Last four tests loom as Neasden go into unknown territory
Sunday will be a huge day for everyone connected to North West Neasden. The quadruple-chasing A team will look to get back to winning ways when they host Baldon Sports in the semi-finals of the London FA Sunday Challenge Cup at Bricket Wood. With captain Lee Cash banned, the team will jet Matt Stock back from league football in France, hoping that the likes of Daniel Levenfiche, TJ Keterman, Ricky Kennet, Danny Daggers, Jonny Ellis, Daniel Cole and Scott Shindler can take them through to their first LFA final.
Baldon took the scalp of London Maccabi Lions A in the first round and with joint-boss Daniel Fox on honeymoon, Jamie Cole is relishing the biggest match of his managerial career.
"It's uncharted waters for both sides," he said. "We'll have to be at our best if we want to win the tie so I am happy to have such a big squad. Our last game against Hendon was not our best performance but our year-long unbeaten record had to come to an end at some point. The margin of error, particularly in the London Sunday Cup, is very narrow but I hope that with the same effort we have shown in the past and with a bit of good luck our progress will continue."
Vista of the Orpington & Bromley District Sunday Football League await the winners. Neasden B entertain Cetinkaya Cinar of the KOPA Cypriot Football League at Hadley FC as the teams look to book a place in the final of the London FA Sunday Junior Cup.
Joint-manager Sammy Carr commented: "Our last-minute defeat to Chigwell Athletic A shows just how far we have progressed over the past 12 months. All the players rightly believe that this side is capable of holding their own in the Premier division.
"We go into Sunday's game with nothing to lose. Six Jewish teams started out in this competition and we are the last one standing."
There are also three mouth-watering North versus South battles scheduled in the Peter Morrison Trophy. MJSL high-flyers Westdene 1st, managed by Steve Davis, welcome Premier Division strugglers Montana Boca United A. I hope to help North London Raiders A upset former cup winners Manchester Maccabi 1st. Although not having things their own way in the Eccles League, David Nadler's troops remain a strong outfit with the likes of captain Mark Addis, former Stoke City and Israel Under 17 star Michael Warwick, along with Team England futsal stars Rik Buxton and Adam Lavin expected to appear in their line-up. The tie will be played on the 3G at Brunel University in Uxbridge, kicking-off at 12.45pm. Raiders will be missing top-scorer Jonny Blain whose foot injury keeps him out for another three weeks.
Further north, Glasgow Maccabi entertain Glenthorne United A. Managed by Hibs legend Allan "Dicksy" Dickson, the Scottish Unity League outfit will look to leading lights Greg "No-one's safe" Statt, Jonny 'Starsky' Hecht and Ari 'Asbo' Marcuson to steer them through. Laurence Judah is unavailable for the hosts.
Neasden C will be missing top-scorer Steve Bloom for the crucial Division Two promotion double-header against Red Sea. The Head of Boys' Physical Education and Games will instead lead his school, Orley Farm, to the national sevens rugby tournament. Gideon Gold is out for the Seacats.
London Maccabi Lions Masters entertain South London team Livingstone RARA in the semi-final of the London FA Vets Cup.
Neil Lederman has replaced Team GB open cricket vice-captain Jeremy Mordrick in the Maccabiah squad. The London Maccabi Vale and Radlett left-arm bowler maintains a proud family tradition, following in the footsteps of his father, Jonathan.
It is believed the pair are the first father and son combination to have both represented GB cricket at the Games. Proud father Jonathan said: "He'll be going 28 years after I went for the first time. I'm ecstatic for him."