Harold Feldman Trophy Final
Manchester Maccabi 3rd 2
Oakhill Lions 0
Steve Bentwood heaped praise on his young guns after Manchester Maccabi 3rd denied Oakhill Lions a third consecutive Feldman Trophy triumph.
Jake Kelly scored twice in the first half at Salford FC as Bentwood’s boys overcame their opponents and the monsoon-like conditions to lift the cup.
Oakhill had beaten Maccabi in both of their previous league encounters earlier in the season, but Bentwood says his side’s crucial first goal was the difference.
“Oakhill are the best team we’ve played this season and I think they’re better than Haroldeans,” he said.
“But I think with the weather as it was, the first goal was always going to be important and when you’ve got Jake Kelly in that kind of form, there’s always a chance.
“We had five lads out there who were 16 and the rest of them were 17 or 18 and that’s what we wanted in the cup final.
“It was a great experience for them and I think they deserve to win at least one trophy this year.
“We got two goals in the first-half and then we sat back and defended, but it was difficult because of the conditions.
“It was probably the worst weather I’ve seen in Manchester for quite some time and that’s something.”
Oakhill had been hoping to make it three in Feldman Cup final victories in a row, but boss Zack Gothelf admits his team were second best on the day.
He said: “Maccabi defended brilliantly. They blocked all our shots and threw their bodies in the way.
“We had all the possession but just couldn’t find a way through. They just defended in a very impressive manner.
“We had our game plan but in the end it just didn’t work and I don’t think the weather helped our passing game.
“Perhaps their second goal was offside, but I don’t think it mattered too much because we didn’t look like scoring.
“It’s just such a shame because this is the best squad of players that we’ve had for years and we’re going to finish the season with nothing.”