JC MSFL DIVISION FOUR
Temple Fortune B 2 Brady Maccabi B 4
Two goals from player-manager Josh Dagul helped Brady B clinch promotion and put one hand on the league title as they overcame Temple Fortune B in a six-goal thriller.
Twas a blowy Sunday morning, the sheer intensity of a must-win game was not overshadowed by Mother's Day festivities as Brady went on to clinch promotion with a well fought victory.
Brady started like a team possessed, pressing high up the pitch and moving the ball around crisp and slickly when in possession. Daniel Harrod and captain, James Joseph were dominating in the middle of the park and none of the Temple Fortune players could get near them.
It wasn’t long before Brady were rewarded as Harrod grabbed his first, and probably only ever goal in Brady colours. Harrod was given the ball on the edge of the area, took it past a player before striking the ball towards goal, where the Fortune keeper struggled to deal with the power, dip, swerve and bounce and saw the ball end up in the back of his net.
Brady doubled their lead minutes later as Joseph stole possession high up the field and fed Dagul who took a few touches before slotting home with his left foot.
Brady were in the ascendancy and looked threatening every time they attacked, breaking at great pace. They could have grabbed a couple more goals, with chances falling to Dagul, Hildebrand and Joseph, but their failure to take their opportunities left the game open for a Fortune comeback.
Fortune hadn't read the script and ended the first half in spectacular fashion. Brady highlighted before the game that Fortune would be a threat from set-pieces and they were correct. With around five minutes left in the first half, Brady failed to clear their lines from a Fortune corner and Fortune took advantage to tap in from six yards and make it 2-1.
This gave Fortune a boost and they soon made it 2-2. Another corner was emphatically headed home by the Fortune player, before the sound of the half time whistle.
Fortune went in at half time the happier of the teams and Brady were left stunned at how they had let Fortune back into a game that they thought was won.
The second half started in a scrappy fashion with not too much of note, except a few half chances for Brady.
The first key chance of the half fell to Fortune. Once again from a set-piece, but this time Ben Adaki in the Brady goal pulled off a phenomenal save to deny the Fortune player from point-blank range and keep Brady in the game.
With his team in need of inspiration, it was the player-manager, Dagul who once again stepped up to the mark, driving his side towards Division Three. Dagul read an Adaki drop-kick superbly, knocked the ball between the two Fortune centre-backs, before sprinting through the middle of them and beating the goalie with an exquisite chip. Cue ecstasy.
Brady knew that 3-2 left them in a precarious position, so went looking for a fourth to kill off the game. The fourth goal came with around 10 minutes remaining, as Joseph set up Hildebrand for his 25th goal of the season.
Brady saw out the remainder of the game to secure promotion. The champagne remains on ice for now however, as Brady know that three points against Raiders C next weekend will see them crowned champions.
Brady assistant-manager, Josh Black, who watched the game on a dodgy internet stream in Paraguay, told JC Sport: "On behalf of all Brady's fans in South America, I just want to send my congratulations to the boys on clinching promotion, after a campaign of hard work.
"Though the job isn't finished yet, there will be parties on the streets of Paraguay tonight."