Brady backline.
On paper this shouldn’t be a contest but funnier things have happened …
Venue – Gosling Sports Park, Ref – M. Lavender
JC star man: Jerome Colmans (Brady)
DC Prediction: Temple Fortune B 1 Brady B 2