Faithfold close in on league and cup double
JC MSFL PREMIER DIVISION
FAITHFOLD A 3 OAKWOOD A 0
Faithfold A finished the weekend in top spot as their pursuit of the double gathered momentum following a double-header win over Oakwood.
The London FA Sunday Intermediate Cup winners ran out 3-0 winners in the opener, with goals from Mike Pearson, Daryl Phillips and captain Alex Levack.
Faithfold made a sluggish start as Oakwood looked to build on last week's 5-2 win over FC Team A. "Toby Levy hit the bar and Brad Wine produced a fine one-on-one stop from Ben Law. We were dominating all over the park with Carl Peters pulling the strings in the middle.
Oakwood were caught cold on the break by the outstanding Pearson's run down the right and a great team move culminated in and cross that Phillips converted with a trademark finish.
It took Oakwood a while to recover from such a sucker punch after that and they made the cardinal sin of giving the ball away cheaply on the edge of the Faithfold area after half time, letting the Superhoops break and Pearson scored a brilliant finish from a seemingly impossible angle.
Faithfold then stepped up a gear in the second half as Oakwood became ragged and Levack capitalised on some poor marking to score the third from a corner.
Faithfold boss Zuriel Solomon told JC Sport: "It was a very important six points as we haven't played in the league for nearly three months, which is bizarre, but we were determined to pick up maximum points against a good Oakwood team who impressed me in the second game."
Oakwood joint-manager Ric Blank told JC Sport: "I was unbelievably proud of how the boys played for 120 minutes yesterday against a top class Faithfold side."
"Having lost captain Adam Levine in the warm-up (still feeling the effects of his treatment at hands of FC Team), we had to re-jig completely just before kick-off, with Sam Jacobson moving to centre half. To say we started well is an under-statement and should have been out of sight halfway through the fist half.
OAKWOOD A 0 FAITHFOLD A 1
An own goal from a Sam Reeves corner was enough to give Faithfold victory in part two.
Oakwood re-grouped, made some changes and absolutely dominated again. Dave Woolman did brilliantly to lay a chance on a plate for Josh Rose who rolled his finish agonisingly wide with the keeper beaten.
Faithfold scored the all-important goal against the run of play, from a corner as Bobbie Cousins fired the ball into his own net.
Oakwood continued to press but Ilan Scorah was sent off for a professional foul on Mike Pearson.
Oakwood joint-manager Ric Blank told JC Sport: "It was technically a red card but he was less than an inch away from the ball and had every right to go for it. It was very tough to take."
Oakwood continued to press and look the better side. Toby Levy hit the outside of the post from 25 yards with the keeper well beaten and Josh Rose forced a tremendous save from distance as we looked to grab a deserved equaliser.
Faithfold had chances on the break as Oakwood pushed but couldn't add to their tally.
The final whistle blew and Oakwood were left scratching their heads, wondering how we had taken no points from 120 minutes of football in which they felt they had been the better side for long stretches.
Blank added: "Faithfold are easily the best team we've played this year and are worthy champions. We wish the boys Daryl and Zuriel all the best and hope to be having a crack at them again next year.
"Our focus is firmly on the Brixton game on Sunday. They're a real handful - a team I never felt would go down. But our form is good, we're completely up for it and we'll be tough to beat come Sunday."
Faithfold manager Zuriel Solomon told JC Sport: "Oakwood gave us some problems, albeit from some of our sloppy play and should have probably gone ahead.
"We may have rode our luck but I believe we created the better chances although our finishing was a bit wasteful.
"It was a very important six points as we haven't played in the league for nearly three months, which is bizarre, but we were determined to pick up maximum points against a good Oakwood team who impressed me second game."