When the Cohen gets tough, the tough get going

By Danny Caro, December 10, 2008

Neal Cohen, manager of Zig Zag, is broiges with Barnet council. Cohen fumed after they threw a blanket cancellation over all the pitches in the borough following heavy rain last Wednesday. But with mild weather forecast for the rest of the week, Cohen went down to check out his team’s pitch in Edgwarebury Park and confirmed that the “surface was fine” two days later. He pleaded with council officials to reconsider but they were not having any of it. I don’t always agree with the staunch Spurs fan, but believe that cancelling hundreds of pitches four days before scheduled matches is irresponsible in a country not renowned for its weather. The council claims that pitches have been “damaged and waterlogged” by teams that have played when they shouldn’t have and “took the measures to ensure that pitches are preserved for as long as possible”. Conditions improved dramatically and I doubt that any pitches were waterlogged. As things transpired, the cold snap left several venues iced up by Sunday morning, resulting in 15 games being postponed. I believe that the final decision should be left to the referee on the day. I must congratulate match official David Goldberg for allowing my match for North London Raiders A against Hendon United C to take place. We were greeted by frozen clumps of mud and a six-yard box that would not have looked out of place at Disney on Ice. I didn’t fancy the conditions, but Goldberg’s common sense approach was rewarded with an excellent game. Hendon pushed us all the way but my performance was rewarded with a place in the Jewish News’ Team of the Week. I don’t remember too much about extra time after banging heads with one of my teammates trying to save a shot on the line, but I’ve spent the week believing that I’m Petr Cech. Pinner JFC have turned to a favourite of mine, former Hendon and Barnet midfielder Phil Gridelet, in a bid to improve their fortunes after 10 league games, without a win. Manager Les Conway said: “I believe Phil’s input will have an immense impact and help the team get out of their mental rut. Undoubtedly, the lads will rise to challenge to prove that we are not the basement team.” Southgate Harmen A striker Alex Bourne took advantage of the JC cameras being at his game last weekend. He pleaded for readers to vote for his fiancee, Rachel Stevens, on the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing. “She needs the Jewish vote, so please vote for Rachel,” said Bourne. Long-serving Temple Fortune midfielder Bryan Silver faces a lengthy spell out after tearing his cruciate ligament. The Scot, who has been with the club for 20 years, will have an operation later this month and may not play again. He said: “I’ll be on crutches for a fortnight and then I can look forward to physiotherapy for approximately 12 months. It looks as if there is a real chance that my football playing days are over.” London Maccabi Lions will face a home tie against Enfield Rangers if they can overcome Stanbridge & Tilsworth in the FA Sunday Cup. The romance of the cup will hit South Oxhey on Sunday where a real David versus Goliath clash is in store. Highgate & Muswell Hill Under 17s debut in the Peter Morrison Trophy against Premier Division Montana Boca United A. Bottom of the AJY Under 17 Division, HMH are relishing the prospect with manager Nick Sonenfield shedding his tracksuit to play his first match in 20 years. Now 57, the midfielder who used to play for Stonegrove, Victoria and founded Oakwood in 1973, will be giving 40 years on the next oldest player. Top-scorer David Persov is unavailable but keeper Adam Cohen and twins captain Adam David and Daniel will make the starting line-up. Sonenfield said: “We’ve kept the side together for five years, despite not winning many games as they just enjoy playing. We hope to enter the MSFL next season so want to gain a bit of experience on Sunday. We also have a game in the afternoon as the AJY wouldn’t give us the weekend off so, ahead of the match against Redbridge, we hope our tie against Montana doesn’t go to extra time and that we avoid injuries.” See Danny Caro’s weekend round-up at thejc.com Email dannycaro@thejc.com

Last updated: 10:26am, December 24 2008