One match stands out above anything else this week, and I’m not talking about Chelsea against Manchester City. There’s a mouth-watering affair in store in Arkley where league leaders Faithfold A take on defending champions Hendon United Sports Club A. Danny Caro looks ahead to Matchday 13 of the JC MSFL season.
JC MATCH OF THE DAY
DANNY CARO'S MATCHDAY 12 OSCARS
JC REFEREE OF THE WEEK
Aaron Djanogly (FC Team B vs Athletic Bilbaum)
JC MSFL PREMIER DIVISION
9 - Adam Stolerman, (Redbridge JC A), Daryl Phillips (Faithfold A)
7 - Lorian Madanes, Mike Pearson (both LML A), Josh Green (Norstar A)
HENDON UNITED SPORTS CLUB A vs FAITHFOLD A
“I wouldn’t go writing Hendon’s title obituary words just yet.” That was the statement of intent from Hammers manager David Garbacz following last weekend’s stunning 7-0 demolition of Norstar A.
It was vital last season’s champions got back to winning ways last Sunday and they did it in style, with the twinkle-toed Greg Corin leading them home with a hat-trick. Ben Kon (2), Ben Kon, Ari Last and Danny Kon completed the rout.
Gaffer Garbacz was also keen to mention the contribution of goalkeeper Russell Corin, who went about his business with a calm and authorative manner.
The first meeting between the teams finished all square after Ari Last cancelled out a strike from Dan Howard in a game where Faithfold were missing captain Alex Levack. Superhoops boss Zuriel Solomon came away from the match believing his troops had edged it in terms of possession and chances created.
Hendon this week unveiled two new signings ahead of the crunch clash - Oliver Sade and Alex Nadler.
Explaining his decision to dip into the transfer market, Garbacz told JC Sport: “We have veered away from the usual tried and tested old players and have snapped up two unheard of youngsters (in terms of the MSFL).
“Oliver Sade had trials with Maccabi Petach Tikva and is one of the most talented players I have seen at this level. He is not 100 per cent match-fit, but when he is he will be a real handful for most defences.
“Another added bonus is that he is part of the family who owns/runs Solly restaurant in Golders Green which is excellent news for our end of season celebrations! (Ed, I like your style David!)
“Alex Nadler is a youngster originally from Manchester. His father David Nadler managed Maccabiah teams and recommended his son to me a few weeks ago. Alex also played Maccabiah under-18 football and was scouted to play for Shrewsbury Town. Due to religious commitments he decided against that, but we are delighted to have got him on board instead.
“We have been short at full-back this season with Motti Colman back in Israel and Alex Gilbert out for many weeks with a groin injury. Martin Smulovitch has also now picked up an injury. I expect Alex to be a fabulous addition to our defence where we have not been as strong as last season. Both new signings are 22-years-old and we are delighted to welcome them on board.”
As for the match itself, Garbacz had this to say: “It is only November but for us Sunday is potentially a real season defining game. We have just about managed to keep in touch despite some non-ideal results and a win on Sunday and all our early season troubles will be long forgotten.
“We have bolstered up our squad this week with two new signings and I really think they can both take the league by storm and are just what we need to maximise competition for places.
“Last week we found our scoring boots and we will need to take some of that form into Sunday. We will miss Ari Last badly on Sunday who is away but we still have a good strong squad available.
“Faithfold have been ultra- consistent this season and we always have great battles against them. There is never much in it.
“I was delighted last week with Greg Corin’s performance and we have really missed his creativity and goals in the early part of the season. With him now back to his best I believe he could make the difference in a tight game.
“As long as we can shore it up at the back as well, then we hope to totally get our season back on track with massive three points on Sunday.”
Faithfold also hit the target seven times with a sublime 7-1 demolition of North London Raiders. Away. Jonny Haik was the star performer with a fantastic four-goal salvo that earned him the tag of JC Player of the Week. Daryl Phillips (2) and Rocky Spitzer joined the party in a game where Alex Kaye also impressed.
Greens boss Zuriel Solomon know his team will need to refocus as they go in search of what would be their seventh win of the league season.
Looking ahead to Sunday, Solomon told JC Sport: “Two teams with really good results last week should make for a very exciting game. Anyone writing Hendon off doesn’t know much about football. The season is long and they are a very good team with lots of good players so we will not under-estimate them.
“These are the games you want to be involved in which should spur my boys on we have been playing well and last week was probably our best performance this season.
“For us this is another game you have to get yourself up for every game every week no matter who you play so we will have to be on our game to come away with anything.”
The absence of Last will be a blow for Hendon and it will be interesting to see exactly how and where the new boys fit in.
The first goal could be massive on Sunday, but I think it’ll be too close to call a winner.
JC team news: Hendon are missing Alex Gilbert, Yoav Kestenbaum, Martin Smulovitch and Ari Last . Jacob Gold faces a late fitness test and is currently rated 50/50 .
Faithfold are without Dan Howard and Dan Stock, but have an otherwise full-strength squad to choose from.
Venue – Hadley FC, Ref – Andy Fridkin
JC star man: Russell Corin (Hendon)
DC Prediction: Hendon 1 Faithfold 1
FC TEAM A vs OAKWOOD A
Mid-table rivals FC Team and Oakwood have the utmost respect for one another, but once that first whistle blows on Sunday, I expect both teams to go hell for leather in search of three points that could help propel them up the table.
Both teams have made solid starts in the league, but it’s the chance for one to kick on.
FC Team go into the game on the back of a 4-1 defeat in the London FA Sunday Intermediate Cup. Missing key men, the signs looked good when summer signing Declan Selbo put them ahead, but once their opponents equalised there was no way back.
David Grossman reminded everyone of his qualities in goal, but he’s looking forward to getting back on the pitch on Sunday.
Team boss Mitch Young was in fighting mood ahead of the game. He told JC Sport: “Oakwood are on an impressive run and have strengthened their squad over the year so I am expecting an extremely tough game.
“There is no doubt we will have to be at our best to get anything from the game, but I am confident that, no matter how good a run Oakwood are on, if we perform to the best of our abilities we can pick up a victory.
“We are in the mix in the right half of the table and every point this season really does count and every three points are huge. Attack may be the best form of defence on Sunday.”
The Oaks won a seven-goal thriller to progress in the Anekstein after edging out Premier Division rivals Brady last weekend.
Summer signing Carl Peters was the star man, in a tie where Brad Wine, Dan Ash and Raphi Bloom were also on target.
Ahead of their first meeting with Team this season, Oaks joint-boss Ric Blank told JC Sport: “I think Sunday is potentially our biggest game of the season. We know all about Team and have nothing but respect for what they've achieved over the years.
“But Sunday will not be for the faint-hearted - the boys are fit and up for it as ever. Team have had a good season so far and anyone that beats Hendon has to be treated with respect.
“I know they lost in the London Cup last weekend but I think they had quite a few players out (aside - has any MSFL team ever lost when they've had their full side out - if you read the JC each week you’d think not - but that's a different story!) so we’re up for a real test - possibly our biggest of the season.
“We have a good squad out as ever and whichever 14 we pick I back them fully to give it their best and do themselves proud - whoever they’re playing.”
There will be plenty of big battles all over the park. Oakwood will relish the challenge posed by taking on the likes of Selbo and Salmon up front, which leads me to believe that this game will be won and lost in midfield. It’s game on!
JC team news: FC Team hope to welcome back Jon Toby after four weeks out with fractured cheek bone. Jake Weiner, Ed Bloom, Ollie Segal and Jason Wood should also return.
Venue – Meadow Park, Ref – Keith Goodman
JC star man: Raphi Bloom (Oakwood)
DC Prediction: FC Team A 1 Oakwood A 1
LONDON MACCABI LIONS A vs NORSTAR A
Lions will unleash new signing Lee Cash as interim manager Andy Landesberg looks to get back to winning ways following the defeat against Redbridge last Sunday.
The 3-1 defeat brought them back down to earth with a bump but they have the perfect chance to heap more misery on a Norstar team at the bottom of the table.
In a candid interview with JC Sport, Landesberg had a confession to make. “If I am perfectly honest, I know nothing about them, and will definitely take nothing for granted,” he said.
“Fortunately, I believe we will be able to field our strongest line up to date, which will include Lee Cash, and the return of Lorian Madanes. We will complete two more signings by Thursday,” he warned Norstar.
Landesberg added: “It is a must win game for us and it is vital that we cut out some basic mistakes that cost us the game last Sunday, although that should take nothing away from a good Redbridge team.
“James (Gershfield) and I can’t wait until Sunday as we are relishing the task we have ahead of us. Hopefully we can achieve a good performance for the home crowd who have been very supportive over the last two weeks.”
You can get 33-1 at some bookmakers on Norstar claiming what would be their first-ever Premier Division victory on Sunday. I even saw Phil Peters near a turf accountant earlier this week, but didn’t manage to see his betting slip.
It’s been a tough learning curve for the Oranges who have lost six games in eight, but Peters know they have nothing to lose when they travel to Arkley.
“I’m looking forward to our game against Lions,” he told JC Sport. “It’s always a fun day out at Rowley Lane.
“We have plenty of injuries, but will be going all out to get some points on the board - it's been too long!
“In other news, journeyman Jeff Gotch has left the club after 18-months with the club, the last six-months as captain of the B team. Gotch was keen to move closer to his family home in Southgate and return to a more attacking role on the pitch. We are sad to see him go but wish him the best of luck in his future career. His number 69 shirt will now probably be retired (or put in a really hot wash to make it a little bit smaller!).
Both Ben De La Fuente and Ben Sheldon have played in goal for Norstar this season. I suggest both start there on Sunday as parking the bus may be the best option in terms of damage limitation. This really will be David against Goliath and the 5-1 on a Cash hat-trick looks too good to turn down.
Venue – Rowley Lane, Ref – Richard Jaye
JC star man: Lee Cash (Lions)
DC Prediction: Lions A 5 Norstar A 1
BRADY MACCABI A vs BRIXTON OLD BOYS
Brady ran out of puff and were out of luck against Oakwood in the cup last weekend when they were on the wrong end of a seven-goal thriller.
That match really summed up their season so far and they know that more will be needed when they tackle a Jekyll & Hyde Brixton.
One win in six just isn’t good enough by Joel Nathan’s high standards, but when you look at the quality he’s able to put on the pitch every week, you just have to believe they will click sooner rather than later.
Lee Platt, Josh Gordon, Jonny Ellis, Rob Lerner, Joel Lassman and Josh Hershman, the big names are there in abundance. Proven MSFL quality, players who have been doing it week in, week out for the last few seasons. Brixton beware. That’s the message from me.
Brixton have beaten the Lions and FC Team in recent outings, but I expect them to be given a real test at Rowley Lane – a ground Nathan is determined to turn into a fortress.
Looking ahead to Sunday, Nathan told JC Sport: “Injuries are still a major issue with seven guys still out for Sunday, so we will be up against it against a good Brixton team who are finding their teeth in the Premier Division.
“Having know John a long time, I am sure his guys will be very keen to get one over us. However, the lads are determined to make sure that does not happen...”
Brixton have found results harder to come by on the road, with the excellent win at FC Team the exception. Nitka knows exactly what will be required on Sunday.
He told JC Sport: "I hope to have a decent squad on Sunday, but will not know until tomorrow, possibly Saturday. As previously mentioned, with a full squad to chose from we will not be beaten. No game in the top division is easy – if I knew who was available now I could predict the outcome."
Hold on to your seats for what could be an earth shattering contest.
JC team news: Brady welcome back Matt Sofier but have major concerns over Nicky Smith in addition to the boys already out, while Ryan Fox is away...
Venue – Rowley Lane, Ref – Nigel Burns
JC star man: Josh Hershman (Brady)
DC Prediction: Brady A 2 Brixton 1
REDBRIDGE JEWISH CARE A vs NORTH LONDON RAIDERS A
Raiders boss Rob Richman is hopeful his boys can put in the performance of a lifetime to ensure this is a coupon spoiler.
The odds are firmly stacked against the north Londoners who travel to a team in top form.
RJC’s front pairing of Steve Summers and Adam Stolerman helped take the game away from Lions last weekend, and although neither is blessed with great pace, they make up for it in other departments.
Summers is strong as an ox and as good as they come MSFL-wise when it comes to a striker with his back to goal. He’s due a goal or three, but is always one of the first names down on the teamsheet. He excels at holding the ball up and bringing others into the game. He is the kind of player that will bring out the best in the loved-up Ben Sollosi – always a willing runner from midfield.
Stolerman is having an excellent season. At times, he seems to have eyes in the back of his head. He’s a Rolls Royce of a footballer, a real class act.
RJC boss Eilon Kennet was delighted with the team’s performance at his former club, it really ticked all the boxes in terms of being the complete performance, with Ben Graham and Richie Caplin the other stars of the show.
Looking ahead to Sunday, Kennet told JC Sport: “You never know which Raiders team you're going to get, so preparing for this week’s match is really about us and our approach.
“If we approach the game with the right attitude and commitment we’ll get the result - we need to keep this run going.
“We’ve got a couple of absentees this week’ so it will also be a good test to see if we have strength in depth in our squad.
“Everyone in the squad is looking forward to this game trained hard. Now it’s about transferring it on to the pitch on Sunday.”
L’Orange go into the match on the back of their heaviest defeat of the season. A strike from Jonny Hesselberg was about the only positive they could take away from a 7-1 battering at the hands of leaders Faithfold. They were simply blown away.
Confidence will be fragile, but manager Richman will remind his troops that the club have earned some excellent results at Fairlop in recent years, and he’ll be looking for his big match players, such as Jamie Wolfson, David Dinkin, David Rhodes and Adam Joselyn to produce something special.
Raiders have one of the finest reputations in the league when it comes to being the nice guys, but they must adopt a different approach on Sunday and try to ruffle Redbridge’s feather. It’s crucial they keep the home team out for the first 20.
It’s either that or taste another heavy defeat in my eyes …
JC team news: For Redbridge, Steve Gevertz is away on stag duty, so Johnny Morgan is in the squad. Jack Van Gelder and Ben Sollosi return.
Venue - Fairlop, Ref – David Lazarus
JC star man: Ben Graham (RJC)
DC Prediction: Redbridge A 4 Raiders A 1
24 - Jamie Kent (Shirley Park)
14 - Yishai Last (Hendon B)
10 - Lee Cash (Neasden A), Chaim Gothold (Hendon B)
GLENTHORNE UNITED A vs CHIGWELL ATHLETIC
League leaders Glenthorne are relishing Sunday’s big derby against Chigwell Athletic.
“It’s the fixture I look for first when the list comes out,” Thornes boss Sam Rosenthal told JC Sport.
With six wins from seven league games under their belt, the Thornes have set the bar high so far this season. They have kept three clean sheet and haven’t conceded for more than 180 minutes in the league. To me, they have the look and feel of champions, but Rosenthal won’t allow them to take anything for granted yet.
Rosenthal knows Chigwell inside out and he’ll clearly have done his homework on Richard Slater’s men as he knows full well that he won’t be welcome at Faces for a while if he loses on Sunday.
Ahead of kick-off, Rosenthal added: “We’re looking forward to seeing some old faces. That said, we’re due a win against them.
“We have a few absentees golfing in Spain, but I’m confident we have enough depth to compensate.”
That’s be music to the ears of Chigs chief Richard Slater. No doubt, he’ll be sure to have done his homework and know exactly who is and who isn’t playing for Glenthorne.
Chigs were back to their best in the cup last Sunday when they made easy work of a potential banana skin with Anthony Mendel inspiring them to victory with a hat-trick.
Slater publicly wrote off his team’s title hopes a couple of weeks ago, but with games in hand, I believe he was looking to take the pressure off his troops and they will be looking to make a big statement of intent on Sunday.
With one win in six league games, Slater knows full well this have under-achieved, and he’ll be determined to put that right here.
“We know going to the league leaders on Sunday will be a tough local derby. just as the cup game was earlier this season.
“There's no pressure on us, being down in eighth position. They're expected to win the game for sure, but we're confident in our ability and experience within the squad.”
Chigwell defended well in the recent cup game, but that was the cup. This is the league and Glenthorne have been the model of consistency thus far. They have a tried and tested formula that has served them well and if they go in front, I can’t see them losing.
Venue – Ford Sports & Social, Ref – Neil Cooper
JC star man: Dan Lassman (Glenthorne)
DC Prediction: Glenthorne A 1 Chigwell 0
SOUTHGATE HARMEN vs SHIRLEY PARK
Three points on Sunday could help Shirley Park finish the weekend top of the table. If that isn’t incentive enough for Dave Lusman’s men then I don’t know what is.
They go into their first meeting with Harmen on the back of a 3-1 defeat against Lions B. Lusman admitted his boys had an off day and were beaten by the better team on the day.
Shirley remain the league top-scorers and star man Jamie Kent will be looking to add to his 24-goal tally against a team that has been excellent defensively in the league, although Southgate fans could be fearing the worst after they were thumped 4-1 by Camden in the cup last Sunday.
Harmen have made a decent start with the recent signings hitting the ground running. With the likes of Ori Kobi and Alex Bowman in their ranks, you can see them asking questions of the Shirley back line, but the million dollar question is, will they be able to score more than they concede.
If this match was played on paper, I think Shirley would win and I think Lusman will be holding all the aces come Sunday lunchtime.
Venue – Ashmole School, Ref – Martin De La Fuente
JC star man: Gideon Gold (Shirley)
DC Prediction: Southgate Harmen 2 Shirley Park 3
TEMPLE FORTUNE vs FAITHFOLD B
A resurgent Faithfold B will be looking to record their second league win of the season when they take on Fortune at a ground they know well.
Rob Shooman’s boys looked back to their best as they eased the pressure on their manager with a 5-2 cup win over Norstar. Two-goal hero Sam Lewis was the star of the show in a tie where Richard Winton, Stefan Simons and Ben Moss also found the net.
You could sense the relief in the dugout at the final whistle. Faithfold assistant-manager Ben Lewis told JC Sport: “A few weeks off have helped to get some players back and also move on, with some players not ready to commit leaving the club and we wish them all the best.
“What we are left with is a core of committed and technically very good players and it looks like we will benefit from working closer with the other teams in the club.
“We can’t wait for the next game although the division is extremely challenging for us for reasons we have spoken about before we are looking forward to it.”
Fortune experienced a tougher test which they eventually passed thanks to goals from Shai Davidi and Michael Goldberg. Those two players will have key roles to play again on Sunday in what could be a feisty affair.
A draw would do little to ease either team’s relegation fears but I think it will finish honours even.
Venue – The Hive, Ref – Stuart Ansher
JC star man: Steve Murad (Fortune)
DC Prediction: Temple Fortune A 1 Faithfold B 1
UJIA vs NORTH WEST NEASDEN A
Crisis clubs UJIA and Neasden A go head to head in a relegation six-pointer in Mill Hill.
UJIA have yet to register a win this season, but with a number of experienced players leaving the club in the early part of the season, manager Ben Radstone has a real task on his hands getting a team out these days.
Neasden are also fighting to keep their heads above water following the departure of Lee Cash, Scott Shindler and Jonny Blain.
It had to ask manager Daniel Hodes a difficult question this week and was delighted with his response.
NWN stalwart Hodes told me he is doing everything he can to keep running the team.
“It’s definitely hard times ahead,” he told JC Sport. “In the short-term we will just be trying to get a side out. As time goes on we hope we can make some additions to strengthen the club, but we will have to wait and see.
“As someone who's been at the club for 21 seasons, it is really sad as NWN has a great legacy and a strong place in MSFL history, but its future is uncertain at best.”
Neasden don’t make a drama out of a crisis and if Adam Klein can pick up a trick or two in Lazio then I fancy them to take three points.
Venue – Chase Lodge, Ref – Adam Lewis
JC star man: Adam Klein (NWN)
DC Prediction: UJIA 0 Neasden A 1
WOODFORD WANDERERS vs CAMDEN PARK
Woodford are long over-due a first league win, but there were smiles all round when they came through a tough test in the cup and avoided a banana skin in the shape of FC Team C.
Paul Hyams' troops showed tremendous character to come from behind to win 2-1 with goals from super-sub Joe Summary and James Ryan.
Summary’s cameo was straight out of the top-drawer, while it was good to see Ryan back on the scoresheet.
Hyams will be slightly concerned with the team’s conversion rate, but they had a great cutting edge last week and with the quality they possess in the final third, the gaffer must be confident the goals will come.
Hyams told JC Sport: "Hopefully a little run could lead to something special for us this season and I want to take this form in to the league."
But they will have another big test on their hands on Sunday when promotion-chasing Camden come to town.
Josh Marks’ boys proved too hot for Harmen to handle in the cup last weekend in a game where Richard Silver continued his purple patch in front of goal with a quality double.
Rob Hershkorn and Josh Toff finished the job and manager Marks will be delighted that he has so many important players firing on all cylinders for a place that is never easy to go to.
I think Woodford will huff and puff, but in the end Camden will come out on top.
JC team news: Woodford's Ben Rosenthal told JC Sport: "We have a fully fit squad, with no injuries, and are looking for back-to-back wins."
Venue – Fairlop, Ref – Adam Lewis
JC star man: Joe Summary (Woodford)
DC Prediction: Woodford 1 Camden Park 2
14 - Adam Hersh (Los Blancos)
8 - Dan Hildebrand (Brady B)
LOS BLANCOS vs GLENTHORNE UNITED B
Promotion rivals Blancos and Glenthorne B go head to head in west Hendon with the north Londoners hoping that strength in depth will see them through.
Adam Hersh’s men were well beaten by SPEC FC last Sunday and the manager will be looking for a big reaction from his men. It’s worth remembering that they have a 100 per cent record at home this season and have kept two clean sheets in front of their fans.
The smell of the infamous west Hendon changing rooms clearly brings out the best in Hersh who has scored in every home game, including a couple of hat-tricks.
He told JC Sport: “We are missing some top players this week, but we have an extremely strong squad that are more than capable of getting the win on Sunday.”
Glenthorne have won four out of four on their travels in the league and I don’t think there will be much to separate the teams on Sunday.
Thornes joint-player-manager Jordan Sapler told JC Sport: “This Sunday we have the three players we were missing from Spurs last week able to return.
"Last time against Los Blancos was one of the most one-sided games that ended in a draw I've ever played in. We had so many chances and just couldn't get the winner.
“They've picked up since that game and have one of the league’s top-scorers playing so we'll need to be wary of that threat. They also have one of the best keeper’s in the league so we will need to make sure our shooting is at its best.”
“If we play like we did first game of the season then we know we will have the beating of them we'll work on our game-plan at training and if everything goes to plan we will keep our good run going and pick up another three points on Sunday."
Confident talk from the Glenthorne boss. Let’s see if his team can produce the performance to match it.
JC team news: For Blancos, Daniel Sher is struggling with a twisted knee picked up last week whilst Eddie Nathan is not yet fully fit. Julian Gertner is absent due to his sister’s wedding and player-manager Adam Hersh is also a doubt.
For Glenthorne, Dave Levy unavailable and Jay Lawrence are injured. James Berkley underwent a fitness test at training ahead of what could possibly be his first appearance of the season.
Venue – West Hendon, Ref – Adam Yuchetel
JC star man: Adam Goldman (Glenthorne)
DC Prediction: Los Blancos 2 Glenthorne B 2
ATHLETIC BILBAUM vs BRADY MACCABI B
There’s a top quality affair in store in NW7 when second takes on third in the division.
Winning has become a habit for the Baums this season with Mark Pasha and Ed Green’s total football working a treat.
Jake Gilbert started the season like a house on fire and in recent weeks Ben Bell has picked up the mantle on the goals front.
They were made to sweat against FC Team B last weekend but with Benjy "the Baker" Aarons-Richarson and Adam Bier putting in shifts the result was never in doubt.
The Baums will feel they have a score to settle with the Brady bunch who hit them for six in late August. Daniel Hildebrand played out of his skin that day, smashing home a hat-trick in a 6-2 win.
The boys in green and white have recovered superbly since then and will be looking to avenge that dark day.
Brady already had a top team and the addition of Josh Newman will only make them better. The former Lions A joint-manager will add physical presence and quality to the midfield engine room, allowing the talented Reiss Mogilner to get further forward.
The Rowley Lane outfit has attacking threats from all over the park so if you’re looking for a good advert for Jewish football this weekend, get down to Copthall.
Latest news: Brady Maccabi are delighted to announce the signing of 17-year-old highly-rated goalkeeper Sam Singer from London Maccabi Lions. Singer has been a regular with the A-team at Lions so far this season and will be a welcome addition to the other side of Rowley Lane.
Venue – Copthall, Ref – Steve Russell
JC star man: Benjy Aarons-Richarson (Bilbaum)
DC Prediction: Bilbaum 1 Brady 1
CATFORD & BROMLEY MACCABI vs NORSTAR B
As we all know, football is a funny old game. Cats chairman Lester Jacobs broke the bank this week to sign Jeff Gotch from Norstar. You guessed it, first up is a match against his former club.
Striker Jamie Sinai was their hero last weekend as they kept a rare clean sheet to win in the cup and set up a mega match against 2011 Anekstein winners Redbridge A. I’ve heard tickets for that tie have almost sold out.
So it’s good times at Catford at present and the acquisition of the experienced Gotch is a clear statement of intent.
Looking ahead to Sunday, Cats captain Adam Luria told JC Sport: “We had a good game with Norstar at the start of the season and are looking forward to pitting our wits against them again this week.
“They're in a false position as they've got some decent players, but we'll be going all out to extend our winning run to three consecutive games.
“We're unbeaten at home this season, so we're looking to keep that run going and turn Norsemen into a real fortress.
“In addition, we'll be giving a debut to new signing Jeff Gotch, who'll be hoping to get one over on Norstar, having just signed for us from them. We're thrilled to have him involved - he'll give us some much needed physical presence and will be a big voice on the pitch.”
Little has gone right for Norstar B this season, although it certainly hasn’t been for the lack of trying.
Club chairman Phil Peters never likes losing a quality player, but the departure of Gotch has left him with some cash to help B team boss David Lubczanski
Peters told JC Sport: “Journeyman Jeff Gotch has left the club after 18 months with the club, the last six as captain of the B team. He was keen to move closer to his family home in Southgate and return to a more attacking role on the pitch. We are sad to see him go but wish him the best of luck in his future career. His number 69 shirt will now probably be retired (or put in a really hot wash to make it a little bit smaller).”
All joking aside, Gotch has big boots to fill and I believe the decision to allow him to move on will only help the Cats.
JC team news: Catford will be missing top-scorer Jamie Sinai this week, but they welcome back several big players, including Jonny Lee and Dan Zegze who we missed in the last game.
Venue – Norseman FC, Ref – Aaron Djanogly
JC star man: Jonny Lee (Catford)
DC Prediction: Catford & Bromley Maccabi 2 Norstar B 0
NORTH LONDON RAIDERS B vs FC TEAM B
Raiders boss Oli Shorts is threatening to make big changes ahead of the visit of FC Team B.
I expected big things from L’Orange this season but they have failed to deliver thus far and last weekend suffered a second consecutive defeat against Brady in a match they were leading.
Manager Oli Shorts added fuel to the fire in this week's press conference. He told JC Sport: "We have a bit of a crisis at the back, so we're pretty short of men for this weekend's game.
"Saying that, our starting XI looks strong so we're confident going into the game. It would be nice to have a full-strength team to pick this week or any other week for that matter.
"We've lost five games this season and four of them have been by the single goal. It's very frustrating. We're actually pretty solid at the back having only conceded 18 goals and 10 of those came in two games. It's going forward that has been our problem so we need to rectify this is our next game.
Sunday is now a must-win against fellow strugglers FC Team B – a side who start the game four points better off.
Ben Simons’ boys were edged out by a good Bilbaum team last weekend and the fans will believe that a similar performance will be rewarded with at least a point.
The battle of the strikers will be worth the admission fee alone on Sunday with Raiders hotshot Nicky Woolf up against Adam Goldsmith.
Raiders will be looking to make a fast start and if they remember their shooting boots they should come away from Uxbridge with something to show for their efforts.
JC team news: Raiders are without Garb, Matt Keston, Graham, Skolnick and Rosey who are all carrying and otherwise engaged. Simon Buchler is away in New York.
Venue - Brunel, Ref – Henry Raffe
JC star man: Nicky Woolf (Raiders)
DC Prediction: Raiders B 2 FC Team B 2
NORTH WEST NEASDEN B vs BLIZZARD STORM
Leaders Neasden B will be looking to complete their second league double of what has been an excellent campaign to date.
With the scalp of Norstar B already in the bag, Adam Levene’s dream team go in search of their eighth league win when they entertain mid-table Blizzard.
NWN ran out 3-1 winners when the teams met earlier in the season, where super-sub Elliot Setyon (2) and former boss Louis Taylor saw them home.
Taylor was on target again last weekend, when the team came away from east London with an impressive 4-0 victory. James Abrams, Simon Cohen and Leven were the other scorers.
Looking ahead to Sunday, Levene told JC Sport: “We’re looking forward to meeting up with our old friends from Southend again.
“We hope they’ve brought us some Rossis ice cream for half time! The games are usually tight affairs and that this is the Division Two version of El Classico!
The Blizzard boys go into the game on a high following a big win in the cup over lower division opposition. Brothers Dan Simon and Oli Simons fired hat-tricks in an 8-1 success. Zak Presky and Brett Freeman finished the job.
However, any Blizzard fans travelling to Copthall hoping to see an upset can think again.
“This game has come at the wrong time for us,” said Blizzard boss Simon Linden. “I have five injured players out and another five away so I'm pulling my hair out with options. I might have to play 90 myself.
“However, doesn't matter who we have - we will dig in and have a crack at Neasden.”
Even if the Blizzard boys turn up with some half time treats, I think Neasden will melt them!
Venue – Copthall, Ref – Martin Lavender
JC star man: Alex Lewis (NWN)
DC Prediction: Neasden B 3 Blizzard Storm 1
14 - Jono Gaon (Tottenham Chutspah)
12 - Terry Jeffries (Temple Fortune B), Richard Fogelman (Jewventus), Alex Elf (Hendon Utd SC C)
11 - Ben Zloof (AC Mill Hill)
10 - Ben Polak (Oakwood B)
AC MILL HILL vs L’EQUIPE
When the team at the top takes on a team near the bottom, there’s only one thing that springs to mind – home banker.
Joe Levy’s Mill Hill go into the game against L’Equipe bang in form and with three consecutive clean sheets to their name, it’s hard to see anything other than another handsome win.
Top-scorer Ben Zloof was back to his best against Jewventus last Sunday, hitting the target four times in a 6-0 victory. A confident Zloof will be relishing getting his hands on the L’Equipe defence.
Rob Kleinmann (2), Harry Waterman, Adam Lenz and Scott Ackerman were the scorers when Mill Hill put in a five-star performance against L’Equipe last month. Levy came away from the game praising his team’s “great character and a great spirit”.
L’Equipe have not scored for the last two games and their confidence could do with a boost. It’s vital they don’t have an inferiority complex as an early Mill Hill goal could open the floodgates. They must get tight to their markers and not allow the home team to get the ball down and play.
It sounds good in theory but I think Mill Hill’s class will pay dividends on the day.
Venue – Copthall, Ref – John Feenstra
JC star man: Mark Truman (Mill Hill)
DC Prediction: AC Mill Hill 4 L’Equipe 0
FAITHFOLD C vs LOUGHTON ORIENT
Revenge will be the name of the game for Loughton Orient last Sunday.
Dan Curtis’ boys were beaten 2-0 by the Superhoops in their last league outing. Ben Simons and Dave Sherman scored the goals.
The east Londoners were in north-west London only last weekend and gave an excellent account of themselves against Temple Fortune A in the cup. Recent signing David Blitz found the net in a 2-1 defeat.
Gaffer Curtis will be looking for a similar performance on Sunday. He told JC Sport: “We know it will be a tough game and we will all need to be on top of our games to get the three points.”
Faithfold striker Stefan Simons made a goal-scoring appearance for the club’s B team in the cup last weekend. The evergreen fox-in-the-box enjoyed the run-out in a team who plays at a slightly higher-tempo.
Sunday’s match will be decided by who wins the physical contests.
JC team news: Orient’s Barry Green came through 20 minutes last week and is ready to start this weekend. Dean Silver returns from injury as does Adam Conway. Jaimie Sinclair is injured and the club are waiting for scan results to see how long he will be out for. Rob Silverman is still injured.
Venue – Chase Lodge, Ref – Mike Cowan
JC star man: Stefan Simons (Faithfold)
DC Prediction: Faithfold C 2 Loughton Orient 1
HENDON UNITED SPORTS CLUB C vs FC TEAM C
Title hopefuls FC Team C beat Hendon C 2-1 in September in a match that made the headlines for all the wrong reasons.
With this in mind, it was good to hear Hustlers boss Craig Miller talking about discipline when I managed to get a few minutes with him leaning out of his car window at the club’s training ground.
Miller told JC Sport: “My first hope is that there are no red cards - there were three in the corresponding away fixture in what was the lowest moment of our season. I plead with the other teams management to ensure this does not get repeated, as I have.
“This is just another game for us, in what is turning out to be a tough fourth division of Jewish football.”
FC Team C go into the game on the back of two tough matches in the cup competitions. Having given MSFL table-toppers Faithfold A a scare a fortnight ago, the boys in yellow and blue put in another top performance against first division Woodford last Sunday. The in-form David Cohen added another goal to his already impressive tally.
If they can maintain their high level of performance, you have to fancy them to take the points.
JC team news: Hendon are without David Elf (in America for thanksgiving) and Ben David (planning his wedding in South Africa), whilst Darren Witcoop is working and Benny Goldberg is injured.
Venue – West Hendon, Ref – Robert Benardout
JC star man: Adam Aminoff (Team)
DC Prediction: Hendon C 1 FC Team C 3
NORSTAR C vs TOTTENHAM CHUTSPAH
“We must stop Jono Gaon.” Those were the words of Norstar boss Zack Gothelf ahead of Sunday’s meeting with Tottenham Chutspah.
Seven points currently separate the teams, with Chutspah having played a game less, and thanks largely to star man Goan, they have already managed to score more goals.
Gothelf told JC Sport: “Things are simple this Sunday. We must stop Jono Gaon (if he's playing). He scored four against us last time, in a scoreline that flattered Chutspah.
“We have now very much established ourselves and our style of football. We've got a good level of friendly competitiveness within the squad and our players want to pull on the orange and win for themselves and their team-mates.
“We've won two in a row in the league and we're hopeful that it can be three from three come Sunday afternoon.”
Confidence could be something of an issue for Ariel Tamman’s Chutspah who have conceded an alarming 15 goals in their last two matches. A 7-0 battering at the hands of Jewventus was followed by an 8-1 humiliation against Blizzard in the cup.
It’s all to play for on Sunday.
Venue – Ark Academy, Ref – David Nathan
JC star man: Jonny Samuel (Norstar)
DC Prediction: Norstar C 3 Tottenham Chutspah 2
OAKWOOD B vs JEWVENTUS
Oaks boss Ian Tussie has described Sunday’s meeting with Jewventus as a “must-win”.
The Oaks suffered a rare defeat in the cup last weekend when they were hit for six by first division Chigwell. They had the audacity to take the lead through Adam Blin but conceded some sloppy goals before Ben Polak added a second. After the game, Tussie said he was “proud of his players” and felt “the scoreline doesn't reflect the fact that we gave them a tough game”.
My week is never complete without a fresh comment from the Oakwood player-manager so it was with great pleasure that we shared a frothy, skinny, mocha decaffeinated cappuccino over Skype the other day.
“Sunday bloody Sunday,” Tussie sang. “It’s a big game again and a must-win. Our first-ever MSFL game was against Jewve on the first day of the season and it was tough. We twice went behind, but showed great determination to draw level and probably should have gone on to win the game.
“They're a decent team and have a dangerous forward in Richard Fogelman and we will have to be at our best to limit his threat.
“We played well against Chiggers on Sunday and to be honest the 6-2 scoreline did us a disservice.
“If we show the same levels of commitment on Sunday then I am confident we can do the job, but I know it'll be a tough game.
“I've set the boys a challenge of going into the Chanukah break in a promotion position (awaiting confirmation from the league re: how many go up this year).
“I'm excited for this one, it could be a classic.”
This big pitch at Parmiters will test Jewventus’ fitness levels. Oakwood are used to it and it suits their expansive style down to the ground.
JC team news: For Oakwood, Dave Esptein should return the fold. Tussie added: “Vic Librae's suspension for crimes against humanity is over, but he's no unavailable as he's forgotten where he left his boots.” Club captain Stefan Isaacs returns from holiday. Tussie went on: “Stef takes more holidays abroad than Abbey Clancy though luckily there are fewer pictures of him on the Daily Mail website.”
Venue - Parmiters, Ref – Laurie Benson
JC star man: Adam Blin (Oakwood)
DC Prediction: Oakwood 3 Jewventus 1