Matchday 18 weekend preview

There's a bumper programme in store on Matchday 18 of the MGBSL season, with Premier Division leaders Norstar London Raiders A in action in the Peter Morrison Trophy and NLR B looking to strengthen their grip on the Division Two title. Danny Caro looks ahead to all the action.

---------------------------
---------------------------

RUMOUR MILL

TOP-SCORERS

MATCHDAY 17 REVIEW

---------------------------
---------------------------

VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS - BLIZZARD STORM vs REDBRIDGE JC B

PHOTOGALLERY - BLIZZARD STORM vs REDBRIDGE JC B

---------------------------
---------------------------

DANNY CARO'S TEAM OF THE WEEK

---------------------------
---------------------------

YOUR WEEKEND PREVIEW STARTS HERE:

PETER MORRISON TROPHY ROUND ONE

NORTH WEST NEASDEN vs FC TEAM C
Division Two high-flyers FC Team C go in search of their second big scalp of the season when they make the short journey to Arkley to take on Neasden.

Team sent holders London Maccabi Lions White crashing out of the Anekstein Cup and managers Ben Gilbey and Michael Myers will be confident of coming away with the right result.

Neasden have been busy bolstering their squad post-Chanukah, with manager Stirling Kay welcoming Mark Zealander, Michael Ellis and Ed Alexson into his squad for Sunday.

Kay told JC Sport: “I’m sure all three will add more strength to our squad. We will be with out a number of players, but we’ll still put out a strong side and look forward to a hard fought game.

“We have not played for five weeks so we are looking to keep our good run going. We know we are in for a very tough game, so bring it on!”

Neasden have some big players missing and their strength in depth will be tested to the limit, so if FC Team play their cards right another surprise is on the cards.

JC team news: Neasden are missing Scott Kay (foot), Kane Gilbery (groin), Craig Edwards (head), Josh Tiano (travelling) and Dan Orgel (suspended).

Venue – Hadley FC, Ref – Robert Caplin

JC star man: James Joseph (Team)

DC Prediction: Neasden 2 Team 3

-----------------------------
-----------------------------

PETER MORRISON TROPHY ROUND TWO

ATHLETIC BILBAUM vs SHIRLEY PARK
Bilbaum’s promotion dreams are over for another season but they have nothing to lose when they look to dump first division Shirley Park out of the National cup.

The boys in green and white were ultimately well-beaten by leaders NLR B last weekend, with Jake Gilbert’s goal little more than scant consolation.

The Baums gave it a good go in the second half, but they found the leaders in ruthless form and there was no way back.

The league is the priority for Shirley this season, but given their firepower, they must be regarded as dark horses in this competition. Strikers Jamie Kent and Saul Conway have excellent goals-to-game ratios, with Stefan Benfredj pulling the strings just behind them.

At the back, talisman Ilan Shaki will need to ensure things stay organised, with the Bell brothers, Ed Green and the ever-dangerous Gilbert looking to keep the Baums’ season alive.

I think the Baums will huff and puff but Shirley’s quality and cutting edge will see them through.

Ref – Neal Cohen

JC star man: Dan Oade (Shirley)

DC Prediction: Bilbaum 1 Shirley 3

-----------------------------
-----------------------------

FAITHFOLD A vs NORSTAR LONDON RAIDERS C
With the league gone, Faithfold must put all their eggs into the cup competitions.

They will start Sunday’s tie against high-flying NLR C as strong favourites, but it’s important they show the right attitude and application for the Division Three title hopefuls or else they could be left with egg on their faces.

Manager Zuriel Solomon was pleased with the level of performance against NLR A in the league last week and he came away feeling the 2-0 scoreline was unjust.

Ahead of the NLR game, he told JC Sport: "Sunday I think gives us a welcome break from the league which looks well beyond our reach.

"I am hoping the boys can pick themselves up as our form hasn’t been great. I am sure NLR C are up for it and are looking to cause an upset, so we will respect our opponents.

No doubt NLR A boss Phil Peters would’ve given Zack Gothelf the low-down on last season’s champions. But it’s important the visitors are not overawed by their opponents or the occasion.

I'd be surprised with anything other than a comfortable Faithfold win.

JC team news: Away this week for Faithfold is Daryl Phillips, Dan Stock, Dan Perkins and Alex Kaye.

Venue – Chase Lodge, Ref – Neil Cooper, KO – 10am

JC star man: Roie Spitzer (Faithfold)

DC Prediction: Faithfold 3 NLR 0

-----------------------------
-----------------------------

FC TEAM B vs BLIZZARD STORM
The league season is almost over for the Blizzard boys. A top four finish looks their best bet but that is in doubt after last week’s 4-1 mauling at the hands of Redbridge B – a team described by Simon Linden as the best in the division.

It currently stands at one apiece between Blizzard and Team this season. Blizzard had the better of the opener – with Dan Simons (2), Michael Wolfe, Dean Shaw, Louis Taylor and Stuart Muller on target in a 6-2 demolition back in September. But Team exacted revenge only last month thanks to strikes from Adam Lenz (2), Jon Franks, Freddie Marks and Paul Savitz.

Blizzard are long over-due a win and the momentum is with Team and it’s for that reason and that reason alone that I’m going with the home team.

Venue – Old Camdenians, Ref – Quentin Fox

JC star man: Paul Savitz (Team)

DC Prediction: FC Team B 3 Blizzard 2

-----------------------------
-----------------------------

JEWDINESE vs HENDON UNITED SPORTS CLUB C
Hendon will be champing at the bit for their trip to Jewdinese on Sunday, having not played in a month.

The Hustlers finished 2013 in good form, though they have already suffered a heavy defeat against their hosts on Sunday.

Hendon boss Adam Glekin told JC Sport: "We've played them twice and put in very poor performances on both occasions. I'm sure they feel confident about going through, but if we play to our potential then I don't see any reason why we can't progress. Our last game in the cup made headlines and I hope to create some more on Sunday."

Alex Elf, Adam Jacobs and Ben Glekin are all out the country, though the Hendon hierarchy were giving nothing away as to whether this was given their blessing in order for the trio to recharge the batteries before the second half of the season, or whether they were AWOL and enjoying the festive season a tad too much.

Glekin will still have plenty of options to choose from, and will not suffer the same fate as the first meeting between the sides where he only had 11 players and three ended up carrying injuries.

Glekin did confess his worries about the state of the pitch in London Colney, saying "when we played there a few months ago the pitch was in very poor nick and it had only rained for about half an hour that week, so I'm slightly dreading how it'll be on Sunday. But if it's a mudbath, we'll knuckle down and get on with it.”

After a few weeks off, the ‘Nese boys are raring to get back into action. Boss Jake Erlich told JC Sport; “I think the fact we have a cup game against a team we have previously played twice is useful as it may take a couple of minutes to get into the game.

"We hope to win obviously and build on our unbeaten run which we still have since October - whether it be in the league or the cup. Obviously the league is the priority, but it would be nice to go on a cup run as a distraction too."

With important games against Loughton Orient and two in two weeks against Temple Fortune, Erlich and co will go all out for a win as momentum will be crucial between now and the business end of the season.

Venue – Morris Playing Fields, Ref – Alex Smith, KO – 10am

JC star man: Zack Collins (Jewdinese)

DC Prediction: Jewdinese 3 Hendon 2

-----------------------------
-----------------------------

NORSTAR LONDON RAIDERS A vs LONDON HAROLDEANS
Few teams will want to play the Premier Division leaders at the minute and damage limitation could be London Haroldeans’ best bet on Sunday.

Jonathan Abrams’ men came away hugely disappointed from last week’s clash against Faithfold B and I can’t see things getting any better this weekend.

Rotation is the name of the game for NLR boss Phil Peters who is looking to build on last week’s win over Faithfold.

Peters told JC Sport: “We should still have a fairly strong squad and will use the opportunity to give game time to some of those who haven’t been getting it recently.

“We know very little about London Haroldeans, but the expectation will be on us to record a comfortable victory.

“I’m sure they will try to make it as difficult as possible for us and we’ll have to ensure we keep our performance levels high.”

I expect NLR to progress without too many problems.

JC team news: NLR are missing a few players this weekend – Elliot Espinoza, Josh Morris and Ethan Zone are on holiday whilst Jamie Wolfson is undergoing a late fitness test after the removal of his wisdom teeth earlier in the week.

JC transfer window latest: NLR report new signings although they are negotiating a deal to bring Rob Richman back from SPEC on a free transfer.

Venue – Ark Academy, Ref – Steve Russell, KO – 10.15am

JC star man: David Dinkin (NLR)

DC Prediction: NLR 4 Haroldeans 0

-----------------------------
-----------------------------

OAKWOOD A vs HENDON UNITED SPORTS CLUB B
The Hendon A result apart, Oakwood have looked the real deal since mid-November and things appear to have really clicked into gear.

Managers Ric Blank and Alex Schock have worked hard to put together a top-quality squad and I can see them doing well in the competition this year. Over 90 minutes of cup football, it will take a really good team to beat them.

Guy Helman was the star man in last week’s 5-0 demolition of Lions Blue and Blank is looking for another strong performance.

“The Morrison is the one trophy every team wants to win,” he told JC Sport. “It's the one we've all been striving for since we were kids. It's a long road to Wingate, but all we want to do is be in the draw for the next round.

“Against Whetstone we thought all we had to do was turn up and win. Against Hendon B we’ll lose if we adopt that attitude. I'll be selecting a strong squad and am determined to start the game well and pick up where we left off against Lions.”

Hendon have been leaking goals all season and I don’t expect them to cause Oakwood any problems whatsoever in a game that could be over by half-time.

JC team news: Oakwood’s Eddie Manson out for six weeks after small knee op. Blank told JC Sport: “Our aim is to welcome him back into a winning team." Top scorer Antony Kintish is also out.

Venue – Brunel, Ref – Martin De La Fuente

JC star man: Guy Helman (Oakwood)

DC Prediction: Oakwood 5 Hendon 0

-----------------------------
-----------------------------

MACCABIAH MASTERS SENIORS vs BRADY MACCABI B
Sunday will see a classic battle of youth against experience as first division Brady B go into a game virtually blind against the Maccabiah Masters.

Brady chief Josh Dagul has spent much of the week on the phone trying to find out exactly which players will line up against his team.

Brady’s focus is on promotion to the top-flight, but they haven’t played since December 8 so Dagul and co will be keen to shake off any rustiness.

The Masters are doing well in the Garston Vets League and no doubt they try to utilise the roll-on/roll-off ruling they know inside out. They may look to score via a power play and will be hoping Brady under-estimate them.

They have one of the top Jewish keeper's around in player-manager Dan Jacobs. Also key an eye on Matty Kleinman's tussle with the ever-dangerous Reiss Mogilner. Up top, Paul Lenchner, Max Radford and Bradley Lazarus, last week's match-winner, have been there, seen it and bought the t-shirt and will be on hand to snap up any late Chanukah bargains.

But as long as the visitors turn up with the right attitude and application, I would tip them to make the next round.

JC team news: Andy Myers is out for the Masters, but Guy Morris has been drafted in.

Venue – Rowley Lane, Ref – Martin Fox

JC star man: Bradley Lazarus (Masters)

DC Prediction: Masters 2 Brady 1

-----------------------------
-----------------------------

SOUTHGATE HARMEN vs HENDON UNITED SPORTS CLUB A
The long road to Wingate starts at the crack of dawn on Sunday morning as first division Southgate Harmen welcomes Premier Division giants Hendon.

Neither team was in action last weekend so both sets of players will be looking to start the new year with a bang. It’s clear the Hendon camp can’t wait for kick-off, although manager David Garbacz appeared unhappy with the early start.

He told JC Sport: “I think it is all part of Southgate’s game-plan to catch us half asleep by insisting on an unprecedented 9.30am kick off! To be honest though, the main concern for us is getting the game on at all. We are getting severely left behind in the fixtures, whilst Norstar have practically finished theirs and this will lead to big pressure as the season progresses.

“This week is the cup though and it looks like we will need to be wary of a Southgate team who are going well in Division One. We are still unbeaten though in all competitions this season and we don’t want to be getting complacent in the main national cup.

“We will be patient and hope that the weather gives us the chance to get the ball rolling in more ways than one. We will give our opponents the necessary respect, but will be severely disappointed not to be in the hat come Monday morning.”

The league is the clear priority for Harmen this season. They didn’t want 2013 to end as they smashed home 12 goals in the last two games and ended the year top of the table.

With games against Brady B, Shirley and Brixton coming up, they will be looking to give a good account of themselves and hope that their key players come through unscathed for the battles that lie ahead.

Harmen joint-manager Joel Alterman told JC Sport: "In a first for the club, we will be appearing under the floodlights with a 5pm kick off at Rowley Lane on the 3g pitch - which has all the boys looking forward to what will be a difficult tie against a well-organised and experienced Hendon side.

"We are hopeful of having a near full squad to utilise. The late kick-off does throw up some interesting discussions with players’ partners, but one which everyone will look to overcome in order to turn out and try and get 2014 off to a winning start.

When push comes to shove, I believe Hendon’s superior quality, power and technical ability will take them through.

JC team news: Adam Osper (suspension) and James Sandler (injury) unavailable for Harmen this week.

Rafi Kon is unavailable for Hendon, as is Alex Rosenthal . Nobody has seen or heard of Danny Kon since New Year, so gaffer Garbacz presumes he is unavailable as well! Everyone else is fit and raring to go.

Venue – Rowley Lane, Ref – Martin Lavender, KO – 5pm

JC star man: Rafi Kon (Hendon)

DC Prediction: Hendon 3 Harmen 1

-----------------------------
-----------------------------

WOODFORD WANDERERS vs FC TEAM A
Woodford have come a long way under Tony Charles this season. Exactly how far will see on Sunday.

January is a massive month for the east London club with important games against Neasden (league) and Hendon A (cup) to follow.

Charles has done a brilliant job so far, but he knows nothing has been won yet. He remains on course to help Alex Aviram realise his Premier Division dream and is certainly getting the best out of his players.

And in a bid to take the pressure off his troops before the match against Premier Division opponents, Charles told JC Sport: “We will be treating this game as a pre season friendly and utilising our squad to try and get our players match fit.”

As the Morrison is FC Team A’s only chance of silverware this season, I expect them to go all out for the win. Manager Mitch Young has set the bar high over the years in terms of expectations and he will take nothing less than a win away from Fairlop.

I think Sunday will come down to which team wins its individual and collective battles and it wouldn’t surprise me if it went the distance.

Venue – Fairlop, Ref – Adam Lewis

JC star man: Dan Silverman (Team)

DC Prediction: Woodford 1 FC Team 1 (Team to win on penalties)

---------------------------
---------------------------

LONDON MACCABI LIONS WHITE vs BOCA JEWNIORS
The Lions will be eyeing their biggest win of the season when they take on minnows Boca Jewniors at the Lane.

I've heard rumours that LML have been trailing Boca hotshot Dovi Fehler for several weeks now and they will get first-hand experience of the striker that is setting Division Three alight this season.

Lions hope to carry on where they left off in 2013 - a memorable 2-0 win over MGBSFL title-chasing Redbridge. They really looked and played like a team and if they produce a similar performance they will simply blow Boca away.

The Boca boys finished well beaten against another young team - AC Whetstone in their 2014 opener last weekend. That fella Fehler moved on to 15 goals for the season, but chances could be at a premium on Sunday when he comes up against Jewish football legend Pete Lazard.

Boca are expected to bring good support to Arkley for arguably the biggest game in their history and I expect their heroes to put on a brave and resilient performance.

But if the Lions score early, you have to fear for them ...

Venue - Rowley Lane, Ref - Laurence Thorne

JC star man: Max Kyte (LML)

DC Prediction: Lions 5 Boca 1

---------------------------
---------------------------

MGBSFL PREMIER DIVISION

LEAGUE TABLE

TOP-SCORERS
10 - Mike Pearson (Faithfold A)
9 - Richard Salmon (FC Team A)

BRADY MACCABI A vs LONDON MACCABI LIONS BLUE
Lions Blue suffered a New Year’s hangover as they were left reeling by a 5-0 battering at the hands of Oakwood. Now manager Jamie Kyte must lifts chins off the floor for the big derby against Brady Maccabi.

Having worked so hard to get into the division it’s important the Lions don’t get dragged into a relegation dogfight. Scoring goals on a regular basis is proving something of an issue and they’re not as mean as Kyte would like, so a quick raid in the transfer window wouldn’t go amiss.

The Brady boys finished 2013 in style with victory over the league leaders. Now manager Joel Nathan is challenging his troops to maintain that level of consistency week in, week out between now and May.

Nathan told JC Sport: “As I said after the last game, our intention is now to remain unbeaten and the end of the season, and have a say in the title race as we have to play Hendon twice and Redbridge.

“We have had nice break, but the boys are champing at the bit to play again, weather permitting.

“Jamie has a settled team and I am sure we are in for a ding dong local derby down at the Lane.

Derbies are not always high on quality and it will be all about the three points on Sunday. I’m tipping Brady to nick it.

JC team news: Brady still have a few long-term injuries in Jonathan Green and Matt Sofier, but they welcome back Ben Goldberg after a couple of months out.

Venue – Rowley Lane, Ref – Gary Silver

JC star man: Ben Goldberg (Brady)

DC Prediction: Brady 2 Lions 1

-----------------------------
-----------------------------

REDBRIDGE JEWISH CARE A vs CAMDEN PARK
Redbridge have been hard to beat this season, but now the onus is on Sam Rosenthal’s men to win their remaining games as they look to close the gap on Raiders.

The maths are simple. They lie 15 points behind L’Orange but have five games in hand. Like Hendon, they have little margin for error, but NLR are in a strong position with points on the board.

On Sunday they tackle a Camden team fighting for their lives. Mike Khalastchi earned Camden a precious point against the east Londoners on the opening weekend of the season, but only recently have they started producing results and showing they belong in the division.

Now they have the perfect chance to show that that result was no fluke. It’s clear they fear no-one.

Ahead of the game, manager Josh Marks had this to say. “Before the holidays we had just found our form. During the holidays we got some players back from injury. And now after the holidays I’ve got serious decisions to make.

“Redbridge are one of the top sides and we relish these opportunities as with the result we got against Faithfold last time out.

“Realistically anything could happen, but if the core of our team hold strong then I’m sure the surrounding flair could get us a result.”

I don’t think there will be much between the teams on Sunday and it will all boil down to which one takes their chances.

JC team news: Michael Khalastchi has returned to full fitness for Camden, but Guy Marks is facing a late fitness test due to a fight with a nonagon (9-sided table) on New Year’s eve.”

Venue – Fairlop, Ref – Andy Myerson

JC star man: Adam Stolerman (RJC)

DC Prediction: Redbridge 2 Camden 1

---------------------------
---------------------------

DIVISION ONE

LEAGUE TABLE

TOP-SCORERS
17 - Harrison Midda (Woodford)
13 - Jamie Kent (Shirley Park)

BRIXTON OLD BOYS vs LOS BLANCOS
The first meeting between Brixton and Blancos is a biggie – with both teams desperate for maximum points.

2013 finished on a bad note for Blancos who were unable to build on their terrific point against Brady when they were thumped 8-2 by Harmen. But it’s how they perform against the teams in and around them that matters most.

Two vital wins against Hendon B towards the end of the year lifted Brixton out of the danger zone, but they know that big questions will be asked over the next few months and it’s important they get something from this game.

Brixton’s Dave Ronson told JC Sport: “We are looking to build upon the success in the last game and get these much-needed three points.”

Clowes hasn’t been a fortress for Brixton and if Blancos play their cards right, I can see them edging home.

JC team news: Brixton are at full-strength, with the exception of suspended duo
David Ronson and Sean Ekon.

Venue – Clowes, Ref – Stuart Ansher

JC star man: Darren Russell (Blancos)

DC Prediction: Brixton 2 Blancos 3

---------------------------
---------------------------

LONDON MACCABI LIONS WHITE vs BOCA JEWNIORS
The Lions will be eyeing their biggest win of the season when they take on minnows Boca Jewniors at the Lane.

I've heard rumours that LML have been trailing Boca hotshot Dovi Fehler for several weeks now and they will get first-hand experience of the striker that is setting Division Three alight this season.

Lions hope to carry on where they left off in 2013 - a memorable 2-0 win over MGBSFL title-chasing Redbridge. They really looked and played like a team and if they produce a similar performance they will simply blow Boca away.

The Boca boys finished well beaten against another young team - AC Whetstone in their 2014 opener last weekend. That fella Fehler moved on to 15 goals for the season, but chances could be at a premium on Sunday when he comes up against Jewish football legend Pete Lazard.

Boca are expected to bring good support to Arkley for arguably the biggest game in their history and I expect their heroes to put on a brave and resilient performance.

But if the Lions score early, you have to fear for them ...

Venue - Rowley Lane, Ref - Laurence Thorne

JC star man: Max Kyte (LML)

DC Prediction: Lions 5 Boca 1

---------------------------
---------------------------

DIVISION TWO

LEAGUE TABLE

TOP-SCORERS
17 - Ben Zloof (AC Mill Hill)
15 - Nicky Woolf (Raiders B)

OAKWOOD B vs NORSTAR LONDON RAIDERS B
Jonathan Adelman this week gave his players the vote of confidence when he confirmed that his squad is complete and he will not be adding to it before the window closes.

L’Orange remain in pole position to win the title – they sit five points ahead of Redbridge B and both teams have five games left.

Last week the metronomic Jonathan Shapiro and top-scorer Nicky Woolf were the star men in the win over Bilbaum. The team finished all smiles after Adam Posner popped up with a rare goal to go with others from Danny Bloom and Simon Buchler.

3-0 winners over Oakwood in late November, L’Orange are confident of registering their second league double of the campaign.

Adelman told JC Sport: “The squad has been superb until now so I've not felt the need to delve in to the transfer market for the final five games.

“As for Sunday we know it will be a battle royale against Oakwood at Brunel.”
Oakwood have been in freefall since October but manager Ian Tussie remains determined to turn things around before he hangs up his clipboard in May.

Ahead of the game, he told JC Sport: “It was a difficult apertura for the team, but we're very confident we can find our form again and enjoy a really successful clausura.

“In terms of new signings we are definitely in the market. I went kippah in hand to the board and had a full and frank with Schock and Blank during the Chanukah break and made it clear the positions I am looking for in the window. We don't need much but I've got my eye on a mediapunta, a trequartista and a deep-lying playmaker. We want a non-scoring striker and a goal-scoring centre half, a ball-playing sweeper and a pair of inverted wingers. Maybe a midfield destroyer and a false nine. I'd like what Paul Lambert would refer to as a number 10.

“What we'll end up with? Probably re-signing previous absent-with-leave, much-maligned 1-goal-in-10-years oft-sub Dave Epstein who is renegotiating his return to the club following his release in August. The club is also in the process of hiring a new assistant to the manager although I've been assured this isn't the Rene Meulensteen to my Martin Jol and that my position is not in any way under threat.

“Anyway, Sunday is a really important game for us. We know that promotion is not going to happen but our recent run of results have left relegation a genuine threat so we know we need to start winning some games to ease the pressure.

“We have a strong squad available with two of our stars from last season available again - Heavy Rain (DMC) and Boggy Pitch (CM).

Oakwood have failed to score in their last two outings and although the conditions may favour them, I just can’t see them stopping the lean, mean NLR machine.

JC team news: Josh Fineman is out with a knock to his knee and Joe Tankel is away. Anthony Goodmaker is probably a week or two away with his broken thumb. Other than that NLR have a pretty full strength squad to pick from.

Venue – Brunel, Ref – Robert Benardout, KO – 10.15am

JC star man: Richard Bloom (NLR)

DC Prediction: Oakwood 1 Raiders 2

-----------------------------
-----------------------------

REDBRIDGE JEWISH CARE B vs AC MILL HILL
Rhythm is a dancer. It’s also a very important feature in football and it’s something Redbridge have right now, but Mill Hill don’t.

Jon Jacobs’ men were described as the “best team in the division” by Blizzard boss Simon Linden and they will be looking to make a big impression on Joe Levy and co at Fairlop this weekend.

They didn’t have things all their own way against Blizzard last Sunday. After falling behind they had to roll up their sleeves and show the spirit and determination of champions. They passed that particular test with flying colours, with keeper Brad Grant and new signing Craig Sandford playing leading roles.

Jacobs is keeping things simple for Sunday. He told JC Sport: “There will be no changes to the squad. We just hope we get a game on with the weather as it has been.”

Mill Hill have games against the teams below them although I expect them to get numbers behind the ball as a point would be a decent result. Inconsistency has held them back this season but they have players who can ask questions of RJC and could make things awkward, as long as they close down the space well and defend for their lives.

I caught up with Joe Levy before the game and he had this to say. “After the postponement last week we are eagerly anticipating our first game of 2014.

“Having not played for a few weeks, we will be a bit rusty but hope to get back into our rhythm quickly.”

Sam Rank was RJC’s matchwinner in the corresponding fixture and I can see him playing a starring role once more.

Venue – Fairlop, Ref – David Lazarus

JC star man: Sam Rank (RJC)

DC Prediction: Redbridge 2 Mill Hill 1

---------------------------
---------------------------

DIVISION THREE

LEAGUE TABLE

TOP-SCORERS
23 - Richard Fogelman (L’Equipe)
18 - Dan Gordon (Faithfold C)

KING CROWN vs TEMPLE FORTUNE
Fortune face a real battle to avoid the wooden spoon this season. Manager Jonathan Cohen faces a tough task in the team’s last 10 games and it’s clear he needs more quality on board.

The recent addition of Michael Goldberg was a step in the right direction, but they need a Roman Abramovich style figure to give them a windfall so they can build for the future.

King Crown are having a decent first season and the squad will be looking to give boss Jacob Kadoch the perfect send off before his next Match of the Day appearance.

Kadoch told JC Sport: “We’re looking to carry on where we finished off last year. We should’ve won all three, but we had no luck in the last game.

“This is our only game in January due to my wedding, so I hope the lads treat this game as a cup game - they will be hungry to get three points after the long break we have had.”

I can see home advantage swinging it for the Kings.

Ref – Henry Raffe

JC star man: Yoel Deal (King Crown)

DC Prediction: King Crown 4 Fortune 1

-----------------------------
-----------------------------

L’EQUIPE vs AC WHETSTONE
The Whetstone wonder kids were 25-1 to win the title at the start of the season and the odds have come down big time following their latest win.

Star striker Philippe Auret has been linked with a big money move following his second hat-trick of the season in the 5-2 mauling of Boca.

The boys in green and white are bang in form with three wins on the spin and they will be looking to complete a league double over L’Equipe this weekend.

Just three points separate the teams ahead of kick-off, and L’Equipe will fancy their chances, especially with two games in hand.

Manager Dan Cordell told JC Sport: “The boys are gearing up for their first game of 2014 and ready to get one over on Whetstone who gave us to be a honest a bit of a humbling last time out.

“We have several players out but a strong squad nonetheless. Both Josh Lewis and I are away for the weekend so will be watching via web link, but Club secretary and captain Mark Singer will take the reigns for what we hope will be an excellent start to 2014 for us.”

This is a hard one to call given L’Equipe’s excellent home record so it might just be the right time for me to sit on the fence.

Venue – West Hendon, Ref – Warwick Blake

JC star man: Mark Singer (L’Equipe)

DC Prediction: L’Equipe 2 Whetstone 2

-----------------------------
-----------------------------

LOUGHTON ORIENT vs FAITHFOLD C
Revenge is the name of the game for Faithfold who have taken the unusual step of naming at least three goalkeepers in their squad. Given the team's defence record, there's a chance gaffer Garson will consider playing all three at once!

It was Jamie Crawford who broke Faithfold hearts back in October when he helped the east Londoners complete a brilliant comeback with a stoppage time winner.

Orient had their boots filled with gold that day, with Josh ‘Hambo’ Hambling and Dean Silver scoring the best goals of their career. I dare you to try that again lads!

Faithfold’s last win came in mid-October and everything that could go wrong has since then – injuries, injuries and, err, um, more injuries. But manager David Garson made no excuses, er, other than injuries, of course in his half-term report, which read: “Should have done a lot better …”

But the good news coming out of the treatment room is that several long-term casualties are on the verge of returning and with seven games remaining, there is still time to turn their season around.

The bottom line is that Sunday will come down which team wants it most. It should be a cracker.

JC team news: Dean Silver faces a late fitness test after a bizarre accident involving candy floss and a merry-go-round on a New Year’s trip to Brighton.

Faithfold are boosted by the return of both Dave Sherman and Avi Garson after long absences. Danny Caro, Justin Simons and Ben Portnoi also return, but James Stanton, Farrell Monk and Dan Breger are still missing and the gaffer faces a late fitness test.

Venue – Peter May, Ref – Brandon Pieters

JC star man: Dave Sherman (Faithfold)

DC Prediction: Loughton 2 Faithfold 2

---------------------------
---------------------------

ALSO SEE:

DANNY CARO'S MATCHDAY 17 OSCARS

GOAL OF THE WEEK
Adam Posner (NL Raiders B) - a collectors item - a lob volley - his first goal of the season

SAVE OF THE WEEK
Noah Bier (AC Whetstone) - a headed clearance on the goal-line from point-blank range

QUOTE OF THE WEEK - RIC BLANK

---------------------------
---------------------------

CYRIL ANEKSTEIN CUP QUARTER-FINAL DRAW
Camden Park vs AC Mill Hill
Los Blancos vs Norstar London Raiders A
Oakwood A vs Faithfold A
LM Lions Blue or Woodford Wanderers vs Chigwell Athletic or Hendon Utd SC A

Last updated: 1:57pm, January 10 2014