Matchday 36 weekend preview

There's only one game scheduled in the MGBSFL this week, but what a game it is. Danny Caro looks ahead to the crunch clash between cup kings Hendon and Oakwood.

MGBSFL PREMIER DIVISION

LEAGUE TABLE

TOP-SCORERS
16 - Yishai Last (Hendon A)
14 - Richard Salmon (FC Team A)

HENDON UNITED SPORTS CLUB A vs OAKWOOD A
Nothing can be won or lost on Sunday as Oakwood look to avenge their recent PMT final defeat and put a spanner in Hendon’s pursuit of the treble.

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CURRENT STANDINGS
1. NLR Pl. 18, W. 14, D. 3, L. 1, F. 37, A. 12, Pts. 45
2. Hendon Pl. 16, W. 13, D. 3, L. 0, F. 36, A. 10, Pts. 42
3. Redbridge Pl. 18, W. 8, D. 4, L. 6, F. 24, A. 29, Pts. 28
4. Oakwood Pl. 16, W. 8, D. 2, L. 6, F. 51, A. 28, Pts. 26

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Four points from their final two games will be enough to give Hendon the title and help them complete the treble. A Hendon win would leave them needing just a draw in their final game at LML Sunday week. But an Oakwood win, which they are more than capable of, and a 2-0 one at that, would really make things interesting – although it’s worth remembering Hendon haven’t lost against another Jewish team this season. If that happens and Hendon beat LML next Sunday, then that would finish with an identical record to long-time leaders NLR A.

And as Hendon discovered at Wingate, Oakwood are much-improved from the team they beat 4-2 in December, when Avidan Last (2), Greg Corin and Rafi Kon saw them home.

Dave Woolman has been bang in form for the mighty Oaks in recent week and he’ll be looking to give a Hendon back-line that has only conceded 10 league goals this season a torrid morning.

Oakwood require two points from their last two games to cement third place, which would be an excellent achievement. Looking ahead to the game, joint-manager Ric Blank told JC Sport: “What a joyous occasions Sunday should be - part of a fitting climax to the season.

“This has been a long, old season, with many ups and downs, but no-one can deny we've made enormous progress. We are primed to challenge for top spot next season and want to show our credentials on Sunday.

“We’ve got loads out, as ever, but will still field a strong side. Our squad is the biggest and best in the MSFL - possibly in Jewish football. It's up to the boys to make their claims now ahead of next season when competition for places is going to be fierce.

“Those who want it the most will get their rewards. As for this Sunday's game, of course it's going to be incredibly tough against the best side - but we're more than a match for them.

“We're over the Morrison final now and have scored a ridiculous number of goals in the games since. We'll look to go on the front foot again on Sunday."

Hendon did what they needed to against LML Blue last weekend, with Ben Kon, Avidan Last and Yoav Lebens steering them home. They missed the chance to boost their goal difference, and as a Liverpool fan I know how costly that could be, with Ari Last missing one of two penalties.

Manager David Garbacz, the bookies’ favourite for Manager of the Year, knows that his men are almost there. Two down, one to go was the backpage headline on the JC last week. They have one hand and four fingers on a domestic clean sweep and a big support is expected in Arkley.

Gaffer Garbacz told JC Sport: “The physio room has been extremely busy this week, with a number of key players literally crawling over the finishing line after our recent exertions.

“The boys have given everything to have got into this position, but it really is beginning to take it’s toll, with a number of pulls and strains. I'm sure Phil Peters will think I'm playing it up, but this really is the case. We are especially short at the back and may even call up one or two from the Bs to make up the numbers.

“All this when we put everything on the line - our invincible campaign and the treble is at stake and we could not have tougher opposition. Oakwood seem out to prove a point and will be desperate for revenge following their cup defeat and they would love nothing more than to be the one team to crack us this season.

“They seem to be playing better than ever, scoring goals for fun in recent weeks and this one could be a shoot-out with our best form of defence being attack. They came with a plan to Wingate which very nearly worked, but I'm sure they will try to be more expansive on Sunday and we need to prepare for that. The nerves are beginning to set in as we know how close we are.

“It is my mum’s 80th birthday lunch at my house at midday on Sunday - if we lose I'm not turning up – I’ve told her and she understands. At least one of her favourite grandsons - Josh Bentley will be there!

“If we win I'll give her the greatest speech she's ever had.”

Both teams are playing with great confidence at the minute, but Oakwood’s list of absentees makes Hendon favourites for me.

JC team news: Hendon have “genuine injury doubts” over Avidan Last, Ari Last, Ben Kon, Rafi Kon, Alex Rosenthal and Ari Nevies. All will face late fitness tests

Oakwood are missing Sam Jacobson, Jonny Beilin, Dave Cohen (itc), Dan Rose, Bobbie Cousins, Antony Kintish and Jonny Quinn.

Venue – Rowley Lane, Ref – Adam Lewis

JC star man: Yehuda Korman (Hendon)

DC Prediction: Hendon 2 Oakwood 1

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DIVISION ONE

LEAGUE TABLE

TOP-SCORERS
23 - Jono Gaon (Blancos)
21 - Harrison Midda (Woodford)
18 - Mitch Hahn (Woodford)

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DIVISION TWO

FINAL LEAGUE TABLE

TOP-SCORERS
22 - Ben Zloof (AC Mill Hill)
20 - Nathan Sollosi (Redbridge B)
18 - Nicky Woolf (Raiders B)

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DIVISION THREE

FINAL LEAGUE TABLE

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

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SEASON 2013/14 ROLL OF HONOUR
Peter Morrison Trophy:
Winners: Hendon United Sports Club A
Runners-up: Oakwood A

CYRIL ANEKSTEIN CUP
Winners: Hendon United Sports Club A
Runners-up: Norstar London Raiders A

PREMIER DIVISION
Champions: TBC
Runners-up: TBC

DIVISION ONE
Champions: Woodford Wanderers
Runners-up: North West Neasden

DIVISION TWO
Champions: Norstar London Raiders B
Runners-up: Redbridge Jewish Care B

PREMIER DIVISION
Champions: Norstar London Raiders C
Runners-up: L'Equipe

Last updated: 3:44pm, May 15 2014