JC MSFL Matchday 14 preview
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PETER MORRISON TROPHY ROUND THREE
FC TEAM B vs SOUTHGATE HARMEN A
Division Two strugglers FC Team B welcome Premier Division Harmen in a game where anything other than an emphatic win for the visitors looks highly unlikely.
Both teams were frozen out last Sunday but there’s no way that Team will be able to keep this Harmen team at bay, with Alex Bourne, Alex Hershman and Ben Murrell looking to fill their boots.
Bar the 4-1 win over Neasden A, Harmen’s best form has come in the cup and they will arrive confident of booking their places in round four.
FC Team B have had little to cheer about this season and I can only see things taking a turn for the worse here. Damage limitation could be their best bet although they should also have an outside chance in the post-match snowball fight!
It’s Harmen all the way for me.
Venue – Old Camdenians, Ref – A. Djanogly
JC star man: Alex Hershman (Harmen)
DC Prediction: FC Team B 0 Southgate Harmen A 5
HOLY MOUNT ZION vs FAITHFOLD A
Supporters of former cup winners Faithfold expect a goal feast on Sunday as the team goes in search of an early Chanukah stocking filler.
One of the fancied teams in this competition, I expect them to go for the jugular from the very first whistle.
The Superhoops have slipped off the pace in the league in recent weeks but I expect them to notch up a cricket score with Daryl Phillips and David Lederman keen to remind everyone of their cup pedigree.
Midfield duo Alex Levack and Paul Babai were left kicking their heels after Tuesday’s Rep Team match was postponed, and although this is the kind of game where squad rotation is on the cards, both are expected to start.
I expect right-back Dan Howard to be given an attacking licence and he will look to bomb forward at every opportunity.
HMZ go into the game celebrating a win double after striker Mariusz Mielnisczuk and manager Rob Lerner won the JC awards for November. That said, I will put my mortgage on the manager of the month curse striking here as you can get 100-1 on HMZ to win in normal time.
You’ve heard the old adage that the cup is a bonus. Well that will apply to the Zionists as they dreams will come to a shuddering halt within the hour.
If I'm proved wrong, I'm happy to buy the Zionists a bag of donuts for their efforts!
Venue – North Action Playing Fields, Ref – R. Cahill
JC star man: Dan Howard (Faithfold)
DC Prediction: HMZ 0 Faithfold A 7
LONDON MACCABI LIONS B vs MACCABI MASTERS SELECT XI
Just days after they were unable to put out a side against Raiders A, the Lions continue to struggle to get a team together so they chances are that the side will be made up from their Vets team who play in the Garston League to ensure that 11 players line up against the Masters..
That side has also had its trials and tribulations this season with Ben Dale recently standing down as manager. Paul Wise leads the Lions pack these days and he’s hoping to persuade striker Adam Brand to play for his team rather than the Brady side he’s been starring for recently. Either way, Brand has promised not to celebrate any goals.
With or without Brand, the Lions have an embarrassment of riches in attack with the likes of Adam Lee and Bradley Lazarus leading the line. Behind them is the likes of Paul Buxton, Max Radford, Craig Henry, Andy Myers, Jonny Rayner, Warren Leader and Danny Shindler and with them in the fold, they have the potential to go a long way in the Jewish FA Cup.
Rowley Lane’s 3G will host a match featuring Lions’ finest against the defending Masters champions. Led by player-manager Dan Collins, the visitors will be made up from a mix of players from Brady and North London Raiders Masters.
The leading lights including Mark Wagman, Scott Ansher, Laurence ‘Zidane’ Beck and Nigel Goldthorpe from Brady with Raiders’ top brass featuring Ashley Davidson, Richard Sacks, Jonny Summerfield, Elan Ovits and Jon Yantin.
Collins said: "I'm unsure of exactly who I am playing. I can’t really comment on our chances too much but feel we can give any side a good game.
"It will be interesting on G3 at Rowley Lane should ensure it goes ahead on a surface we are used to playing on."
One thing is for sure. There will be one Over 35 team in round four.
Venue – Rowley Lane 3G, Ref – M. Cowan
JC star man: Adam Lee (LML)
DC Prediction: LM Lions Vets 3 Maccabi Masters 2
NORTH WEST NEASDEN A vs GLENTHORNE UNITED A
If there’s one team you don’t want to be playing when it’s cold, you guessed it, it’s Glenthorne.
Flying high at the top of Division Three, the Thornes will be looking forward to putting in some bone-crunching challenges in a midfield area they hope to congest.
Don’t be surprised if manager David Blitz and Dan Lipman opt for a five-man midfield with wonder kid David Blackman the loan man up top.
Although the league is the clear priority for the Essex giants, they will be relishing the trip to north west London where they take on a team that has dominated the Morrison competition in recent years.
The Thornes are a best-priced 20-1 to pull off what many believe to be mission impossible. Much depends on how they start. If they freeze (literally), it could be game over inside 30 minutes but if, as I expect, they make themselves compact, fight for one another and fight for their lives, then you just never know.
Neasden have rarely put out their strongest XI this season. Out of both non-Jewish competitions, manager Jamie Cole is desperate for the domestic treble and with a home draw against lower league opposition, it appears that there can only be one winner.
With the likes of James Gershfield, Lee Cash, TJ Keterman and Danny Daggers champing at the bit, Neasden fans will expect to see their heroes romp home in first gear.
But let me tell you, messus Blitz and Lipman would love it, just love it if the unthinkable happens …
Ref – N. Bloom
JC star man: Kyle Bentwood (Neasden)
DC Prediction: NW Neasden A 3 Glenthorne Utd A 1
JC MSFL PREMIER DIVISION
9 – Daran Bern (RJC A), Jacob Gold (NL Raiders A)
8 – Yishai Last (Hendon A)
LONDON MACCABI LIONS A vs NORTH WEST NEASDEN B
A Lions victory on Sunday would lift them out of the relegation zone and that’s exactly what Eilon Kennet’s men will be striving for on Sunday morning.
Three points would take them above Neasden B, and Kennet’s walking wounded will need another super-human effort against a team also not having everything their own way.
Last weekend’s cup win over Raiders B was a real test of character. Lee Bibring put them in front but the Raiders broke through them twice, despite the best efforts of stand-in keeper Max Fieldgrass. In the end, Mike Pearson and James Stanley saved their blushes with Stanley’s wonder goal a worthy winner of JC Goal of the Week.
The Lions were missing the likes of Mike Elvey, Declan Green, Danny Jacobs, Scott Libby-Laban Ollie Leslie, Sam Arghebent, Aviel Schwarz and Jon Green. Most teams would struggle without so many key men so credit must go to Kennet and co for avoiding an upset.
However, it appears that Lions’ concerns have not cleared up. Kennet told JC Sport: “We’re still ravaged by injuries and non availability, so I can’t even pick the squad, let alone the team!”
Neasden beat Lions B on the opening weekend of the season. Managers Sammy Carr and Ryan Glynne have yet to beat one of the big boys, although they drew 4-4 with Faithfold A.
I believe that they have the players to ask big questions of the Lions and it will be up to the likes of Zack White, Mark Lazare and Alex Bowman to take their chances.
With home advantage, the Lions start as favourites but don’t write Neasden off.
Venue – Rowley Lane, Ref – S. Russell
JC star man: Mark Lazare (Neasden)
DC Prediction: LM Lions A 1 NW Neasden B 1
REDBRIDGE JEWISH CARE A vs NORTH LONDON RAIDERS A
Match of the day sees second take on third with revenge the name of the game for a Redbridge team who were well beaten in the corresponding fixture.
Both clubs go into the game somewhat relieved that their top players will be fit and raring to go after Tuesday’s Rep match was postponed. RJC have keeper Dan Lee and Adam Hakimi in the squad while L’Orange’s Adam Joselyn, Alex Olcot, Jamie Wolfson, Matt Stock and Jacob Gold.
The 4-0 win in Uxbridge was clearly the headline of Raiders’ season to date. Adam Joselyn, Igal Yahya and Jacob Gold (2) were the marksmen. But I expect RJC to come back hard on Sunday.
After the game, Raiders joint-manager Adam Fegan told JC Sport: “At 1-0 the next goal was always going to be vital. Redbridge missed a good chance and Berliner made an outstanding save as the match was finely balanced. But we continued to play our football, and some excellent finishing swung the game in our favour."
RJC gaffer Sam McCarthy said: "Our performance was poor and we did ourselves no justice at all in a game that we struggled to get a grip of.
"All credit to Raiders who rightly deserved their victory. They brought the game to us and presented us with problems, particularly in mid-field that we did not overcome during the whole game.
"We were taught a valuable lesson in this league that there are no easy games."
RJC were missing star man Daran Bern for the game and his head-to-head with Gold could be worth the admission fee alone. Pace is the biggest asset for both flyers and it looks set to be a busy morning for both sets of defences in conditions that might resemble Disney on Ice.
The Redbridge boys are blessed with pace and quality in the final third with the likes of Ben Sollosi, Steve Summers, Dean Nyman, Lewis Walker, Russell Leiter, Mitch Lassman all able to do a job alongside Bern. In fact, it's fair to say that messus Fegan and Caro could have a sleepless night trying to work out how to keep all of them quiet!
It's clear that they will be well up for the game, especially after naming a full-strength team. McCarthy said: "We have a point to prove against Raiders following the last result. We have been working on our gameplan and are determined to be a very different team on Sunday then the one they previously encountered."
Fairlop will be a snood-free zone after both clubs banned players from wearing the head-scarves after the pre-match warm-up. That said, it should be gloves and tights at the ready!
The first goal will be crucial on Sunday and if RJC score it, they should go on to take the points.
Either way, it should be a cracker. May the best team win.
Redbridge squad: (possible) Dan Lee, Ben Rosenthal, Ritchie Caplin, Craig Sandford, Adam Hakimi, Brad Frankel, Danny Hakimi, Ben Sollosi, Steve Summers, Sam McCarthy, Dean Nyman, Daran Bern, Lewis Walker, Alex Lishak, Daniel Sugarman, Jamie Cooper, Daniel Cooper, Russell Leiter, Sam Van Gelder, Mitch Lassman, Steve Gevertz
Raiders squad: Danny Berliner, Ben Sheldon, Matt Leader, Nick Wiseman, Anthony Shaw, Mark Leader, Joe Tankel, Dan Sanford, David Rhodes, Alex Olcot, Adam Joselyn, Jonny Shapiro, Adam Posner, Andrew McMaster, Matt Stock,Jamie Wolfson, Jonny Blain, Jacob Gold, Igal Yahya
Venue – Fairlop, Ref – A. Lewis
JC star man: Daran Bern (RJC)
DC Prediction: Redbridge A 2 NL Raiders A 1
9 – Josh Hershman (Brady)
7 – James Gold (LM Lions B)
BRADY MACCABI vs FC TEAM A
“Let’s just get the game on”. That is the hope of FC Team manager Mitch Young. Like the majority of clubs last Sunday, Young and co were left frustrated by the sub-zero conditions. Like many, he just wants to go out there and play football.
Having lost top spot, Young’s guns will be looking to get one over opponents they are meeting for the first time this season.
Danny Moss, Adam Rones and Richard Salmon have started the season well but as ever, Young will be looking for his full-backs and midfielders to contribute in the goals department.
As for Brady, they will arrive at The Hive with bags of belief. Manager Josh Rosenfeld has worked wonders to turn things around
Front men Josh Hirshman and Mark Smith are in top form and rumour has it that the gaffer is fighting tooth and nail to keep hold of Jason Sears, who Brady’s Masters team could do with in the Morrison against Lions.
The Brady bunch have hit 13 in their last two games and Rosenfeld has been trying to find footage of FC Team’s recent cup defeat at the hands of Woodford.
I can’t see there being much between the sides on Sunday. Thankfully the conditions won’t play a part, unless there’s a strong north-westerly breeze, but on a big pitch in Edgware it could come down to survival of the fittest.
Venue – The Hive 3G, Ref – W. Blake
JC star man: Jonny Breger (FC Team A)
DC Prediction: Brady Maccabi 1 FC Team A 2
CAMDEN PARK vs NORTH LONDON RAIDERS B
Prince Edward should be a Hive of activity on Sunday morning and with the drainage system problems a thing of the past, hopefully, it’s time for the under-soil heating to kick in. If only!
Come what may, this is a game that Raiders boss Rob Richman can’t take lightly. His team came oh so close to causing an almighty upset in the cup last Sunday. Goals from Nicky Woolf and David Dinkin put them in dreamland but they were unable to hold on as the Lions edged home in a five-goal thriller in a game where Rik Sherman and Dan Grossman were singled out for special praise.
Raiders’ preparations for Sunday have been hampered by the news that Steve Bloom, last seasons player of year and top-scorer has been ruled out for the rest of the season. Bloom has not played since April.
Richman hopes that last week’s exertions do not hamper their chances of retaining top spot. Looking ahead to the clash, Richman told JC Sport: “We are looking forward to returning to league action after a couple of weeks of cup games. The cups have been a nice distraction but as always the league is priority.
“Sunday will be a tough game as Camden have shown they are a decent outfit and we will need to be 100 per cent focused to get anything from the game.”
Camden also had some bad news this week when Jamie Lustigman was ruled out for the season. He requires surgery the shoulder he dislocated against Brady.
Describing the low as “a big blow,” Justin Rockberger, the Camden manager, went on to say: “We want to bounce back from our last game which we lost after we had put a little run together.”
I think this will be a battle between the Raiders strikers and the Brady defence. My money is on a Raiders win.
JC team news: For Raiders, Alex Bloch is the only drop out from last week'. Otherwise squad is unchanged.
Venue – The Hive, Ref – S. Levy
JC star man: Dan Rabie (Raiders)
DC Prediction: Camden Park 1 NL Raiders B 2
LONDON MACCABI LIONS C vs CHIGWELL ATHLETIC
Promotion seeking Chigwell know that defeat would all but end their aspirations ahead of the trip to Rowley Lane.
Richard Slater’s men have won four and lost four and with the gaffer back in the squad from a long-term injury, it might just galvanise the troops.
The Chigs beat the Lions in a five-goal thriller last time out when Paul Lenchner, Glenn Michaels and Daniel Castle saw them home. The win left Slater a happy man. He told JC Sport: It was a top performance from the boys. We played a high tempo and dominated the whole game. It would have been totally unjust had we lost this game."
Will Beresford and Adam Kosky struck for Lions on a day when manager Jamie Kyte reflected: “This was another case of not going right to the end. We played a great first half and for the majority of the second half played very well too. After we got the second we started to sit back and we were punished. Chigwell kept fighting right to the end and you can’t doubt the spirit of their team."
Kyte has labelled this “a huge game”. He said: “The Chigwell defeat was hard for us to take. Since then we've bonded as a team and got a great result in. We're eagerly awaiting the re-match in a game we believe we should have won first time round.”
The Chigs have reshuffled over the past few days following the departure of keeper Neil Lawson who left the club last week for personal reasons. Slater flashed the cash to bring in ex-Brixton and Marshside keeper Marc Jacobs, as well as and Rob Shepherdson, the former Faithfold and Marshside. The pair will battle it out for the gloves with Chigs legend Adrian Bourne.
Now boasting a goalkeeping department stronger than Manchester City’s, Slater told JC Sport: “
'It's great to have three top keepers at the club with vast experience, so hopefully now we'll be that more solid whoever wears the No. 1 shirt.
“Aid is limited to games due to injury, and Sheps plays Saturdays but is very much involved and we'll use him as and when.”
Looking ahead to the big match, Slater added: “'The boys put in a great performance against Lions a few weeks back. If we play to that level again I'm confident of taking the three points, but having said that we know that Lions have some decent players, and I'll remind the lads we were 2-0 down and make sure that doesn't happen again.
“Nothing less than a win will do for us if we're to stay on the coat-tails of the top three.”
It’s time for the talking to stop. It’s game on.
Chigwell squad: Marc Jacobs, Simon Felstein, Dean Michaels, Adam Shafron, Glenn Davis, Adam Conway, Sam Rosenthal, Daniel Castle, Michael Witzenfeld, Richard Slater, Glenn Michaels (capt), Paul Lenchner, Russell Becker, Doron Weinstein, Russell Yershon,
JC team news: The Lions have a doubt over Nick Astaire but are otherwise at full strength.
Chigwell will be missing Saul Fagelson, Jon Swead, Neil Tilley and Mark 'Wizard' Conway, while Marc Radzan remains two weeks away from a competitive return from a calf injury.
Venue – Rowley Lane, Ref – S. Ansher
JC star man: Sam Rosenthal (Chigwell)
DC Prediction: LM Lions C 1 Chigwell Athletic 2
MONTANA BOCA UNITED A vs REDBRIDGE JEWISH CARE B
This match has home banker written all over it as promotion contenders Montana welcome basement battlers RJC.
The feel-good-factor returned to the Montana changing room when Simon Hecker returned following a lengthy lay-off. It was as though his presence flicked a switch and his recent wonder goal left managers Raymond Harrod and Adam Osper thinking, maybe promotion is still possible.
It will take something really special between now and May for Montana to haul themselves back into the mix. But stranger things have happened. A fixture pile-up could undoubtedly help their cause, much in the same way as playing on testing surfaces over the winter months.
It's clear that they have star qualities with strikers Gary Cohen and Trevor Henen using stepping up to the plate. But that's not forgetting keeper Dan Cohen who was due to receive his Rep Team cap before the weather intervened.
Redbridge’s away form has been simply atrocious. Manager Mike Winehouse knows that escaping the drop is a big ask from here on in.
The East Londoners have conceded 23 goals in their last four outings and I can’t see things getting any better on Sunday.
Venue – The Hive, Ref – M. Lavender
JC star man: Simon Hecker (Montana)
DC Prediction: Montana A 4 Redbridge B 0
SOUTHGATE HARMEN B vs OAKWOOD
It looks only a matter of time until the Oakwood boys hit top gear. While many players will not fancy the wintry conditions, this will be right up their street.
Rumour has it that Jonny Davis has offered to let the teams play in his back yard if Ashmole is off!
Mark Engel, the Harmen boss, has been struggling to focus on the game. Keeping one eye on his window, he is desperate to get the Neasden B result out of his system.
Looking ahead to Sunday, he told JC Sport: “We haven’t played a league game for over a month, having played three Premier teams in the mean time. Our lLeague form has picked up and we will aim for three points to propel us up the league.”
As for the Oaks, the future looks bright. Goal-poacher Anthony Kintish will be sniffing around for scraps and I can see him getting plenty of joy against a Harmen defence low on confidence.
Oaks joint-manager Rick Blank said: “We’ve got a strong squad for Sunday with only Ilan Scorah, Rob D and Bobbie Cousins joining long-term absentees Dan Ash and Dan Rose on the sidelines. Victor Librae is fully fit though so we're keen to get him involved straight away.
“We were very disappointing to have last week’s game off so fingers crossed we can get the game on on Sunday. Not sure I fancy our chances though. Either way we're up for it.”
It’s Oakwood for me.
Venue – Ashmole School, Ref – M. Cohen
JC star man: Victor Librae (Oakwood)
DC Prediction: Harmen B 1 Oakwood 3
11 - Rob Benson (Temple Fortune A)
FAITHFOLD B vs FC MARYLEBONE
If you’re looking for the latest designers snoods and gloves, then look no further than The Hive as the Frenchmen come to town.
The Marylebone boys have been (fashion) victims of their own success this season. Jon Davody set them a high standard over the past couple of seasons but every which way they turn, it just keeps getting harder and harder.
On Sunday they visit a Faithfold team that is right in the mix. The word on the street is that Dan Hildebrand and Doron Hershkorn and the best front pairing the club has had since Lewis and Phillips.
They have raised the bar so far this season but the million dollar question is, can they turn it on when they start as favourites?
The man from Edgware (that’s me), he says yes!
Venue – The Hive, Ref – M. Fox
JC star man: Doron Hershkorn (Faithfold)
DC Prediction: Faithfold B 4 FC Marylebone 1
HENDON UNITED SPORTS CLUB B vs L’EQUIPE
Hendon’s promotion hopes look slim to none but that shouldn’t stop them from picking up maximum points here.
Having started the season with title ambitions, the season so far has been one of under-achievement. Deep down, they still believe they can win their nine remaining league games and put down their marker with 38 points on the board, but with Norstar, Fortune, Brixton, Faithfold and Woodford setting off at a rate of knots, it could be too little, too late.
L’Equipe look in dire straights with six consecutive defeats to their name. Manager Gideon Chain is expected to dig deep into his pockets and pull a few rabbits out of the hat in the January transfer window but until then, I predict more doom and gloom.
Venue – West Hendon Playing Fields, Ref – L. Eppel
JC star man: Raph Noe (Hendon)
DC Prediction: Hendon B 5 L’Equipe 0
NORSTAR A vs WOODFORD WANDERERS
It’s clash of the titans in Harrow as table-toppers Norstar host the giants of Woodford.
Phil Peters’ troops warmed up by hitting Hendon B for six in a game where Simon Perlmutter went home with the match ball. Three quality strikes set up an emphatic win, complemented by two from Eli Houri and one from Anthony ‘Delap’ Goodmaker.
Peters is confident of the match beating the elements at their Harrow home which they have turned into a fortress. He told JC Sport: “John Lyon was one of the few places to survive the big freeze last week, and there’s no reason to suspect a postponement here. Five out of 5 wins at home in the league this season, six if you count the Montana ‘away’ game.
“Unfortunately we’ve never been able to put out our strongest team against Woodford and seemed to have struggled with injuries towards the end of the season, playing three of our four games against them in April/May. Whilst they may have the psychological advantage over us, we’ve never been so up for a game and the players are ready for what will no doubt be our biggest test so far this season.
“Despite our league position, it’s the first time this season that we’ve been underdogs going into a league game and we’ll use that to our advantage. We’re on a great run of form and hope to show that again on Sunday.”
Top of the league and having a laugh, clearly. The mind games have well and truly started. But it’s fair to say that it’s the Woodford boys who have the big names in their camp.
Player-manager Alex Aviram hopes that their star qualities shine through, although there’s every chance that star man Mitch Hahn will be man-marked.
If you’re looking for a great advert for Jewish football then look no further.
JC team news: Norstar are without Neil Daniels and Matt Plaskow - who are on the B team manager’s stag weekend, whilst Nick Hudson is still away. Back into the squad come Jamie Freed, Sammy Kalms, Adam Kaldor and Adam Goldsmith. Peters said: “Competition for places has never been so fierce.
Venue – John Lyons School, Ref – R. Bernardout
JC star man: Sammy Kalms (Norstar)
DC Prediction: Norstar A 1 Woodford 1
TEMPLE FORTUNE A vs BRIXTON OLD BOYS
There’s a mouth-watering game in store in Hatch End as second-placed Fortune take on nearest rivals Brixton.
Both teams have enjoyed success stories so far this season but it appears as though something must give on Sunday.
Fortune manager Andrew Souber blew the bank to sign Scott Shindler from champions Neasden A over the summer and so far the move looks a shrewd one, with the central defender second top-scorer.
But even he knows that striker Rob Benson will take some scoring. Benson has also struck 11 times in the league although on Sunday, he will do well to find a way past Brixton defender James Kaye and keeper Jake Doffman, the JC’s Keeper of the Month.
Fortune have won six out of seven in the league so far but the Brixton one will be one of the toughest. John Nitka’s troops have really impressed me. They seem to have ironed out some early season disciplinary problems and in Jamie Kent, they have their own ready-made Rob Benson.
I can see this being a game of chances galore and it could all boil down to which players bring their shooting boots.
Venue – Hatch End Playing Fields, Ref – A. Myerson
JC star man: Adam Glekin (Fortune)
DC Prediction: Temple Fortune A 3 Brixton 2
19 - Ben Simons (Faithfold C)
12 - Dan Gordon (Redbridge C)
10 - Dave Blackman (Glenthorne A)
HEATH BANTA vs CATFORD & BROMLEY MACCABI
Having got their season back on track against Faithfold, Ben Nathan, the Heath Banta boss, knows that they can ill-afford to under-estimate the challenge of the Cats.
Lying third in the table, and with a game in hand on leaders Glenthorne, the hosts will be looking to leave the Cats doubled up in pain. Stefan Simons (2) and Oli Josephs were the scorers when they won 3-0 on the opening day of the season.
Simons needs one more for double figures in the league and he’s 5-2 favourite to open the scoring on Sunday.
The Cats have made big strides in recent weeks with recent signing Eli Baraty going into the game in top form.
Man for man, Heath Banta have the edge but if the Cats bring their A-game to the table, with Ryan Kangisser, Joel Isaacs, Dan Stone and captain marvel Adam Lewis making their mark, you just never know.
Venue – Hampstead Heath, Ref – N. Burns
JC star man: Jamie Sinai (Heath Banta)
DC Prediction: Heath Banta 2 Catford & Bromley 1
NORSTAR B vs FAITHOLD C
It’s been Green for go for Faithfold so far this season and manager David Garson says long may it continue.
Strength in depth has been a big factor for the Superhoops who on Sunday welcome back key men Josh Franklin and Ricky Stoltzman for the trip to Mill Hill.
It’s sure to be a emotional outing for Garson who is looking forward to playing at the Lodge again. He told JC Sport: "The club have so many good memories."
Top scorers in Division Two, it’s clear that Faithfold offer great value, and that explains why the away terrace will be full again. With Ben Simons, Adam Barton, Simon Beresford and Josh Sugarbread banging home the goals, Garson hopes that momentum takes them over the line.
It’s still all to play for as far as Norstar are concerned. With games in hand on the top two, this is a massive game for Jonny Bunt’s men although the gaffer will be otherwise engaged on his stag.
Sunday will be a day for big hearts and Faithfold hope that a lack of a leader comes back to haunt Norstar.
It should be a thriller.
Venue – Chase Lodge, Ref – N. Burns
JC star man: Ricky Stoltzman (Faithfold)
DC Prediction: Norstar B 2 Faithfold C 3
UJIA vs REAL LIFE
Two teams in the wrong half of the table go head to head in Edgware with three points premium.
It finished 2-2, commonly known as a Desmond, earlier in the season when Dan Markeson and Rob Greene were the marksmen for the U’s.
They have bolstered since then with former Premier Division players Assi Avital and Ben Nassim joining the fray. Together with Matt Radstone, there’s every chance that they caught cause as many problems as the Millbank protestors!
Real go into the game on the back of a 5-0 mauling against Barcelona. But manager Jamie Beaumont has checked the teamsheet and is glad that Messi, Villa and Alves on not in the UJIA team!
Both camps were somewhat restrained in their pre-match press calls. UJIA player-manager Darren Rolfe, who has been starring in goal in recent weeks, said: “We are at full strength for Sunday and really hope the game goes ahead.”
Beaumont kept it simple. “We just hope the pitch is a sufficient standard for UJIA to play on.”
With low expectations, this game may not set the pulses racing but as long as both sets of players work up a sweat, I’m sure their managers will be happy!
Venue – The Hive, Ref – D. Nathan
JC star man: Ollie Henry (UJIA)
DC Prediction: UJIA 3 Real Life 3
ZIG ZAG vs REDBRIDGE JEWISH CARE C
It could be men against boys at the Park on Sunday as title-challengers Redbridge take on Zig Zag.
With plenty of games in hand, Richard Bronzite’s men are expecting to kick on after Chanukah and as long as they go easy on the doughnuts in the build up to this game, they should win hands down.
The goals of Dan Gordon have put them in a strong position but playing catch-up is easier said than done. That said, they can rely on the quality of Greg Bookman to put chances on a plate for old Flash.
Zig Zag are bottom of the pack and in a scrap. Manager DJ Neal Cohen wouldn’t have it any other way. He’s lost sight of his five-year Premier plan and is believed to be considering life outside of the MSFL. Don’t do it Neal!
The Zeds have 11 games left to save their season and rumour has it that Cohen will be picking up the phone to Avram Grant for a copy of his teamtalk for the Wigan game. Do it Neal!
But if you’re expecting the floodgates to open, think again. I predicted leaders Glenthorne to destroy them but the Zed men dug deep and there was only one goal between the teams.
That said, an early goal would put a spanner in the works so Cohen is advised to instruct his defence to adopt no-nonsense tactics, trying to slow the game down and find Row Z at every opportunity.
My instinct is that whatever they try won’t be enough to stop the Bridge boys.
Venue – Montrose Park, Ref –L. Thorne
JC star man: Sam Sollosi (RJC)
DC Prediction: Zig Zag 1 Redbridge C 4
BLIZZARD STORM vs INTER BOREHAMWOOD
There’s a real hum-dinger in store in Edgware as two of the form team get ready to rumble with joint-leaders Blizzard taking on Borehamwood.
Simon Linden’s men go into the game with a two-point advantage, although they’ve played a game more.
Blizzard were frozen out last weekend and they will be hard-pressed on extending their winning run to three. Nonetheless, Linden remains confident. “It’s a big game for both clubs,” he told JC Sport. “Division Four is very tough with the top six all looking like title contenders.”
The front pairing of Alex Rubin and Joel Kutner has worked a treat for Linden so far, but he knows that they do well to create against an industrious Borehamwood team for whom Jeff Gotch and Mark Wayne will be looking to keep things tight at the back.
Midfield maestro Jerome Colmans has stepped up to the plate with nine goals for the Borehamwood brigade. That David Beckham DVD I bought him last summer looks to have worked a treat as he’s fired in some killer corners and free-kicks.
Manager Oluseun Thomas wants his strikers to join the party although if he keeps signing players of the calibre of Sam Reeves, then they should be OK.
This game is hard to call. There’s every chance that it could be decided by a moment of magic or a goalkeeping error.
JC team news: Blizzard are missing both Stolerman brothers, however Adam Nathan and Ryan Colet should be back in the squad.
Venue – Edgwarebury Park, Ref – B. David
JC star man: Sam Reeves (Borehamwood)
DC Prediction: Blizzard Storm 1 Inter Borehamwood 2
GLENTHORNE UNITED B vs JEWVENTUS
There’s another big game in store in the division on Sunday as leaders Glenthorne B welcome Jewventus.
It’s been a tough week for everyone at Jewventus who are still reeling from the news that striker James Moore suffered a broken leg and jaw in a motorbike accident.
Club manager Gabriel John said: “Our thoughts are with James and his family during this time. Jewventus players and officials wish him a full and speedy recovery.” I echo those sentiments.
With seven wins from eight, neutrals will arrive at this game thinking Glenthorne should run out comfortable winners. But manager Elliot Coulton feels differently.
He told JC Sport: “We are very wary of the threat of Jewventus as they should’ve beaten us the first game. I have faith in my to beat them.”
Coulton was talking about the five-goal thriller in November that his side edged with goals from Fabio Revieccio, Daniel Lassman and Josh Cohen.
John knows that he will have to keep the trio quiet if his team is to stand a chance. He said: “My hope is we play and win and that after the narrow loss at our end, we can avenge our defeat.”
The Thornes have yet to concede in the league this season and even though Jewve may end that record, I don’t think they’ll have enough to stop a rampant home team.
JC team news: Glenthorne welcome back Liam Stein back from uni.
Venue – The Old Chigwellians
JC star man: Liam Stein (Glenthorne)
DC Prediction: Glenthorne B 4 Jewventus 2
LOS BLANCOS vs HENDON UNITED SPORTS CLUB C
Two more teams tussling for a top two finish do battle with Los Blancos looking to exact revenge over a Hendon team who beat them 2-1 earlier in the season.
The Hustlers are sitting pretty in third, level on points with leaders Glenthorne B and Blizzard, albeit from more games played.
The match will have a derby feel about it with several members of the home squad up against their former club. The acquisition of striker Adam Hersh was an astute one and I expect manager Joel Minksy to be reaping the rewards come May.
But Minsky knows that catch-up isn’t an easy game to play, especially when pitches start cutting up and become hard to play a fluid passing game.
The Hustlers go into the game with a key player missing but manager Avi Gelley remains confident that they will have enough on the day. He told JC Sport: “The absence of Dov Birnbaum is a blow but we have a strong squad. Let's just hope the pitch is in decent nick come Sunday.”
This has all the makings of an epic and I’m tipping the Reds to notch up their eighth straight victory.
JC Team News: Hendon are hopeful that Steve Keller will be fit as they return to full-strength. Dov Birnbaum is away.
Venue – South Oxhey, Ref – G. Silver
JC star man: Alon Blitz (Hendon)
DC Prediction: Los Blancos 2 Hendon Utd C 3
NORTH WEST NEASDEN C vs ATHLETIC BILBAUM
Not many pundits expected Bilbaum to be ahead of Neasden C going into December, especially after Louis Taylor’s men stuck seven past them in October.
It was a match when the Neasden player-manager was in red-hot form, helping himself to a treble in a 7-2 victory. Laurence Spear (2) and Aron Lewis put the icing on the cake.
After the game, Taylor told JC Sport: "We'll have tougher games this season, and teams that will punish the amount of possession we gave away and the two sloppy goals. However, I'm delighted to get our second win of the season and we're going to be getting better and better every week."
It’s been downhill since then with back-to-back defeats against Hendon and Glenthorne leaving their hopes in tatters.
Taylor is not concerned about targets right now. He knows that Neasden must take it one game at a time. He told JC Sport: “My hopes are that we actually get the game to go ahead. I'll be down at Hadley with local volunteers clearing the pitch if we have lots of snow - each volunteer guaranteed a free ticket to the game and a photo with the Neasden C captain Adam Levene!
“Not withstanding the long term injured, I have lots of options to choose from and we hope to pick up a much needed three points.”
It’s been a season of under-achievement for Bilbaum so far this season as well. I really expected them to push on in their second season but seven defeats in 10 tells you that they have plenty of room for improvement.
However, with Josh Edjelbaum welcoming back Josh Magidson from a self-imposed exile due to a desire for more sleep at the weekend, the gaffer said: "We hope he provides the boost we need to get the win.”
Goals are guaranteed on Sunday, even if they have to use jumpers for goalposts!
JC team news: For Bilbaum, Howard Lesser is out for the season with a cruciate ligament injury, and Scott Harrison and Dan Magidson have left on loan to the USA for a few months.
Venue – Hadley FC, Ref – P. Dobkin
JC star man: Aron Lewis (NWN)
DC Prediction: NW Neasden C 4 Athletic Bilbaum 3
PINNER JFC vs TEMPLE FORTUNE B
It’s what Les Conway, Vivian Emanuel and everyone at Pinner JFC has been waiting for – a local derby. And if it’s entertainment you want on Sunday, then look no further than the Bannister Sports Centre.
Pinner have picked up in recent games and they took joint-leaders Blizzard to the wire last time out. Emanuel is looking forward to pitting his wits against the Fortune boys whom they meet for the first time this season.
Emanuel told JC Sport: “Fortune play there games about a quarter of a mile down the road to us so we are all really up for this game on Sunday. Even more so after the disappointing cancellation of last Sunday’s game at 30 minutes before kick-off. Another reason for this being such a big game is down to the fact that many players in Fortune team left the club at the end of last season, and I am out to prove a point!
“Such names as Gavin Levy, Rob Jay, Jamie Simpson, Simon Allen, Dean Ingram and Ashley Levy all played for us last season and all left due to issues with the previous management or felt that I did not have the drive to push Pinner into a new season. Yes we have struggled but we are now on the up and I feel that Sunday’s game is a crucial three pointer for us.
“I want a good performance and 110 per cent effort from all my players. We have a strong squad for Sunday, Jason Davis should be popping down from university while Jordan Segal returns after his absence last week. In the coming weeks we will see the return of a player who left us last year for another club, so I am hoping he will give us the extra strength we need to push up the table.”
Although there is a danger that this could turn into something of a grudge match, I’m hoping it makes the headlines for the right reasons. Fortune secretary Rob Jay is coolness personified and he is just the man to ease the tension in what could be a pressure-cooker atmosphere.
Jay told JC Sport: “We’re hoping to start picking up points again starting this weekend as we have thrown too many away recently. We hope to have everyone available.”
I will keep an eagle eye on proceedings in Pinner when the big question is, will the new or old Pinner come out on top.
Venue – Bannister Sports Centre, Ref – R. Caplin
JC star man: Jason Davis (Pinner)
DC Prediction: Pinner JFC 3 Temple Fortune B 2
SHIRLEY PARK vs NORTH LONDON RAIDERS C
Whichever way you look at it, there can surely only be one winner (sic – don’t call me surely. RIP Leslie Nielsen)
The Park boys are flying at the minute. Unbeaten in five in the league, with four wins to boot, they have registered 20 goals in the last three and it’s clear that the Raiders will be there for the taking.
Jason Lindsay and Gideon Gold have contributed an incredible 27 goals between them so far, and lest we forget that they recently sent Premier Division Harmen A tumbling out of the cup.
It’s clear that Raiders must turn up with no fear. Otherwise there will be no point turning up. With club chairman Jonathan Adelman offering his expertise and experience to help manager Oli Shorts find his feet in the dug-out, this clearly looks like mission impossible. But there is no doubt that Adelman will try to find some of that Harry Redknapp magic for a team that is currently caught somewhere between a rock and a hard place.
In fact, part of me believes that Shorts is looking forward to facing one of the fancied teams. He told JC Sport: “As a team, our hope is that the game goes ahead. A win wouldn't go a miss though. We're close to having a full squad so selection issues will soon become a problem, which is always a good thing.
“I have no doubts that Shirley Park will give us a great game and believe that if we perform the way I know we can then a positive result is not a far fetched possibility.”
I’d like to share his optimism, but unless the Park boys suffer frostbite rather than stage-fright, I can only see one team coming away with maximum points.
Venue – Gladstone Park, Ref – P. Lavelle-Maurice
JC star man: Sacha Benfredj (Shirley)
DC Prediction: Shirley Park 5 NL Raiders C 0