Brady back from the brink
Norstar A 4-5 Brady Maccabi
Heady heights: Brady’s first division pedigree paid dividends in the end
Brady manager Josh Rosenfeld was a relieved man after his team avoided an upset in the Peter Morrison Trophy following a nine-goal thriller against a Norstar team from the division below.
It needed an own goal from Norstar debutante Jonny Pressman to put the Edgware club through in a tie full of gaffes.
Rosenfeld said: "We made some silly errors and that made it difficult in the first period. But in the second they barely got a look in. It's positive that we are fighting strongly in three competitions."
Norstar more than gave their illustrious rivals a run for their money, recovering from conceding two early goals to lead 4-3 in an extraordinary first half. But Brady, boosted by the presence of Lee Platt, dominated the second period.
The game started perfectly for Brady, who scored twice inside the opening 13 minutes. A beautiful clipped free kick by James Steele was glanced home by Mark Smith. Then Josh Hirshman was played in on the left and wrapped a shot across Ben De La Fuente.
But Brady then started to implode, with Rob Kleinman carelessly giving away possession outside his box, allowing David Shamash to feed Eli Houri who slotted under Ben Adaki.
Minutes later it was level as an inswinging corner found Jeremy Elster unmarked for a simple tap-in.
Brady hit back just before the half hour when 48-year-old Jason Sears thumped in a volley from a corner, but again erred at the back as a long throw from Anthony Goodmaker was headed into his own net by Ryan Moscow.
Further disaster struck when a Simon Perlmutter free-kick from the right was spilled by Adaki, allowing Houri a tap-in. The Brady keeper was injured in the incident and was replaced by centre-back Kleinman.
It was 4-4 early in the second half as De La Fuente conceded a penalty. He was lucky to escape with a yellow with no cover behind him. Smith scored from the spot to bring the scores level.
The next 25 minutes saw incessant Brady pressure as Platt slowed down the play and began to wear down the previously dominant Elster and Ben Menahem in midfield. Several good openings came from right-winger Ben Gershuny but the Brady man consistently played the wrong final ball into the box.
That changed 15 minutes from time when Gershuny swung in a far post cross shot that was glanced into his own net by Pressman.
Norstar manager Phil Peters said: "We really lost this match twice; early on by giving them the two-goal start, and then again in the second half when we lost the impetus. We are still adjusting to our new centre-half pairing. We will all learn lessons from this."
Norstar: De La Fuente; Daniels (sub: Scher), Pressman, Plaskow, Goodmaker; McLeod, Menahem, Elster, Perlmutter (sub: Peters); Shamash, Houri
Brady: Adaki (sub: Fox); Moscow, Sears, Kleiman, Still; Gershuny, N. Stern, D. Stern (sub: Platt), Hirshman; Presky (sub: Field) Smith