All eyes will be on the JC Cyril Anekstein Cup as Camden Park, Brady Maccabi B, Temple Fortune A, Redbridge Jewish Care, London Maccabi Lions and holders Hendon United Sports Club A look to book their place in the semi-finals. There's also a bumper league programme in store. Danny Caro looks ahead to all the action.
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
YOUR WEEKEND PREVIEW STARTS HERE:
JC CYRIL ANEKSTEIN CUP QUARTER-FINALS
CAMDEN PARK vs BRADY MACCABI B
Two of the best young MSFL teams go head-to-head in Wembley on Sunday with a place in the last four up for grabs as first division Camden host Division Two leaders Brady B.
Both teams have been in excellent form of late and trying desperately hard over the last 10 or so days to maintain match sharpness during the cold snap.
Although promotion is the priority for both camps, a place in the semis would certainly swell the coffers and the 3G surface will ensure that this is an open and entertaining affair between two teams who like to play the game the right way.
Camden’s home form has, on the whole, been good this season. Manager Josh Marks has put together a talented group and they will fancy themselves against lower division opposition, as long as nerves don’t play a part. I’m sure they won’t. And with Ben Harris, Rob Hershkorn, talisman Luke Brookner and Richard Silver in top form, they will be confident of progressing.
Brady are on a real roll at the minute and will relish the tag of underdogs. They have absolutely nothing to lose and with Daniel Hildebrand, Sam Singer, James Joseph and Reiss Mogilner in top form, they know that if they play to their potential they will only be two games away from a dream final at Wingate & Finchley.
Venue – Ark Academy, Ref – Andy Myerson
JC star man: Rob Hershkorn (Camden)
DC Prediction: Camden Park 2 Brady B 2 AET (Camden to win on penalties)
TEMPLE FORTUNE A vs REDBRIDGE SPORTS CLUB A
2011 cup winners Redbridge will look to silence the Fortune crowd early doors when the teams lock horns in Edgware on Sunday.
Eilon Kennet and his merry men will be desperate to book their place in the last four and put Fortune to bed as early as possible.
I expect the east London giants to go in all guns blazing with big-hitters in virtually every position. Keeper Dan Lee is in top form while Joel Berg, Brad Frankel and Adam Hakimi take no prisoners. Richie Caplin and Danny ‘the Destroyer’ Hakimi are as brave as they come, while the Sollosi boys hope that there are one or two Barnet FC scouts in the crowd. And up top, RJC have two top-notch strikers in Steve Summers and the red-hot Adam Stolerman.
Fortune have a habit of raising their game against the big boys. Manager Lee Fegan will set up his team to be hard to break down and it wouldn’t surprise me if they went five in midfield.
In Michael Goldberg and Daniel Orgel they have two potential match-winners up their sleeve and no doubt Orgel will be keen to impress against his former club. But Fortune are a real team unit these days, with Shai Davidi and Scott Kaye, another RJC old boy, showing flashes of brilliance time and again.
I can see Fortune making a match of this for at least an hour, but ultimately RJC’s superior quality should come through in the end.
Venue – Gosling Sports Centre, Ref – Neil Cooper, KO - 10.15am
JC star man: Joel Berg (RJC)
DC Prediction: Temple Fortune A 1 Redbridge JC A 3
HENDON UNITED SPORTS CLUB A vs LONDON MACCABI LIONS A
I expected Lions to bring out their big guns on Sunday as they look to knock holders Hendon out of the competition, but the timing of this game means that some of Andy Landesberg's key players will be missing.
Winners of the Anekstein in 2010, the Lions have a proud history in the JC League Cup – winning it in 2000, 2006, 2007 and 2008 as well, while Hendon also lifted the trophy in 2009.
The first meeting between the teams this season should offer fans value for money. With the likes of James Gershfield in the Lions starting XI, Landesberg must whittle down his squad and select the best youngsters to blend in with the experienced figures, such as Jake Lew.
Looking ahead to the game, Landesberg told JC Sport: "This is probably our biggest game of the season. Lee Cash and Danny Daggers are cup-tied and the Maccabiah Masters take Aviel Schwarz and Tony Gold. This will mean we will have a very young team out, but nevertheless we feel confident that we can still get a result.
"With six wins out of the last eight games, this match will definitely provide our boys with their biggest test.
"With the grass pitches at Rowley Lane still heavily snow covered that option looks very unlikely, the 3G is booked but it is still covered with over two inches of snow all over. Let’s hope the temperature rises and the snow on the 3G thaws."
Hendon boss David Garbacz will relish pitting his wits against Landesberg and as ever, he will be confident his tried and tested formula will be enough on the day in a game where they have conceded home advantage to ensure it goes ahead.
Looking ahead to the tie, Garbacz told JC Sport: "The weather has come at a bad time for us – we don’t need the break and I am hoping it will not disturb the rhythm we had created too much.
"I expect this to be one of the toughest matches of the season so far. Lions have a massive squad to choose from under the new regime and they will clearly ear-mark this cup as their best chance of silverware so I am expecting every one of the big guns they can call upon to show up.
"We have a slightly weaker squad this week than in the last few games, but we still have more than enough quality to get the right result.
"If any game gets played this weekend I think this will be the one and credit to the team at Lions for organising the switch and for making every effort to get the match played. If we do get out there I would expect a tight quality attacking affair and we will stretch every sinew to make sure we do not relinquish our grip on this trophy."
The battle between Gershfield and Jacob Gold will be worth the admission fee alone. They don’t come much harder to call that this one, but in a game that will come down to small details, instinct tells me Hendon will edge through.
JC team news:Recent signing Alex Nadler and Yoav Kestenbaum are both unavailable for Hendon.
Lions duo TJ Ketterman and Ollie Craig miss out through injury.
Venue – Rowley Lane, FC, Ref – Tony McEvoy, KO – 11.30am
JC star man: Jacob Gold (Hendon)
DC Prediction: Hendon 2 Lions 1
FAITHFOLD A P OAKWOOD A P
Match postponed due to pitch problems
JC MSFL PREMIER DIVISION
18 - Lee Cash (LM Lions A - 10 for Neasden A)
14 - Adam Stolerman (Redbridge JC A)
11 - Daryl Phillips (Faithfold A), Josh Green (Norstar A)
BRIXTON OLD BOYS vs BRADY MACCABI A
Brixton boss John Nitka has been on snow patrol this week and he’s instructed to turn up with buckets and spades early doors on Sunday.
With lots of snow on their pitch in Barrowell Green, the club was looking for volunteers to ensure keeper Jake Doffman doesn’t get a bad back and he’s offering fans a free mug of chicken soup for any help.
I’ve also heard a rumour that Nitka is trying to introduce ball boys for the first time, but contrary to some reports, Charlie Morgan is not top of his list.
Brixton have won three and lost three at home in the league this season and Nitka wants his men to turn Clowes into a fortress. He has made some astute signings in recent months, but the acquisition of Liron Mannie has really excited the fans. The boy is top-class and has a really bright future in the game.
The Brady management team of Joel Nathan and Josh Rosenfeld will be looking for a big reaction following the 3-1 defeat against Raiders.
His players fell well below the standard expected and I expect them to come out all guns blazing.
I caught up with Nathan earlier this week and he had this to say. “Weather permitting, we are ready for a massive game against Brixton. There is only three points between us and last time we had to come back from 2-0 down before winning 5-2 and I am sure Brixton will up for revenge.
“They are a strong team, who on their day area match for anyone in the league, so we will be taking nothing for granted.”
No doubt, there will be bags of quality on show, and a right royal battle. It’s impossible to call a winner.
JC team news: Brady will be without Jonny Ellis who has just welcomed little Harry Ellis into the world. Nathan added: “Everyone at Brady wishes him and Chloe a massive mazel tov.” They’re also missing Jonathan and Daniel Green, while Rob Lerner has joined Nicky Smith on the sidelines. Everyone else is raring to go.
Venue - Clowes, Ref – John Feenstra
JC star man: Liron Mannie (Brixton)
DC Prediction: Brixton 2 Brady 2
NORTH LONDON RAIDERS A vs OAKWOOD A
It just goes to show the good spirit that exists between some teams after Oakwood thanked Norstar A for stepping aside and allowing them to play Raiders at Brunel on Sunday.
The Oaks were scheduled to play Faithfold in the Anekstein quarter-finals, but pitch problems put pay to the chances of that. It appeared that Oakwood’s ever-increasing fixture pile-up would become even worse until a bit of common sense was shown all round – namely by Phil Peters and the League Management committee. The Rachmanus spirit is still alive and kicking in the JC MSFL. Well done to everyone involved in that decision.
The Oakwood players will be rubbing their hands at the prospect of some league action. As manager Ric Blank said yesterday: “We just want to play football.”
A big back-log of fixtures makes it tough to predict exactly where the Oaks will finish in the table this season. They have only played six matches and start Sunday’s match a point behind Raiders, with three games in hand.
Quite incredibly, Oakwood’s last league game was played on October 21, yes, three months ago. That’s hard to believe. And with the pitch clear of snow at Brunel, Blank and co-manager Alex Schock will be looking forward to extend their long, unbeaten run against a Raiders team who pushed them all the way earlier in the season.
It finished 2-2 when Brad Wine and summer signing Josh Bentley, whose equaliser cancelled out a double from the deadly David Dinkin.
Looking ahead to Sunday, Blank told JC Sport: “We were scheduled to play Faithfold but that fell through for one reason or another. We quickly tried to sort a game out - we couldn't take another Sunday without football. We’re so far behind in the league that it would have been disastrous to be sat at home watching the Coronation St omnibus while everyone else plays. Not to mention the fact I’m up to date on Corrie so watching it again would have been a real stretch. Just what is Tyrone going to do? Kirsty's got him by the jewels on this one. There’s only so many times I can ask the same questions DC without getting an answer. Over a year that storyline’s been going.
“So you can see it’s crucial for us to play some footie before I have to start watching Emmerdale or some dross. Credit to Rob and Phil Peters for agreeing to rearrange Raiders-Norstar to allow us to play and drag me out of my Sunday morning malaise (stayed in bed past 8am last Sunday - put my Oakwood tracksuit on - gave the wife a hell of a team-talk. Lunch was superb).
“We’re wary of Raiders – they’ve got good pace and goals throughout the side. They work hard as a team and are hard to beat. I don't think Rob can take credit for this. In fact I'm amazed he's still in a job. The way he manoeuvered Caro out the club in 2011 - deary me. What an act of treachery.
“Anyway, we’re up for the game. I’ve got a terrible record at Brunel - time to do something about it. Joshy Rubes is still out (funny that given he did his cruciate) and Bobbie Cousins is unavailable. Daniel Abrams will have a late fitness test but other than that we're good. Dear Lord, please don’t snow.”
Having impressed against Brady last time out, Raiders will be looking to do it all over again.
Richman told JC Sport: “Quite sensibly the fixtures have been altered meaning we now play Oakwood instead of Norstar. Common sense has prevailed here as nobody wants to see Oakwood playing double-headers and everything needs to be done to make sure they get games played every week. It also means that I don’t have to see Phil Peters twice in the week and that is a mighty relief!
“Oakwood’s record over the past 18 months is one of the best around. We know what to expect from an Oakwood side who we had a great battle with earlier this season.
“Ric and Alex have a talented and settled side who I expect to go on and win one of the cups this season. It promises to be a great game.”
I think Raiders will go for it on Sunday which could suit Oakwood who have the players to hit them on the break. It will be close, but I think Blank and Schock will come away the happier.
JC team news: Dave Esterkin, Alex Bloch and Lewis Blitz miss out for Raiders. New signing Sammy Ross may feature at some stage if his work permit comes through.
Venue – Brunel, Ref – Barry David
JC star man: Josh Bentley (Oakwood)
DC Prediction: NL Raiders A 1 Oakwood A 2
26 - Jamie Kent (Shirley Park)
14 - Yishai Last (Hendon B)
10 - Chaim Gothold (Hendon B)
CHIGWELL ATHLETIC vs HENDON UNITED SPORTS CLUB B
Chigwell chief Richard Slater dipped into the January transfer window this week and pulled out with a real cracker.
There is much excitement about Greg Lautman joining the club and it’s no surprise that Slater broke the bank to bring in a player who will boost the club’s promotion hopes.
The former Redbridge Jewish Care player is a class act. He can play as a defender or holding midfielder. Speaking about the signing, a delighted Slater told JC Sport: “Greg will be a great addition. He’s a good ball-player and young legs.”
While Lautman will be keen to one day become a Chigwell legend, Slater took time from his busy schedule to pay tribute to one man that definitely is – keeper Adrian Bourne.
The veteran put on the famous Chigwell shirt in December, when James Swead, Marc Jacobs and Rob Shepherdson were all unavailable. Slater recalled: “At 49, the guy is still a class act. He pulled off three pretty, remarkable saves and you could not tell he hadn’t played for around four years. He’s a proper Chigwell legend.”
The chances are that whoever plays in goal for Chigwell is likely to be fairly busy as Hendon welcome back the free-scoring Chaim Gothold. He and Yishai Last have combined well to keep the Hornets flying high this season.
As for his hopes for Sunday, Slater went on to say: “'The game is in doubt due to the snow and water now on the pitches at Peter May, but we're all hoping it will go ahead. If it does, we're hoping for another solid performance to follow on from the win over Harmen two weeks ago.
“Confidence is back up within the camp and bar a few absentees, we should be in good shape. We know Hendon attack well on the break so we'll be cautious of that … what we don't want is another 6-6 draw!”
Hendon’s last league win came in October. The continue to score and concede on a regular regular basis and guarantee five-star entertainment.
If the game goes ahead, conditions will be tricky for defenders to master which leads me to believe this will be a high-scoring affair.
JC team news: Hendon hope to unleash new signing Ben Wilkinson on Chigwell, while Martin Smulovitch recently penned a new long-term contract. Tali Nevies hopes to play his first game as a married man, but, no doubt, Mrs Nevies will be hoping the match is postponed! Keeper Joseph Corin returns too.
Venue – Peter May, Ref – Alan Russell
JC star man: Greg Lautman (Chigwell)
DC Prediction: Chigwell 3 Hendon B 2
FAITHFOLD B vs GLENTHORNE UNITED A
Second from top travels to second from bottom as the Thornes go in search of their ninth win of the campaign.
It’s been a real team effort from the boys in blue so far this season, with Craig Sandford doing his bit in front of goal.
But if they’re expecting an easy game against Faithfold they can think again. Rob Shooman’s men are slowly starting to find their feet and will make things tough. I can see getting numbers behind the ball, packing midfield and trying to hit them on the break.
But when push comes to shove, I can see the visitors coming away with an ugly 1-0 win.
Venue – Chase Lodge, Ref – Robert Benardout
JC star man: Craig Sandford (Glenthorne)
DC Prediction: Faithfold B 0 Glenthorne B 1
LONDON MACCABI LIONS B vs SOUTHGATE HARMEN
Sam Castle returns to Rowley Lane for the first time and he will be looking to put the brakes on Jamie Kyte’s title hopefuls.
The last meeting between the teams was a forgettable affair as defences dominated and Kyte told JC Sport: “It was a rubbish game.”
Harmen boss Dan Uzan knows that every point is vital as they battle to steer clear of the relegation dog-fight, but he knows his players will need to play the perfect game against in-form opponents.
No doubt, Castle will give Uzan some valuable insight into the talented Lions team who I think will take some stopping on Sunday.
Venue – Rowley Lane, Ref – Steve Levy
JC star man: Jonny Cutter (Lions)
DC Prediction: Lions B 2 Harmen 0
NORTH WEST NEASDEN A vs UJIA
UJIA manager Ben Radstone gave an honest assessment of where his team is at ahead of Sunday’s trip to Neasden.
The U’s gaffer told me he hopes to be “pretty much be at full-strength” for the crucial clash.
Assi Avital was their star man last time out, bagging a brace in a memorable 3-1 win over Hendon B – their first win of the season.
Indeed this is the beginning of a vital period for UJIA, with matches against Faithfold B and Chigwell to follow.
Looking ahead to Sunday, Radstone told JC Sport: “Similar to ourselves, I think Neasden have also been struggling a bit this season.
“I’m sure it will be a close game but certainly a game that we are capable of winning.
“Let’s just hope it gets a bit warmer between now and Sunday.”
Neasden have lost some key players this season and go into their first meeting with UJIA this season hoping to put out a competitive squad. I bumped into football agent Phil Smith in the snow last weekend and he said: “Ouch.” After that he told me he was due to play for Daniel Hodes’ men so quite clearly, experience is the name of the game for NWN.
With Smith, Jon Kaye and Adam Kern, Hodes is determined to pack as many wise, old heads into the team for who the famous Neasden badge means something to.
These three players will look to get the best out of young Michael Field and Adam Klein, who must be hoping one of the MSFL giants make a bid before the transfer window closes. While his loyalty must be admired, several managers have questioned his ambition, but hats off to the talented left-back who is due to feature in my Player Profile section in the JC over the coming weeks.
As for Sunday, the first goal will be key. Avital is in the kind of form that defenders hate. His battle against Kaye could prove decisive.
Ref – Aaron Djanogly
JC star man: Assi Avital (UJIA)
DC Prediction: UJIA 2 Neasden A 1
17 - Adam Hersh (Los Blancos)
11 - Reiss Mogilner (Brady B)
10 - Dan Hildebrand (Brady B)
BLIZZARD STORM vs LOS BLANCOS
Blancos boss Adam Hersh may be regretting the day he agreed to do the JC Player Profile. He believed there was only a JC Manager of the Week curse, but his appearance at the bottom of the tables page has coincided with a bad run of results. No doubt he will be determined to put things right against Blizzard on Sunday.
Hersh told JC Sport: “We have a couple of big players missing, but we have a strong squad that are more than capable of producing the goods.
“We need to get back into the swing of things so it’s a must win.”
Although the emphasis will be on Blancos taking maximum points to boost promotion hopes, it’s also an important game for a Blizzard who still need to pick up points in order to keep their heads above the relegation zone.
Simon Linden’s men have played some good football at times this season, but Linden is well aware the table doesn’t lie, and he will be keen to avenge October’s 5-2 battering at the hands of Blancos when Hersh went home with the matchball following a brilliant hat-trick.
Both teams need a big performance and I think Blancos fans will go home the happier.
Venue – Hampstead Heath Extension, Ref – Henry Raffe
JC star man: Julian Gertner (Blancos)
DC Prediction: Blizzard 2 Blancos 3
CATFORD & BROMLEY MACCABI vs NORTH WEST NEASDEN B
“We hope to get back to business.” Those were the words of Catford & Bromley captain Adam Luria ahead of the meeting with high-flying Neasden B.
Although the odds are stacked firmly against the Cats on Sunday, Luria sounded in determined mood ahead of the game and revenge will be on their minds after NWN dished out a 5-2 demolition in October in a match that will be remembered as the Oli Joseph show.
Luria told JC Sport: “As anticipated, the snow scuppered our chances of having a full squad so we hopefully get back to business this weekend with a few absentees.
“We're waiting on the fitness of a couple of players, but we're hoping to have a fairly strong team despite the absentees.
“The first game against Neasden was much closer than the scoreline suggests - as has been the case far too often this season - and it was a really hard-fought game.
“We should have been a few up before letting Neasden back into it and even in the second half their keeper kept them in it before some very clinical finishing sank us.
“It's always a tough game against them but now is the time for us to really show what we're made of if we're going to get ourselves out of the relegation mix.
“We've got the players to be up at the other end of the table, but now we need to get the commitment and attitude to get ourselves out of trouble.”
Start go into the game locked on 26 points with Brady B, although they have played a game more. But with Brady involved in cup action on Sunday, Adam Levene’s men know that victory on Sunday would take them clear. If that isn’t incentive enough then I don’t know what is.
NWN have claimed eight wins out of 13, but we know they’re also human and having already had a couple of off-days, Levene will order his team doesn’t arrive complacent.
It’s set to be parky at Norsemen FC on Sunday, and if the Cats start well, I can definitely see them getting something from the game.
JC team news: Jeff Gotch, Dan Zegze, Lewis Maleh and Simon Wolfson all miss out for the Cats, but Ashley Stokes, Joel Isaacs, Guy Ben Aroya, Oli Hitman and Luria all return.
Venue – Norsemen FC, Ref – Rob Caplin
JC star man: Joel Isaacs (Catford)
DC Prediction: Catford & Bromley 1 Neasden B 1
FC TEAM B vs NORTH LONDON RAIDERS B
Raiders have the bit between their teeth right now and manager Oli Shorts can’t wait for kick-off.
Spirits are high in the Raiders camp and Shorts and Rich Abrahams, his reliable right-hand man, are confident of another victory on Sunday.
The win over Bilbaum has filled them with confidence and Shorts will remind his players before the game that defeat would lift FC Team B above L’Orange.
“We’ve warned the boys about our poor away record and I hope this is something we can rectify on Sunday,” Shorts told JC Sport.
“FC Team have shown on their day they can beat anyone but we know we have the quality all over the pitch to make a difference.
“We've got a very good defensive record and with Ben Hart, Nicky Woolf and Ethan Zone we know we can score goals so there is no reason why we can't come back home with three points.”
Team will be keen to avoid Raiders completing a league double as they look to avenge November’s 2-0 defeat at Brunel. Ben Simon’s men have shown they can be dangerous customers on their day and with home advantage, the manager is quietly confident of taking the points.
He told JC Sport: “We have a full squad to choose from this weekend so we are hoping that the game can go ahead, not least because we have only played twice since the start of December.
“Our defeat to Raiders earlier in the season was in the middle of a poor run of form and we didn't turn up on the day. We are through that bad period now, with two wins in a row, and we will go into the game full of confidence that we can take maximum points.”
Raiders’ front three are finger-licking good and I think visiting fans will go home the happier after this winter warmer.
JC team news: Raiders are missing a few players as Sammy and Rosey are away and Blain, Marc Fineman and Shamash are all injured.
Venue – Meadow Park, Ref – Laurie Benson
JC star man: Ben Hart (Raiders)
DC Prediction: FC Team B 2 NL Raiders B 3
REDBRIDGE JEWISH CARE B vs GLENTHORNE UNITED B
Glenthorne hope to turn over a new leaf when they take on local rivals Redbridge B in the east London derby.
The Thornes made a flying start but they have slipped off the pace in recent weeks following a string of defeats, and joint-player-manager Liam Stein told me this week that they are determined to put things right, starting on Sunday.
"It’s is a big chance to fix our mistakes and errors in the previous few weeks. It's fair to say we've somewhat gone off the boil recently and coming up against a quick, technical young team like Redbridge won't be easy.
“Having said that, we showed real class last time we played them and a repeat of that performance and our first half game against Neasden last week will stand us in good stead on Sunday.
“Fairlop is a pitch and ground we know well which will mean it'll be virtually a home game for most of us and we will try to use the big pitch to our advantage.
“Don't get me wrong it won't be easy but I expect all our boys to step and give that bit extra as it's the derby. The only thing I can say is that the game will be a cracker."
RJC are also struggling for form and Jacobs and co are determined to turn things around quickly. The R-word has been whispered around the changing room in recent weeks but the manager is confident his kids have enough quality and bottle to stay the distance.
I can see this being a passionate derby and if Glenthorne go in front I can’t see them losing.
JC team news: Glenthorne have been hugely weakened by injuries once again. Jay Lawrence and Joe Grant are unavailable whilst they also have a few more undergoing some last-minute fitness tests which will see a complete re-shuffle in the squad for Sunday.
Venue - Fairlop, Ref – David Lazarus
JC star man: Adam Goldman (Glenthorne)
DC Prediction: Redbridge B 1 Glenthorne B 2
NORSTAR B vs ATHLETIC BILBAUM
The Baums will be rubbing their hands because this is a good time to play Norstar B.
Managers Ed Green and Mark Pasha have had long enough to think about what went wrong in the recent defeat against Raiders B and with games in hand on the top two, I think they will go for the jugular from the very first whistle.
Norstar’s confidence is low and it is only going to get worse on Sunday. The have been on a terrible run of games without a win in Division Two and have conceded 19 goals in the last three matches. David Lubczanski’s men are in for a very long 90 minutes.
The Baums have been impressive on the road this season
Venue – John Lyons School, Ref – Neal Cohen
JC star man: Josh 'Monster Munch' Magidson (Bilbaum)
DC Prediction: Norstar B 1 Athletic Bilbaum 4
26 - Ben Zloof (AC Mill Hill)
16 - Jono Gaon (Tottenham Chutspah), Alex Elf (Hendon Utd SC C)
13 - Richard Fogelman (Jewventus), Ben Polak (Oakwood B)
12 - Terry Jeffries (Temple Fortune B)
BOCA JEWNIORS vs AC MILL HILL
The news that Carlos Tevez wants to join Boca Jewniors was music to the ears of the Monk monopoly who sit on the board at the North Herts Arena club.
With table-toppers AC Mill Hill coming to town, I’ve heard the Boca board have been locked in negotiations with Tevez’s agent Kia Joorabchian in a bid to sign the Argentina and Manchester City striker.
However, Boca boss Jamie Weinrich indicated that even if Tevez signs, he would not necessarily be guaranteed a place in the starting XI as he special plans in place, which probably involve double parking the team bus, for the visit of the leaders.
A Boca spokesman told JC Sport: “We do not comment on speculation in the press with regards to transfer targets.”
Tevez would be the perfect player to boost a goal-shy Boca front line that and I can see him working wonders with Weinrich up top. And it’s surely a challenge the Mill Hill defenders would relish.
Mill Hill boss Joe Levy is keen that his team does not lose focus with talk of Tevez all the range at training. And as one Boca player told me this week, “Who needs Tevez when we have Ben Zloof”. He had a point.
Looking ahead to the game, Levy told JC Sport: “We’re at full strength this week and are hoping to finally get 2013 going, and hope to start it as we ended 2012.
“Ben Zloof has been challenged to get to 45 goals for the season and we have promised to introduce cream cheese to his pre-match salmon bagel if successful.”
Mill Hill’s main man has been on fire this season and only the snow will be able to freeze his tremendous run of form.
Venue – North Herts Arena, Ref – Mike Cowan
JC star man: Mark Truman (Mill Hill)
DC Prediction: Boca Jewniors 0 AC Mill Hill 6
NORSTAR C vs OAKWOOD B
Two clubs borne out of North Cheshire Jewish Primary School in Cheadle come face-to-face on Sunday so much more than pride is up for grabs.
Oaks player-manager Ian Tussie knows Jamie Slavin from his days at NCJPS as young kids. He told JC Sport: “Jamie was always going to go into football managemen - he used to spend hours studying the offside rule in the old school dinner hall using salt and pepper as the forwards and leftover bolognese and tangerine segments as the defending team. It was messy but it worked.
“He's done a great job with Norstar over the last few years and has taken the A’s to the Premier League and Mr. Aden will be very proud of his protege's achievements.
“Sunday won't be easy - it's on 3G which often acts as a bit of a leveller. We've only played 3G once this season (away at Boca) and won 2-0 but it was a poor performance from us and I'll be looking for a big improvement.
“We are decimated by injuries, illness and holidays on Sunday and are without a number of key players, notably Dave Eden. I'm hoping Dave Epstein will be available - he Skyped me this week to apologise for his abhorrent behaviour over the Chanukah break and I've reluctantly accepted and am expecting to see him tonight at training.
“All in all I'm looking forward to Sunday and praying to Hashem that the game goes ahead.”
Norstar have been in decent nick of late, but they will need to raise their game against an Oakwood team that is clearly going places. They were well beaten against high-flyers FC Team C last time out, and even though I don’t think they will concede another seven, they could be chasing shadows for long periods.
Ahead of the game, Stars boss Zack Gothelf told JC Sport: "We're are looking forward to playing a game on Sunday, with the Ark unlikely to be called off.
"We're hoping to give much sought after Daniel Polak his first appearance in the Orange and Will Ufland looks set to start his first game since October as he no longer has to work on Sunday mornings.
"This added creativity, should give a solid Norstar that extra edge to give Oakwood a real run for their money on Sunday and start 2013 with a home win."
Venue – Ark Academy, Ref – Paul Dobkin
JC star man: Dave Epstein (Oakwood)
DC Prediction: Norstar C 2 Oakwood B 4
TOTTENHAM CHUTSPAH vs FAITHFOLD C
Frustration has been the name of the game for the Chutspah of late. Ariel Tamman’s men last played on December 16 and Faithfold will be looking to capitalise on any rustiness in the Tottenham camp.
History will be made, weather-permitting of course, as the teams meet for the first time in the JC MSFL, with Faithfold looking to build on back-to-back victories.
David Garson’s men have started 2013 in style and the signs are that Ben Simons will, once again, be the biggest threat to the Chutspah boys.
Ahead of the game, Chutspah boss Ariel Tamman told JC Sport: “We expect a tight game this weekend and will be looking to press on after taking the three points in our last game against Hendon.
“We see a good opportunity in the second half of the season to climb the league and finish strongly.
“I have almost a full squad to pick from. Competition for places is high and that helps bring the best out in us.”
A top four finish is within touching distance for Faithfold. The players look comfortable since Garson freshened things up formation wise and they have something very important that Tottenham don’t. Experience.
I think Tottenham will huff and puff for 60 minutes but ultimately, Faithfold’s superiority will shine through on the day.
Venue – Regents Park, Ref – Adam Yuchetel
JC star man: Ben Portnoi (Faithfold)
DC Prediction: Tottenham Chutspah 1 Faithfold C 4
JEWVENTUS vs HENDON UNITED SPORTS CLUB C
“Nothing but a win will do.” Those were the words of Jewve boss Gabriel John who was in determined mood at his midfield press conference ahead of the meeting with Hendon.
The player-manager, who is more libero than free spirit these days, has been feeling the heat in recent weeks following a bad set of results.
Given that Southampton sacked Nigel Adkins this week, he knows just how important three points could be on Sunday, and told JC Sport: “It’s a must-win, otherwise the board may act.”
Hendon are already building for next season, and manager Craig Miller is centring his plans around striker Alex Elf. However, until the player commits himself to a new long-term deal, Miller, and dare I say a fair few Hendon fans, will not sleep easily.
I can see Jewve adopting a man-marker on Elf and it wouldn’t surprise me if John keeps an impact sub or two on the bench to hit Hendon late on.
Venue – Chase Lodge, Ref – Quentin Fox
JC star man: Gab Saul (Jewve)
DC Prediction: Jewventus 3 Hendon C 2
L’EQUIPE vs LOUGHTON ORIENT
L’Equipe have put themselves in a strong position to finish in fourth spot. David Prager’s men have been the model of consistency in recent weeks and this is certainly another game they can win.
They have been effective and efficient over the last four matches and have not conceded a goal in more than 270 minutes of open play.
Josh Lewis was the star man when the teams last met, bagging a brace in a hard fought 2-1 success. L’Equipe came away from the match disappointed the margin of victory was not more emphatic following the heroics of Loughton keeper Marc Jacobs.
Like L’Equipe, the goals have not flowed freely for Loughton this season, but they managed their third win of the season last time out, with Barry Green and David Blitz the marksmen in the 2-1 win over Hendon C.
Loughton boss Dan Curtis was delighted with the effort levels in that performance, although he was honest enough to admit it wasn’t “the greatest performance”.
Looking ahead to the game, Loughton boss Dan Curtis told JC Sport: “We expect a tight game this weekend and will be looking to press on after taking the three points in our last game against Hendon.
“We see a good opportunity in the second half of the season to climb the league and finish strongly.
“I have almost a full squad to pick from. Competition for places is high and that helps bring the best out in us.”
Venue - Copthall, Ref – Laurence Thorne
JC star man: Marc Jacobs (Loughton)
DC Prediction: L’Equipe 1 Loughton Orient 1
TEMPLE FORTUNE B P FC TEAM C P
Match postponed – pitch unplayable