Matchday 24 weekend preview

By Danny Caro, February 19, 2014
Follow Danny on Twitter

There are several mouth-watering ties in the Peter Morrison Trophy, as well as a full league programme scheduled as Norstar London Raiders A travel to Redbridge in their bid to clinch their first-ever MGBSFL crown. Danny Caro looks ahead to the action.

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

SEE TOP-SCORERS

MATCH PHOTOS - WOODFORD WANDERERS vs HENDON UTD SC A

DANNY CARO'S TEAM OF THE WEEK

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

SEASON 2013/14 VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS

SEASON 2013/14 MATCH PHOTOS

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

CYRIL ANEKSTEIN CUP SEMI-FINAL DRAW

PETER MORRISON TROPHY DRAW

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

YOUR WEEKEND REVIEW STARTS HERE

PETER MORRISON TROPHY ROUND THREE

BRADY MACCABI B vs SHIRLEY PARK
Division One rivals Brady B and Shirley are both eyeing a place in the third round, but I'm sure both camps would exchange that for promotion, with the dream of top-flight football what matters most.

This is a big test for both teams - Brady won the recent league meeting 2-1 with goals from Reiss Mogilner and Richard Winton, and with home advantage I fancy them to take the scalp of Shirley for a second time.

Shirley wilted late on against SPEC FC last Sunday, with manager Dave Lusman fuming about the fact they allowed a 2-1 lead to slip in the last 10 minutes.

But on Sunday, much depends on how Brady copes with Shirley's attacking threat, and when push comes to shove, Brady are the more efficient and consistent team and it's for that reason I'm tipping them to edge through.

Venue – Rowley Lane, Ref – Martin Lavender

JC star man: Richard Winton (Brady)

DC Prediction: Brady 3 Shirley 2

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

HENDON UNITED SPORTS CLUB C vs FC TEAM B
Hendon have absolutely nothing to lose when they welcome in-form FC Team B of Division Two on Sunday.

Fresh from their 9-2 demolition of Jewdinese, Adam Glekin's men must surely go for broke and throw the kitchen sink at the boys in yellow and blue.

Like Team, Hendon have attacking threats all over the pitch and I cannot wait for the head-to-head between the in-form Alex Elf and Mitch Lassman.

Lassman was Team's hat-trick hero in the league last weekend. He's really hitting it off with strike partner Matt Davis, in what one FC Team fan described as the best double act since Cannon & Ball!

I can't see either side parking the bus and predict a flurry of goals - oh and an away win in what should be a crackerjack of a football match.

Venue – West Hendon, Ref - Andy Myerson

JC star man: Matt Davis (Team)

DC Prediction: Hendon 3 FC Team 4

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

LONDON MACCABI LIONS WHITE vs CHIGWELL ATHLETIC
The Lions start as favourites on Sunday in a tie featuring youth against experience. But they underestimate Chigwell at their peril as they crushed local rivals Redbridge 4-1 in the previous round and are out for another major scalp.

We saw the best and worst of Chigs last Sunday, with manager Richard Slater fuming about the late goal that cost them two points against Brixton. But the league is gone now and they can give their full focus on a high-quality Lions team.

Ben Winters has been in top form of late - be it in football or futsal. He is one of the potential match-winners in the home dressing room, with manager David Pollock doing his homework on Chigs to ensure his team don't come away red-faced.

It's Lions for me.

Venue – Rowley Lane, Ref – Adam Lewis

JC star man: Ben Winters (LML)

DC Prediction: Lions 3 Chigwell 1

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

ROUND TWO

FAITHFOLD A vs NORSTAR LONDON RAIDERS C
Sunday is last-chance saloon as far as Faithfold's silverware hopes go. A 3-1 defeat against Oakwood sent shockwaves around the club as they crashed out of the Anekstein last weekend and manager Zuriel Solomon to me this week another defeat would spell disaster. But you just have to fancy them to get past third division title hopefuls NLR C on Sunday.

Superhoops boss Zuriel Solomon has been struggling to put his finger on just why his troops have been unable to hit the back of the net on a regular basis - you don't get much better than Mike Pearson and Darryl Phillips in the final third. But that fact alone will give NLR confidence of pulling off the mother of all upsets.

That said, Faithfold's big-match experience holds the key for me, with Ben Law, Dan Howard, Alex Levack and Jonny Haik all having big roles to play here.

Solomon told JC Sport: "We are happy just to get a game on, but the forecast is not looking good. However, we will prepare for the game nonetheless.

"NLR C will probably come into the game not fearing us, but know that they will have to be at their best to get a result.

"We need to turn our fortunes around and come Sunday, if we bring our shooting boots then we will have nothing to worry about.

"We have an extremely small squad which has been depleted in recent months, but still have enough quality to win games.

NLR have been in excellent form in the league, but all eyes will be on whether or not they can raise their game - on grass and against top-level opposition.

Attack could be the best form of defence for Zack Gothelf's men as if they try to park the bus, they might just get stuck in the mud.

Venue – Chase Lodge, Ref – Martin De La Fuente

JC star man: Ben Ellis (Faithfold)

DC Prediction: Faithfold 3 NLR 1

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

ROUND ONE

NORTH WEST NEASDEN vs FC TEAM C
Neasden are looking to get their season back on track when they take on Division Two promotion hopefuls FC Team C in a tie that has been postponed more than once.

Stirling Kay’s troops went down 2-1 in an important promotion tussle against Woodford and everyone in the camp will be determined to ensure there is no upset here.

From memory, I’ve tipped Team to win the previous encounters, but given what’s at stake, and the fact Team haven’t played for several weeks, I’m going to reverse my prediction for Sunday.

Kay told JC Sport: “This is a cup we want to do well in, and we will be very keen to get back to winning ways after last weeks setback.

“We know we are in for a very tough game, but hope the pitch we play on will resemble a football pitch, and not a mud-heap like last week - where football can’t be played - and the only thing gained was two more injuries.

“On the plus-side, we have brought in Rick Harris and Rob Caplin in the side and they have shown that age dose not matter they have been first class.

Team have already taken one big scalp in the cup in the shape of London Maccabi Lions. They have nothing to fear against NWN and I believe there will be little to separate the teams from 1-11. However, I feel a that a lack of match sharpness could cost them as they haven’t played since December 15 and I tipping home advantage to prove decisive in a five-goal thriller.

Venue - Hadley, Ref – Neil Cooper

JC star man: Michael Field (NWN)

DC Prediction: NWN 3 Team 2

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

MGBSFL PREMIER DIVISION

LEAGUE TABLE

TOP-SCORERS
12 - Matt Stock (NL Raiders A)
11 - Mike Pearson (Faithfold A)

HENDON UNITED SPORTS CLUB A vs BRADY MACCABI A
Hendon simply blew Woodford away in the cup last weekend and manager David Garbacz is hoping for a repeat performance against Brady on Sunday.

The Reds still have an incredible 11 games remaining in their league programme and they will put their proud unbeaten record on the line against the Morrison Trophy holders.

There were no signs of rustiness against Woodford - with all the Lasts and Danny Kon firing the bullets - and I can see them bossing the all-important midfield battle against Joel Nathan's men. They certainly won't get outmuscled or outnumbered.

Hendon's short-term priority is to climb above Brady and I can see them moving ever closer this weekend.

Venue - Hadley FC, Ref - Richard Jaye

JC star man: Ari Last (Hendon)

DC Prediction: Hendon 3 Brady 1

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

OAKWOOD A vs FC TEAM A
Oakwood and Team have shared some almighty battles in recent seasons and another high-octane affair is on the cards. Take my word for it.

The mighty Oaks brushed Faithfold away in the Morrison last Sunday and it's clear they have the bit between their teeth at the minute. Centre half Sam Jacobson is in the form of his life and Alex Koslover is proving to be one of the most talented central midfielders in the league.

Co-managed by Ric Blank and Alex Schock, the Oaks have been different gravy at times this season and they know that three points on Sunday would go a long way to cementing top-flight football next season, and ensure it's squeaky-bum-time for Mitch Young and co.

Team were toppled in a seven-goal thriller by Camden last weekend and having slipped into the relegation zone, Sunday will be a test of character as much as anything else.

Stick this one down as a home banker.

Venue - Brunel, Ref - Robert Benardout

JC star man: Ari Last (Hendon)

DC Prediction: Oakwood 3 FC Team 1

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

REDBRIDGE JEWISH CARE A vs NORSTAR LONDON RAIDERS A
NLR have one hand on the league trophy, but I expect Redbridge to test their title credentials to the limit in what is a must-win for Sam Rosenthal's men.

Boasting a 17-point lead at the summit, NLR are odds-on winning their first MGBSFL crown, and they could do themselves a massive favour with a point or three in the back-yard of one of their biggest rivals.

Matt Stock and David Dinkin fired L'Orange to their 12th league win at LML Blue last Sunday, with keeper Jake Doffman claiming his eighth shut-out of what is probably to be a quite memorable campaign.

Credit to Phil Peters and his merry men who are dealing with the pressure superbly. No-one expected them to be where they are at the start of the season, but they are playing with confidence and great maturity, and ticking virtually every box.

RJC know they must turn Fairlop into a fortress on Sunday or else the fat lady will be warming up her vocal chords before you know it.

Venue - Fairlop, Ref - Keith Goodman

JC star man: Ben Sollosi (RJC)

DC Prediction: Redbridge 2 Raiders 2

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

DIVISION ONE

LEAGUE TABLE

TOP-SCORERS
17 - Harrison Midda (Woodford), Jono Gaon (Blancos)
14 - Jamie Kent (Shirley Park)

BRIXTON OLD BOYS vs LOS BLANCOS
Brixton will be looking to finish the weekend above Blancos, but they might not have things all their own way against a team that has clicked into gear.

A deadly double from Jono Gaon earned Blancos their biggest win of the season last Sunday as they ripped Hendon B to shreds, with James Joseph the star of the show.

Brixton, meanwhile, were involved in a thriller against Chigwell - with keeper Joshua Ronson ensuring they came away with a point.

I don't think there'll be too much between the teams who are meeting for the first time, but can see Blancos hurting Brixton with their pace on the counter-attack and they will have too much for them on the day.

Venue - Clowes, Ref - Neal Cohen

JC star man: Joel Kutner (Blancos)

DC Prediction: Brixton 2 Blancos 3

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

HENDON UNITED SPORTS CLUB B vs SOUTHGATE HARMEN
Harmen crushed Hendon 4-1 in November and a repeat performance is on the cards.

The Hornets could not cope with the pace and movement of Lee Greenfield that day and fresh from the 5-0 battering at the hands of Blancos, I can only see more pain being inflicted by a Harmen team vying for a top two finish.

There have been plenty of positives for Harmen this season and I can see them having plenty more to smile about come 12.15pm on Sunday in what could be a one-sided contest, with Hendon's confidence at rock bottom.

Venue - West Hendon, Ref - Gary Silver

JC star man: Ricky Rinder

DC Prediction: Hendon 0 Harmen 4

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

DIVISION TWO

LEAGUE TABLE

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

AC MILL HILL vs NORSTAR LONDON RAIDERS B
NLR are aiming to become the first team to be crowned MGBSL champions this season and three points on Sunday would do the trick. The champagne is on ice for Jonathan Adelman's boys.

So it's up to Mill Hill to try and spoil the party as they look to avenge the 5-2 battering on the opening weekend of the season. Andrew McMaster, Rafi Addlestone,
Gilad Kestenbaum and Rob Samuelson among the goal men.

Raiders have been simply irresistible this season, playing a brand of fantasy football their fans just love to get out of bed for. They remain unbeaten in 17 games and having scored the most goals, few could argue that they deserve (other than the blue half of Redbridge!)

But Mill Hill will be out with a point to prove in a game where the battle between Ben Zloof and Nicky Woolf is key. Both are shoo-ins for my Division Two Team of the Season and I'm looking forward to hearing the outcome of what could be a classic battle of cat and mouse.

Venue - Chase Lodge, Ref - Darryl Colmans

JC star man: Jonny Shapiro

DC Prediction: Mill Hill 2 Raiders 3

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

LONDON HAROLDEANS vs OAKWOOD B
As relegation six-pointers go, Sunday is big. For both teams.

Haroldeans have conceded an incredible 21 goals in their last two outings and an early Oakwood goal could really hurt them. And time is running out.

But the Oaks haven't set the world alight either and it appears the disruption caused by Ian Tussie contract talks has filtered down into the team.

Oakwood have five games left under Tussie - that's five teamtalks, five post-match grillings and possibly five hairdryers and five sets of cup and saucers to smash if things go Pete Tong.

Rafi Bloom was Oakwood's match-winner in the previous meeting and it wouldn't surprise me at all if they come away with at least a point in what could be a case of survival of the fittest.

Venue - White City Tigers Turf, Ref - Alex Smith

JC star man: Jonny Shapiro

DC Prediction: Haroldeans 2 Oakwood 2

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

DIVISION THREE

LEAGUE TABLE

TOP-SCORERS
24 - Richard Fogelman (L’Equipe)
19 - Dan Gordon (Faithfold C)

CATFORD & BROMLEY MACCABI vs BOCA JEWNIORS
The Cats and Boca shared six goals and a point apiece in November in a match many fans are still talking about.

Simon Wolfson's late show denied Boca that day and they certainly won't fear the Cats in part deux.

Boca have been like a breath of fresh air this season and I'm sure the players will give manager Jack Shulman a big send-off before he hangs up his clipboard at the end of the season.

But Catford have bigger fish to fry and they look to get back into the top two.

I think Sunday will come down to small details as the Cats look to shake off the cobwebs, having not played in the league since December 15.

Venue - Norseman FC Turf, Ref - Warwick Blake

JC star man: Dovi Vogel (Boca)

DC Prediction: Catford 2 Boca 2

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

JEWDINESE vs AC WHETSTONE
Both Jewdinese and Whetstone have set the MGBSFL alight in their first season and I'm tipping Sunday as one for the neutrals - where football will be the winner.

There's a danger 'Nese are going through a crisis of confidence after back-to-back defeat against Temple Fortune and Hendon C, but it's better to have a blip now rather than at the business end of the season.

Manager Darren Lawrence is looking to wipe the slate clean and go again and I don't expect drastic changes to the team who started against Hendon.

Zack Collins, Ben Halmer and Barney Rhodes hit the target when 'Nese beat the Stones 3-1 back in October, but the wonder kids have come a long way since then and one of the things I like about them is that win, lose or draw, they always try to play the right way. They have certainly won many fans in their first season in Maccabi football.

With two games in hand on 'Nese, three points would be massive for Whetstone. And if they stick to their game-plan and play with bags of belief, they might just spring a surprise. I've heard great things about Maccabi GB Futsal starlet Jonah Gordon-Boyd who could be the one to watch.

Venue - Morris Playing Fields, Ref - Steve Levy

JC star man: Jonah Gordon-Boyd (Whetstone)

DC Prediction: Jewdinese 2 Whetstone 3

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

LOUGHTON ORIENT vs FAITHFOLD C
That goal and that goal were both mentioned in Loughton Orient's final training session ahead of the meeting with basement battlers Faithfold C.

Josh 'Hambo' Hambling and Dean Silver will never hit better strikes than they did in the corresponding fixture, though it was Jamie Crawford who snatched the headlines with his last-minute winner.

But with Dan 'Flash' Gordon still in contention for the MGBSFL Golden Boot, another high-scoring contest is on the cards.

The Superhoops are desperate to avoid the wooden spoon, but with Temple Fortune picking up, the signs look ominous.

Venue - Peter May, Ref - Stuart Ansher

JC star man: Dean Silver (Loughton)

DC Prediction: Loughton 2 Faithfold 1

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

TEMPLE FORTUNE vs L'EQUIPE
Had this match been played a couple of months ago, I'd have said L'Equipe to win hands down. Instead, I'm marking it down score draw.

Fortune have picked up since Michael Goldberg rejoined. Having the services of a talented playmaker has lifted the team and the boys in yellow and red will look to put a spanner in L'Equipe's push for promotion.

L'Equipe are handily placed for a top two finish, especially with Golden Boot favourite Richard Fogelman tucking away the goals like they're going out of fashion. Fogelman is hungry for more goals (and schnitzels) on Sunday and it will be a really good test for Jonathan Cohen's men who certainly won't be overawed by the occasion.

Venue - Roger Bannister, Ref - Steve Russell

JC star man: Dean Silver (Loughton)

DC Prediction: Fortune 1 L'Equipe 1

------------------------------------------
------------------------------------------
MATCHDAY 23 REVIEW

DANNY CARO'S MATCHDAY 23 OSCARS

GOAL OF THE WEEK
Darren Russell (Los Blancos) - unstoppable 25-yard free-kick with bags of pace and precision to leave the goalie with no chance. Pick that one out!

SAVE OF THE WEEK
David Kosky (LM Lions B) - incredible double save - blocked the first shot from the right side of the box, then scrambled across the goal line to fling himself in front of the second shot from the other side of the box

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

QUOTE OF THE WEEK - PHIL PETERS

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

REFEREE OF THE WEEK
Andy Myerson (Woodford vs Hendon Utd SC A)

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

Last updated: 1:12am, February 20 2014