Defending champions Hendon United Sports Club A will be looking to finish Matchday 18 in top spot when they take on Brixton on Sunday. Danny Caro looks ahead to all the action in league and cup.
DANNY CARO'S MATCHDAY 17 OSCARS
JC PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Dovid Korman (Hendon United Sports Club A)
JC MANAGER OF THE WEEK
Ben Radstone (UJIA)
JC GOAL OF THE WEEK
Michael Goldberg (Temple Fortune A) - 25 yards out slightly to the left, curled over the wall and into the top corner. The keeper could only watch it sail over his head
JC SAVE OF THE WEEK
Sam Singer (Brady Maccabi B)
REFEREE OF THE WEEK
Neal Cooper (Brady A vs Faithfold A)
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
Ian Tussie (Oakwood B)
PETER MORRISON TROPHY ROUND FOUR
London Maccabi Lions B or LML Maccabiah Masters vs Redbridge Jewish Care A
Republic of Flixton vs Chigwell Athletic
Manchester Maccabiah 1st or FC Cosmos vs Blizzard Storm or Faithfold A
South Manchester Sports Club vs Temple Fortune A
FC Team A or North London Raiders A vs Oakwood A
Norstar A vs Hendon United Sports Club A or Woodford Wanderers
Camden Park vs Haroldeans
Brady Maccabi A vs London Maccabi Lions A
Ties scheduled for February 3
JC CYRIL ANEKSTEIN CUP QUARTER-FINAL DRAW
Faithfold A vs Oakwood A or SPEC FC
Temple Fortune vs Redbridge Jewish Care A
Hendon United Sports Club A vs London Maccabi Lions A
Camden Park vs Brady Maccabi B
YOUR WEEKEND PREVIEW STARTS HERE:
JC CYRIL ANEKSTEIN CUP ROUND THREE
OAKWOOD A vs SPEC FC
The mighty Oaks will be looking to start 2013 with a bang as they take on second division SPEC FC in Hatfield.
Unbeaten in 90 minutes for more than 12 months, Oakwood fans will arrive expecting their heroes to notch up a big score, but I don’t think it will be a stroll in the park against Laurence Conway’s men.
Josh Rubin and Rob Davidson were the stars of the show in the team’s Herts Junior Cup success last weekend, with Davidson showing great versatility in two positions over the course of 90 minutes.
Having tasted a Wingate & Finchley final last year, the Oaks are hungry for more and I expect them to make their intentions clear from the very first whistle on Sunday.
Oakwood joint-manager Alex Schock told JC Sport: “We’ve been on County Cup duty for a while now and are delighted to have reached the quarter-finals against AC Grapes on February 3.
“We’re very much looking forward to getting back into Jewish football this weekend with a very difficult looking game against SPEC in the CA Cup.
“The winner will face Faithfold and given the unbeaten run we have been on, we would relish that challenge. We will not under-estimate our opposition this weekend though and I’m sure it will be tough. We don’t know much about them, but they are doing well in the league and by all accounts are a decent outfit.”
“We have decided to play the game on 3G at their place to make sure the game is on as we need to play catch- up in the league and it should be a tasty affair.”
SPEC FC made a flying start to the new year with a 3-1 success over Glenthorne B. Elliott Wallis, Ashley Burns and Craig Cohen were their goal-scoring heroes in a game where Conway described the second-half performance as “very pleasing”.
Looking ahead to the tie, SPEC FC's Ricky Lawrence told JC Sport: "Oakwood A are the highest-ranked opposition we have faced as a club and despite having a few absentees, we aim to push them all the way.
"We know we'll have to be at our best to stand any chance of progressing but stranger things have happened."
But they will need to bring their A-game to the table on Sunday for a team that has few weaknesses. Yes ladies and gentlemen, this Oakwood team are the real deal. They have all the ingredients in place to win the competition and I expect them to book their place in the next round.
JC team news: Oakwood are missing a few this weekend, there is no Brad Wine, Josh Rose or Toby Levy, but Bobby Cousins returns as does Dan Ash. The management team also hope to have Antony Kintish back after a lengthy lay-off. Vic Librae will be at Schock’s for bagels after the game.
JC ticket news: The game has moved to SPEC FC's ground due to the large amount of SPECtators expected!
Venue – Hatfield Uni, Ref – Stuart Ansher
JC star man: Bobby Cousins (Oakwood)
DC Prediction: Oakwood A 2 SPEC FC 0
JC MSFL PREMIER DIVISION
14 - Lee Cash (LM Lions A - 10 for Neasden A)
13 - Adam Stolerman (Redbridge JC A)
11 - Daryl Phillips (Faithfold A)
10 - Josh Green (Norstar A)
BRIXTON OLD BOYS A vs HENDON UNITED SPORTS CLUB A
With leaders Faithfold not in action, Hendon have a great opportunity to finish the weekend top of the table when they take on inconsistent Brixton.
The Reds showed true title qualities last weekend when they made the perfect start to 2013 with a five-star win over fellow high-flyers Redbridge. Dovid Korman was the star of the show with a double, while Yoav Kestenbaum ticked all the boxes.
Manager David Garbacz has his team exactly where he wants them and they will travel to Clowes in buoyant mood.
Looking ahead to Sunday, Garbacz told JC Sport: “Sandwiched in between the two massive games against Redbridge and Faithfold, we have Sunday’s match v Brixton and it is important to emphasise to the players that this is just as, if not more, importan . Anything we do against the top two will be deemed meaningless if we do not get full points value against Brixton.
“The good news is we have a very dear friend on our side and his name is Mr Mo-Mentum and I am hoping that he is the major factor towards a positive result.
“We will not be under-estimating Brixton at all – we beat them comfortably earlier in the season, but you never know quite who is going to turn up for Brixton and if they are at total full strength they can pose us some big problems.
“However, we really do have the bit between our teeth at the moment and with the stakes getting higher and higher for each league match, our attitude should be good and we will be determined to set ourselves up well for next week.”
Brixton boss John Nitka was probably glad to see the back of 2012, but a new year means the club can turn over a new leaf and it wouldn’t be the same without a fix of MSFL football in the Nitka household.
Nitka still has a strong group of players at his disposal and I believe he will tell his troops to go hell for leather from the very first whistle. Hendon are traditional fast starters and Brixton know that if they give the visitors time and space they will get hurt.
Ahead of kick-off, Nitka told JC Sport: “If I have the choice of a full squad we will be very hard to beat.”
But we saw the other side of Hendon last week, the side that is prepared to dig in, dig deep and battle for every ball – winning each and every individual and collective battle.
No doubt, Brixton will huff and puff, but I expect Hendon to have too much on the day.
JC team news: Hendon report no new injury or unavailability concerns meaning that it’s just injured duo Alex Gilbert and Jacob Gold who are unavailable.
Venue - Clowes, Ref – Aaron Djanogly
JC star man: Danny Kon (Hendon)
DC Prediction: Brixton 1 Hendon A 3
NORSTAR A vs REDBRIDGE JEWISH CARE A
Norstar boss Phil Peters was fairly pragmatic about the team’s hopes at the start of the season and nothing has changed 12 games into their first-ever season in the JC MSFL’s top-flight.
Peters was well aware that other clubs in the division have bigger budgets and higher attendances and that it would be an uphill battle. The boy loves a challenge and wouldn’t have it any other way.
Although survival is the name of the game, it isn’t the be-all or end-all for the Oranges. If they go down, I don’t expect them to struggle like the likes of. North West Neasden have done. They’re in it for the long haul and continue to play the game the right way, with a smile on their faces.
I don’t expect things to get any easier for Peters and co this weekend when Redbridge come to town.
Eilon Kennet’s troops are still smarting after last weekend’s 5-3 defeat at the hands of defending champions Hendon. The RJC gaffer learnt a lot about his players, but with delighted with their second half display. In the end, all they had was strikes from Danny Sugarman, Jack Van Gelder and Steve Summers to come away with for their efforts in a game they finished with 10 men after Adam Hakimi saw red.
But I expect them to rule the roost again on Sunday, a game that is arguably a must-win in terms of their title challenge.
Looking ahead to it, Kennet told JC Sport: "Last week was a lot closer than the scoreline suggests and on another day we could have come away with another famous victory against Hendon.
"This week will be a different type of game and we'll need to be patient and focused. We'll look at this in training tonight and prepare ourselves for another hard game on Sunday. There's no room for a slip-up.
"If we can bring the good things with us to this week's game, we'll be looking for maximum points."
No doubt, Norstar will look to frustrate RJC and hope frustration gets the better of the east Londoners once more, but I expect them to turn up with clear heads and focused on the job at hand. And if they are ruthless in front of goal and remain patient, I can only see one winner.
Venue – John Lyons School, Ref – Steve Levy
JC star man: Jack Van Gelder (RJC)
DC Prediction: Norstar A 1 Redbridge JC A 3
BRADY MACCABI A vs NORTH LONDON RAIDERS A
Brady are one of the league’s form teams right now and they will be looking forward to pitting their wits against the Raiders at the Lane on Sunday.
The Reds are unbeaten in their last four matches and go into the game on the back of an excellent performance against league leaders Faithfold.
Ryan Fox, Ben Joseph, Jonny Ellis, Matt Sofier and Josh Gordon all put in big shifts, with strikes from Josh Hershman and Joseph earning them a deserved point.
After the game, Brady boss Joel Nathan told JC Sport that the performance “just goes to show what we’re capable of with a full-strength team”. They are unbeaten in six matches and “looking forward to the meeting with Raiders”.
Looking ahead to Sunday, Nathan says that he is taking nothing for granted. He told JC Sport: "Yes we drew last week but on reflection we were disappointed to give away the equaliser in the last 10 minutes, but we go into this weekend game in great form and with the squad now virtually back at full-strength I know we can continue this run and have a say in the outcome of this league.
"Rob, who I hold in high esteem, has done a great job with NLR and whenever we have played them we have had great battles. Yes they didn't start well this season, but have started to turn things round and we are taking nothing for granted."
The visitors face a real battle on their hands to get out of the relegation zone. With Lions improving, manager Rob Richman will be looking to drag Brixton into the race for survival which for me looks a three-horse race along with Norstar.
But there is plenty of football to play before anything is decided and they have a very talented squad. No doubt, Richman is confident of getting the very best out of his players in Arkley on Sunday.
He told JC Sport: “We have played two games of competitive football in the last two months so we are eager to get into some sort of routine from this weekend.
“We had a lot of players away last weekend, but they should all be back for this week’s match against Brady.
“I am not at all surprised to see Brady doing so well over recent weeks, they have a very strong squad and a number of match winners. We have relished games against them in the past and we already can’t wait for what I hope will be a very good and exciting game.
“Brady have shown that by putting a few wins back to back you can quickly climb the table and we will be looking to follow their lead in the coming weeks.”
For me, the midfield battle between Raiders’ David Rhodes and Brady’s Matt Sofier will be key. The first goal will be crucial on Sunday and if Brady get it, I can’t see them losing.
JC team news: Raiders are hoping to be able to call upon a full squad. At this stage Dave Esterkin is the only doubt.
Brady welcome back Jordan Nathan and Marc Lazare after injuries but may lose Jonny Ellis, who is on call for the imminent arrival of his first child. They are also missing Zac White who is away for a couple of weeks.
Venue – Rowley Lane, Ref – Tony McEvoy
JC star man: Matt Sofier (Brady)
DC Prediction: Brady A 2 Raiders A 1
LONDON MACCABI LIONS A vs FC TEAM A
The Lions will be looking to move to within a point of FC Team when the teams meet down the Lane on Sunday.
If memory serves me correctly, the corresponding fixture last season was something of a controversial affair as FC Team cried foul over one of the goals. No doubt, manager Mitch Young’s will light the touch-paper and remind his troops of this in his pre-match teamtalk.
Team enjoyed an extra lie-in last Sunday after their cup match against Raiders fell victim to the weather, but they can’t wait to get going again this weekend.
Young told JC Sport: “We are looking forward to our first game back. Going to Rowley Lane and playing on the top pitch is always a nice occasion and one we look forward to.
“Lions, under the new management, are fighting very hard to avoid being dragged into a relegation battle so we are expecting a difficult morning, and any team that has James Gershfield in the starting line up will be a huge threat.
“Saying that, I am confident that we can get a positive result, I will have five on the bench on Sunday so my players will want to impress. Furthermore we have not forgotten what happened last season at Rowley Lane so we are going there inspired.”
Inspired is exactly what the Lions were against Norstar last weekend. They were virtually down to the bare bones but came away with a creditable 4-1 victory in a backs-to-the-wall performance. It was a memorable day for the Landesberg family with both father and son making my Premier Division Team of the Week following excellent performances.
Landesberg senior hopes to have young keeper Dec Green back in nets any minute now. Eyebrows were raised in some quarters when the former Neasden stopper made the Maccabiah squad but he’s certainly one to watch. He was held back by injury in 2012 and I sincerely hope he gets an injury-free run up to the Jewish Olympics and reminds everyone just how good he is.
With Gershfield, Lee Cash and Danny Daggers in the team, the visitors know that any mistake will be punished. It’s just the kind of game that Matt Drage would’ve loved, but as he’s on a sabbatical, Young must ensure he puts some real warriors in the middle of the park to stop the Lions driving forward.
Looking ahead to the game, Landesberg told JC Sport: "It's a tough game for us, even though we are building some momentum. I see this game on Sunday as pivotal to our season. A win could see us move up two further places, but anything less is just not acceptable. The guys are fired up and we hope we can deliver the goods.
"James and I are really enjoying it, and we are seeing a real team spirit develop."
This looks to me like a game that will go the distance.
JC team news: FC Team will be at full-strength with the exception of Simon Peterman who is away.
For Lions, Danny Daggers returns to the squad as does Lorian Madanes and Charlie Rubin.
Venue – Rowley Lane, Ref – Andy Myerson
JC star man: Ollie Segal (Team)
DC Prediction: Lions A 1 FC Team A 1
25 - Jamie Kent (Shirley Park)
14 - Yishai Last (Hendon B)
10 - Chaim Gothold (Hendon B)
CAMDEN PARK vs TEMPLE FORTUNE A
There’s a terrific game in store in Wembley when promotion-chasing Camden take on a rapidly-improving Fortune team.
While Camden were lying in bed last weekend, Fortune booked their place in the last eight of the JC League Cup and competition for places is hotter than ever ahead of the dream meeting with Premier League giants Redbridge.
Six points separate the teams ahead of the game, a match Camden must win if they are to keep pace with the top three.
Josh Marks’ men haven’t played in over a month and they can’t wait for kick-off. Marks told JC Sport: “After a long break we can’t wait to get back playing again. Our full squad of 21 men are available bar the captain Max Saunders who is still nursing his knee.
“Luke Brookner will continue to lead out a very strong Camden Park side who are looking to close the gap on promotion rivals.”
Fortune extended their excellent run with a nail-biting 3-2 win over first division rivals Woodford last Sunday. Summer signing Dan Orgel bagged a brace including a last-ditch winner that broke Woodford hearts. The other goal was scored by Michael Goldberg and what a goal it was.
Confidence is sky high in the Fortune camp and they certainly won’t be looking to do Camden any favours.
Much will depend on how the Fortune defence copes with the talented Camden forward line and I can see the visitors looking to hit the hosts on the break. Scott Kay has been playing like a man possessed since joining the club and will have a big role to play on Sunday.
It has all the makings of a real thriller.
Venue – Ark Academy, Ref – Martin De La Fuente
JC star man: Scott Kay (Fortune)
DC Prediction: Camden 2 Fortune A 2
CHIGWELL ATHLETIC vs SOUTHGATE HARMEN
Many people will be surprised to see Harmen ahead of Chigwell going into Sunday’s game.
The east Londoners have failed to hit the heights so far this season and manager Richard Slater is demanding a big improvement over the second half of what up to now has been a disappointing campaign.
It’s hard to believe Chigwell’s last league game came on November 11 and the squad has done well to avoid rigor mortis setting in!
Looking ahead to Sunday, Slater told JC Sport: “After quite a few cup games in a row, we really need to get back to the league now. Yes we have games in hand and have only lost to Camden twice, but it's about time we put a nice little league run together and improve our position.
“Everyone is beating everyone, we're not out of it yet. Brixton showed this last season playing catch-up all along and ended up finishing second.
“We have the quality, I've said that from day one, but need to win on Sunday against a strong, young Harmen outfit who we won't take lightly. Hopefully our experience will be key.”
Harmen boss Dan Uzan has made some astute signings so far this season and the chances are he will make a couple more before the transfer window closes. But it was old stager Ben Forman who provided a ray of light in the narrow defeat against Glenthorne last Sunday.
There was also an impressive performance from gentle giant James Sandler, while the industrious James Stanley put in a great shift in the middle of the park.
Sunday’s game is hard to call. Set-pieces will come into play as will second balls. It should be a decent scrap.
Venue – Peter May, Ref – David Lazarus
JC star man: Ben Forman (Harmen)
DC Prediction: Chigwell 1 Harmen 1
FAITHFOLD B vs LONDON MACCABI LIONS B
Slowly but surely, we are starting to see progress from Rob Shooman’s Faithfold B this season. But one important thing is lacking – consistency.
They couldn’t be faulted for effort against Neasden B last Sunday, but could find no way through a dogged defence. It was great to see assistant-manager Ben Lewis back in the famous green and white shirt, with Leor Harel, Ben Loftus and Sam Cramer also impressing.
Jamie Kyte’s Lions know that victory on Sunday could put them back on top of the pile. Unbeaten in six, the manager must ensure that his team focus on Faithfold rather than next week’s LFA Cup quarter-final.
The Lions have found a method of how to win games, even when they are not at their best and I think they will edge home on Sunday.
Venue – Chase Lodge, Ref – Barry David
JC star man: David Rose (Lions)
DC Prediction: Faithfold B 0 Lions B 1
NORTH WEST NEASDEN A vs WOODFORD WANDERERS
The old guard worked a treat for Neasden last Sunday and more of the same will be the order of the day when Woodford visit Hadley.
The combined age of Rob Kaplan and Jon Kaye must be touching 100 but the only numbers that matter this weekend are the score. The pair formed a rock solid partnership at the back in the 1-0 win over Faithfold B last Sunday and NWN manager Dan Hodes said this week that they are the JC MSFL’s answer to Hansen and Lawro.
Woodford go into the game smarting from a home defeat in the cup. They thought they had done enough to take the game to extra-time against Temple Fortune, only to lose out to the last kick of the game.
Martin Sales put a couple more zeroes on his transfer fee after impressing at right-back, while captain Adam ‘Igor’ Poole and striker James Ryan came away feeling they didn’t deserve to be on the losing team.
The east Londoners are desperate for their first league win of the season and the fans are demanding it, but I don’t think they will get it against a well-organised NWN this weekend.
Venue – Hadley FC, Ref – Martin Fox
JC star man: Adam ‘Igor’ Poole (Woodford)
DC Prediction: Neasden B 0 Woodford 0
SHIRLEY PARK vs HENDON UNITED SPORTS CLUB B
Sunday’s game between promotion rivals Shirley and Hendon could be more about who isn’t playing rather than who is.
The departure of Nicky Plotnek has been well-documented on my pages, but the Park boys have enough quality to go up even without him. Striker Jamie Kent is determined to finish with the JC MSFL Golden Boot and he will be looking to get his first goals of 2013.
And with Saul Conway, Stefan Benfredj and Gideon Gold up for the challenge, it promises to be a testing morning for the Hendon back line.
Hendon’s hopes took a turn for the worse last weekend when they were stunned into submission by UJIA. Martin Smulovitch grabbed a consolation for the Reds in what was a forgettable morning for the team.
Beaten 4-2 by Shirley in November, Hendon joint-manager Motty Korman is predicting another tough match.
“Once again a depleted team and up against a strong team like Shirley so we arent expecting much more than last week,” he told JC Sport.
“We would be pleased with a point but with a very weakened team it looks unlikely. It seems like we can no longer push for promotion.”
Only time will tell if Korman is trying on the mind games or if Hendon are about to slip out of the race for a top two finish.
JC team news: There’s a simcha in the Hendon camp this week with Tali Nevies getting married. Where is the commitment these days! Mazel tov, Tali. Yishai Last is best man so both of them are out. The long list of absentees also includes Tage Goldring, Gav Noe, Chaim Gothold and James Josephs.
Venue – Norsemen FC, Ref – Neil Cooper
JC star man: Gideon Gold (Shirley)
DC Prediction: Shirley Park 3 Hendon 1
UJIA vs GLENTHORNE UNITED A
Table-toppers Glenthorne will make the long journey north-west confident of completing a UJIA team they beat 3-0 in October.
Sam Rosenthal’s men started 2013 with a hard fought 1-0 victory over Harmen courtesy of another strike from the genius that is Daniel Lassman. That was the team’s fourth clean sheet in the league this season and the manager will be looking for another resolute performance from his merry men this Sunday.
Looking ahead to the game, Rosenthal told JC Sport: "We're looking forward to a tough battle as always against these boys, and hoping to come away with all three points."
However, they will come up against a UJIA in high spirits following their first victory of the season. A double from Assi Avital helped them get the monkey off their back and the challenge of the team at the top won’t scare them.
Following Sunday’s game, UJIA have a week off followed by matches against Neasden A and Faithfold B so they must look to make things as awkward as possible for the Thornes, and if that means parking the bus in front of goal so be it.
Venue – Chase Lodge, Ref – Martin Lavender
JC star man: Gary Tiller (Glenthorne)
DC Prediction: UJIA 0 Glenthorne A 1
More to follow ...
17 - Adam Hersh (Los Blancos)
9 - Ben Bell (Bilbaum)
NORTH LONDON RAIDERS B vs ATHLETIC BILBAUM
Three points for Bilbaum could see them finish the weekend in top spot ahead of Sunday’s trip to Brunel.
The boys in green and white were one of the teams of 2012 for me. They continue to go about their business quietly and efficiently, playing with a smile on their face.
Seven wins in nine is promotion form in any standard but they will be expecting another tough game against a Raiders team they beat 2-1 in October.
Raiders fans were given a real boost last Sunday when they put five past Norstar B. The goals were shared round which pleased manager Oli Shorts and no. 2 Rich Abrahams, with Dave Esterkin, Ethan Zone, Nicky Woolf, Jonny Blain and Matt Greene the men on target.
Shorts believes this is a good moment for L’Orange. Ahead of Sunday’s clash, he told JC Sport: “Confidence is high in the Raiders camp at the moment. Since we last played Bilbaum we’ve won three, drawn one and lost two. The disappointment is that in all six games we’ve taken the lead so it’s my belief that we should’ve picked up six win from six.
“Whatever is said about our form we know that Bilbaum go into this game as clear favourites.”
Bilbaum boasts an excellent defensive record but I can see that being put to the test by the likes of Woolf, Zone and Blain. It certainly won’t be Blain sailing for them (Ed. apologies JB!)
JC team news: There’s good news for Raiders fans with captain Josh Fineman and Ben Hart returning to the squad. Dave Esterkin is expected to return to the A team.
Venue - Brunel, Ref – Steve Russell
JC star man: Matt Greene (Raiders)
DC Prediction: Raiders B 2 Bilbaum 2
GLENTHORNE UNITED B vs NORTH WEST NEASDEN B
The form of Glenthorne B and Neasden B is worrying both sets of respective fans and I believe this will lead to a cagey affair in east London on Sunday.
Neasden’s promotion hopes nose-dived at the end of 2012, but manager Adam Levene will be pleased they have had time to regroup over the winter break and they’re ready to go again.
Thornes joint-player-manager Jordan Sapler told me he “saw signs of how we played earlier in the season,” against SPEC FC last Sunday, “but were still missing key bits in the team”.
Sapler went on to say: “We need to get out of the rut we're in at the moment and once we do we will start to win games."
Sunday can’t come soon enough for both sets of players. By and large, NWN’s away form has been good and if they get the basics right I can see them edging it.
Venue – Ford Sports & Social, Ref – Robert Benardout
JC star man: Len Bloom (NWN)
DC Prediction: Glenthorne B 1 Neasden B 2
FC TEAM B vs CATFORD & BROMLEY MACCABI
There are still plenty of seats available for Sunday’s clash between FC Team B and the Cats.
The emphasis will be on the visitors taking maximum points, especially with a series of testing matches against Raiders B, Neasden B and Blancos coming up.
Oli Hitman earned the Cats a point at Redbridge last Sunday with a special strike in a game where Yonni Bord was the star of the show.
Both teams have been struggling for goals this season, while the Cats have conceded at a rate of knots, but I have a funny feeling they’re pull something out of the bag on Sunday.
JC team news: The Cats hope to welcome back table tennis kings Eli Baraty and Ashley Stokes who were involved in a high-profile competition last weekend.
Venue – Meadow Park, Ref – Laurence Thorne
JC star man: Eli Baraty (Catford)
DC Prediction: FC Team B 2 Catford & Bromley 3
BLIZZARD STORM vs BRADY MACCABI B
According to the forecast, the conditions could suit Blizzard on Sunday, but my money is on new league leaders Brady B registering their eighth win of the season.
All the pieces of Josh Dagul’s jigsaw have clicked into place and it will take a good team to stop them now.
Last week’s visit to Blancos looked a tricky one, but they simply blew them away with Dagul and the red-hot Reiss Mogilner scoring two apiece. And further strikes from Nathan Harrod, Daniel Harrod and Ollie Kay completed the rout.
Brady have now won their last five league games and show are showing no signs of letting up in pursuit of their second consecutive league title.
Dagul has kept a core of players who served him so well last season and made some quality reinforcements, most recently in goal with the acquisition of keeper Sam Singer from Lions.
The next few weeks are important for Blizzard and their fans hope manager Simon Linden dips into those pockets of his to freshen up the squad. They need a lift and they need something quick, but it won't come on Sunday.
Venue – Hampstead Heath Extension, Ref – Warwick Blake
JC star man: Ollie Kay (Brady)
DC Prediction: Blizzard 1 Brady B 3
More to follow ...
26 - Ben Zloof (AC Mill Hill)
16 - Jono Gaon (Tottenham Chutspah)
15 - Alex Elf (Hendon Utd SC C)
13 - Richard Fogelman (Jewventus)
12 - Terry Jeffries (Temple Fortune B), Ben Polak (Oakwood B)
TEMPLE FORTUNE B vs OAKWOOD B
Title-chasing Oakwood B will be looking to close the gap on leaders Mill Hill when they travel to Pinner to take on Temple Fortune B for the second time this season.
Matt Geey was their hat-trick hero at Parmiters in a 4-0 demolition in which Ben Polak put the icing on the cake in a Charlie Cohen-inspired performance.
But it’s another player that player-manager Ian Tussie was focusing on in his pre-match press conference this week. I managed to grab a few words one-on-one with the legendary Tussie who had this to say.
“Sunday is about one man and one man only. Marc Conway,” he told JC Sport. “Marc is to Oakwood B what peshwari naan is to a good curry. Marc is a thinker’s footballer, he likes mushrooms and olives on his pizza and he hates clean shaving. He's a Stockport county fan and he's often mistaken for Nikos Dabizas. We signed him in October but he's been riddled with injuries and he's gone through hell and back to get fit. He's like a new signing to us. He is a new signing to us.
“Sunday is a massive game for us especially after last week's dropped points against Hendon and I am confident that the team has a point to prove.”
A top four finish looks Fortune’s best bet. I can see them being on the back foot for long spells on Sunday and they must look to win as many individual battles around the park as possible. But that may not be enough to stop an Oakwood team that is clearly going places.
Player-manager Terry Jeffries realises that even die-hard Fortune fans believe a point is the best they can hope for. He told JC Sport: “Sunday will be a hard game and with some players out could be a tough game.”
Man for man Oakwood hold all the aces.
JC team news: The Oaks have lots unavailable, lots available and some tough decisions for Tussie to make.
Venue – Roger Bannister, Ref – Neal Cohen
JC star man: Marc Conway (Oakwood)
DC Prediction: Temple Fortune B 0 Oakwood B 2
L’EQUIPE vs JEWVENTUS
After last Sunday, Jewve gaffer John is promising to “shake things up a bit”.
His player had no answer to the sheer presence of Faithfold forward Ben Simons in a game they were ultimately well beaten in. It just wasn’t their day, even if top-scorer Richard Fogelman added another strike to his tally.
John expects a big improvement all-round ahead of the visit to in-form L’Equipe.
He told JC Sport: “I think I may try a different formation and I also believe we owe L'Equipe after we criminally let them back into the game at 4-2 last time out.
“Two thunderbolts from one of their players would be stopped by keeping deity Dan Cohen, so I have high hopes for Sunday.”
L’Equipe registered their third straight victory with a wonder goal from Perry Chaya and one from Andy Burke steering them past Boca.
After the game, L’Equipe player-manager David Prager told JC Sport: "It wasn’t a vintage performance from us this week but all that mattered was the three points which we easily deserved as we were by far the better team.
"That now makes it three wins out of three away games and two clean sheets out of three away games, which is a great effort from my lads, but consistency is the key."
L’Equipe have three games in hand on Jewve and Prager and co know that victory would see them leapfrog John’s men and if that isn’t incentive enough then I don’t know what is.
Venue - Copthall, Ref – Paul Dobkin
JC star man: Perry Chaya (L’Equipe)
DC Prediction: L’Equipe 2 Jewventus 1
HENDON UNITED SPORTS CLUB C vs LOUGHTON ORIENT
Hendon started 2013 with an excellent point against title-chasing Oakwood B and a similar performance should be enough to seal their what would be their fourth league win of the season.
Alex Elf showed an ice-cool temperament to convert two penalties and it’s good to see an Englishmen right at home from 12 yards.
Ahead of their first-ever meeting with Loughton Orient, Hendon player-manager Craig Miller has challenged his players to find a level of consistency that will help them finish the season strongly.
Miller told JC Sport: “We have played each of the top three teams in our league twice now. Those three - AC Mill Hill, Oakwood and FC Team are head and shoulders above the rest in this league so if we carry on putting in the performances that we have against the likes of Oakwood, Camden Park and Shirley Park it will give a good push to the end of the season.
“Other than the top three teams the only thing that differentiates the rest of the teams in work-rate on the day, which is what I will e telling my lads on Sunday.
“And as always, Alex Elf will be looking to add to the 15 goals he has scored this season, and with team captain Craig Phillips playing as well, we will be tough to beat.
“We should e debuting two players this Sunday and if they live up to their training ground performances then our squad will be complete for this season.”
I was expecting more from Loughton Orient this season, but they still have 11 games to climb the table. Defeats against L’Equipe and Norstar C have hit them hard and I can’t see them stopping Hendon on Sunday.
Venue – West Hendon, Ref – Quentin Fox
JC star man: Dan Major (Hendon)
DC Prediction: Hendon C 3 Loughton Orient 1
BOCA JEWNIORS vs FAITHFOLD C
“Our main aim this week is to make sure the whole team actually find the ground - where is Baldock?” Those were the words of Faithfold player-manager David Garson, who is must be said rarely gets out of NW7!
All joking aside, a top four finish must be the aim for Faithfold this season. They made their intentions clear with a new-look formation working a treat against in-form Jewventus. Strikers Stefan Simons and Ben Simons worked in tandem magnificently. Jewve simply couldn’t handle them.
Knowing Garson as I do, I can tell you he will be bitterly disappointed with anything less than a convincing victory on Sunday.
“Ahead of the game, Garson told JC Sport: “We have everyone available having had a few boys away last week. To be fair to the guys that came in, it would be harsh not to start anyone that started last week, though we may juggle the formation a bit.”
Boca haven’t scored for more than 270 minutes and they came away empty-handed against L’Equipe last Sunday.
What they really need is a wealthy investor to come in and splash the cash, but until that happens manager Jamie Weinrich will need to keep buying those lottery tickets.
In his Friday pre-match press conference, player-manager Jamie Weinrich came out with all guns blazing in defence of his team and the location of his home ground. "All the other teams have managed to find it alright, and all games have started on time, which is better then most teams who only have to go to Mill hill or Edgware and still turn up late., he said, before adding: "You tell me where there is a nicer ground to play at? everything is provided for both home and away teams.
Weinrich then turned to the nitty gritty of this Sunday's game. The return of Farrell "Judas" Monk or Fredo if you have watched the Godfather II. It's no secret that the Monk Dynasty was put into disarray when Farrell turned his back on his family and teammates to go to a questionably better team. This is a fixture that not only the remainder of the Monk family were looking out for, but the whole of the Boca squad have been looking week by week on the fixture website to see when this game would come up. And so it has now come up. Rumour has it that Monk family members have come from all over the Bushey area to travel for this game.
On hearing news of the star man, Weinrich responded: "To make Farrell star man is like making a wall out of jelly, its laughable! However joking aside, we know it will be a tough match, but a warning to Faithfold, don't turn up expecting a walkover, my guys are pumped and ready to go."
JC team news: Garson added: “Ben Portnoi returns to the squad following a rare bleaching accident, and Charlie Resnick returns having completed following Watford’s cup run in Manchester. Jeremy Teacher misses out due to lack of space and ‘Balldock,’ also known as Mrs Garson, will kill her other half if he leaves home at 8:30am.”
For Boca, Chandler Monk misses this match due to an ankle injury. Sefton Monk is looking for a recall to the starting XI and a chance to relive memories of playing football in the garden against his brother."
Venue – North Herts Arena, Ref – John Feenstra
JC star man: Farrell Monk (Faithfold)
DC Prediction: Boca 0 Faithfold C 4
FC TEAM C vs NORSTAR C
FC Team will be looking to finish the weekend a point off top spot when they welcome lowly Norstar C to Borehamwood.
And having finished in seventh heaven against the Stars only last month, it doesn’t take a genius to work out who I’m tipping for glory on Sunday.
David Joseph Cohen (3), Adam Aminoff (2), David James Cohen and Eitan Ben-Zion were the goal men for the boys in yellow and blue and I think they will look to wrap this one up quicker than you can say Ben Gilbey.
Norstar boss Zack Gothelf told me he felt his players let their fans down in the recent meeting and he will be looking for an improved display.
He told JC Sport: “Sunday's game is our first game back after a long winter break. The last game we played, at the beginning of December saw us go down a disappointing 7-2 to FC Team C. We'll be looking to put in a much better performance this week after what was nothing short of a poor performance last time out.
“Hopefully we'll be carrying less winter fat than Team and ultimately Sunday's game could well boil down to fitness.
“We'll be ready come Sunday and we're prepared, with a couple of returning faces too back in the squad, and will give it our all against a good opponent.”
In terms of a prediction, it may finish closes by I still think Team will win by a country mile.
Venue – Aycliffe Road, Ref – Robert Caplin
JC star man: Avi Nejad (Team)
DC Prediction: FC Team C 4 Norstar C 0