Raiders set up Redbridge quarter-final

By Danny Caro, March 3, 2013


Raiders won a five-goal thriller at Brunel with goals from David Dinkin, Dan Grossman and Rik Sherman setting up a quarter-final clash against Redbridge.

Dinkin scored a fantastic free-kick to put Raiders 1-0 up and then despite Oakwood pressure, Raiders doubled their advantage with Grossman converting a free header from a throw in.

Oakwood pulled one back before half time with Josh Rose doing fantastically before laying it to Dan Ash to smash home from close range.

Rik Sherman scored a great header from a corner in the second half to seal the tie.

Ben Polak set up a grandstand finish with a second for Oakwood but it was Raiders' day.

Delighted Raiders boss Rob Richman told JC Sport: "Despite both team missing a number of regulars, I thought it was a really good, closely fought game. Oakwood pushed us hard in the first half but we defended well and were superbly clinical allowing us an early two-goal lead.

"We conceded just before half time but that didn’t phase us and in the second half despite missing a number of good opportunities, we deservedly grabbed a third through a towering Sherman header. Oakwood scored very late on but we held out for the win.

"It was an important win for us after a very disappointing display a few weeks back against Norstar. We defended very well as a team and when we do that we are very difficult to play against.

"Best of luck to Ric and Alex and the rest of the Oakwood boys we have had three really good games against them this season epitomising exactly what is good about the MSFL."

Disappointed Oakwood joint-manager Ric Blank told JC Sport: "We're gutted to go out of the PM today despite giving it everything. Raiders at Brunel is without question one of the hardest games in Jewish football. They know how they want to play on that surface and make it a horrible game for whoever they play.

"We set up to deal with that and were far the better team in the first half - yet found ourselves 2-0 down. It was criminal and the sort of mistakes we know will be punished at this level. We didn't drop and fought like mad to get back in the game.

"Adam Levine was driving us at centre half and Josh Rose and Toby Levy were causing the Raiders back four trouble. Further chances fell to Oakwood with Jonny Beilin missing a great chance just before half time.

"Second half for some reason we dropped our level and stopped doing the simple things well. We invited pressure by giving the ball away needlessly and carelessly and, Raiders were only prevented from scoring by two wonderful saves from Oli Gee.

"To our credit we didn't let our heads drop and scored a late goal through Polak who's having a fantastic season for the club. But it wasn't enough and we are out of the cup.

"It was an even game, and we're disappointed to lose but we again made some casual mistakes that were punished. That said, the fight, character and attitude of the boys was spot on - we are learning and there are tough games ahead, but we will get there."

Last updated: 11:19am, March 4 2013