Stanley sticks the knife into Raiders
A brilliantly strike from James Stanley ensured than an injury-hit London Maccabi Lions A made it through to round four of the JC Cyril Anekstein Cup following an absorbing five-goal contest in Uxbridge.
Lions were ahead inside the first 10 minutes when a defence-splitting pass from Stanley saw Lee Bibring run in on goal from his starting position on the left before coolly taking the ball wide of goalkeeper David Simnock for a simple tap-in.
Mike Pearson had a chance to make it two when played in by a quick through ball after a heavy touch saw Raiders surrender possession, but Simnock made a smothering save.
The quietly effective Yoav Lebens then sprung up with an excellent header but his effort was palmed away.
In their first meaningful attack, Raiders were handed a penalty - as Sam Castle inexplicably stuck out an arm during a tussle with Raiders forward David Dinkin. Nicky Woolf thumped home the spot-kick 10 minutes before the break.
Stanley should have put Lions back in front just before half time but miscued his effort.
Lions paid for their wastefulness early in the second half as an answinging corner by Stuart Haring struck the post and landed in the path of Dinkin, who gratefully tapped home against his former club.
Unable to keep up the momentum, Raiders retreated for the last 40 minutes - electing to defend inside their box, as they ran out of energy. By contrast, their success in the middle third of the match came when they played balls round the side of a narrow Lions back four. Lions used their greater freedom to release Lee Bibring and Stanley down the wings, and the latter’s cross was converted by Pearson, who stuck out a right foot to score from a difficult angle, 25 minutes from time.
Marshalled by the dogged Dan Grossman at centre back, Raiders looked fairly comfortable for the next 10 minutes, and were only undone by a moment of magic from Stanley. Picking the ball up midway inside the Raiders half, the 21-year-old jinked past two men before swinging a ferocious shot beyond Simnock.
Raiders, in keeping with the match, rallied again and missed a late header, before Dinkin was denied bravely by Fieldgrass in a one-on-one near the end.
LML Eilon Kennet told JC Sport: "We have a depleted squad so we are having to rely on our fighting spirit – which was absolutely necessary as they were really up for the challenge. James took his goal brilliantly and set up our equaliser, which was very timely for us."
Raiders coach Rob Richman was deeply encouraged by the performance of his JC MSFL Division One side. “We played very well against a calibre side. If we had stayed ahead for another five minutes, we might have got there, but it’s very encouraging nonetheless to have played so well.
"We will now focus on our goal of winning promotion."
Raiders B: Simnock; Bloch, Grossman, Sherman, Haring; Hershman (sub: Sanderson), Espinoza (sub: Foley-Komer), Blitz (sub: Rabie), Hesselberg, Woolf; Dinkin
Lions: Fieldgrass; Morris, Castle, Lezard, Lew; Bilbring, Liebens, Joseph, Ross (sub: Levy) (sub: Cohen) Stanley; Pearson