D-Day for Gold
With the end of the season fast-approaching, there is another mouth-watering weekend of football in store.
Top billing goes to London Lions, who will put their Herts Senior County League Premier Division credentials on the line when they take on leaders Wormley Rovers.
Although the Lions have played the majority of league games at St Albans City's Clarence Park ground this season, Saturday's match is at Rowley Lane.
The Lions go into the game four points behind Rovers with two games in hand. The crunch clash comes on the back of a busy week for Tony Gold's men. They beat Lemsford 2-0 with goals from Daniel Stanton and recent signing Paul Hakim. This was followed by a 1-1 draw against Sandridge Rovers on Tuesday night with Stanton on target again.
Gold said: "Sandridge is never an easy place to go. We played well on a terrible pitch in our seventh game in 14 days." Looking ahead to the weekend, he labelled it "a must-win" but admitted that "this has always been the case" and said that his squad "looks relatively strong".
A battle-weary squad has been boosted by the twin signings of Team GB silver medallists Craig Ellis and Hakim. Ellis recently helped Wingate & Finchley reach the playoff semi-finals in the Ryman League Division One North. Hakim is playing for his fourth club this season following spells at St. Albans City, Wingate & Finchley and Brady Maccabi.
The next day, the semi-finals of the Jewish FA Cup take centre stage as holders North West Neasden A take on their B team while Faithfold A entertain Hendon United A.
Neasden A go into their tie on the back of two excellent victories over London Maccabi Lions A. However, they have doubts over Scott Shindler, Jake Gottlieb and Ben Ellis who face late fitness tests.
Although the As start as strong favourites, they have plenty of respect for their B team who are still chasing the Division One title. Joint-manager Jamie Cole said: "Sammy Carr, the B team joint-manager and club chairman, is an idol here at Neasden. He is every inch a gentleman and he always compliments the opposition. He has done a fantastic job with Neasden B. This game will be a huge test for us. If we don't come prepared then we will lose".
Revenge will be the name of the game for Faithfold who were comfortably beaten by Hendon in the recent JC Cyril Anekstein Cup semi-final. Goals from Dovid Korman, Avidan Last and Saul Conway saw Hendon home and having dispatched Redbridge A in such style last week, they start as favourites.
● MAL's tour to Belgium was ruined by bad weather. However, all was not lost as the early season trip proved to be an excellent exercise for team bonding. The team held their own against Antwerp Cricket Club in treacherous conditions although it proved to be a painful experience for Marc Mer, who suffered a broken a finger and lost a fingernail attempting what would have been a stunning catch at deep square leg.
Avi Gelley said: "It was a good, old fashioned Jewish tour with lots of talking about drinking and lots of eating. Sunday was indeed a virtual washout and it wasn't helped by the slowest and wettest outfield of all time.
"Monday was indeed a washout which was a shame as Royal Brussels had ex-Zimbabwe Test player Brighton Watambwa playing for them."
Vice-captain Mark Landau said: "It was a great tour with some great people but I think we would all agree that we have seen enough rain for a whole season now. Here's to Sunday and a win in the first league game of the season, and lots of sunshine."