We're coming to park the bus

Manchester boss Delmonte says defence is best form of attack against Lions

By James Masters, February 10, 2011
Key man: Michael Sacks

Key man: Michael Sacks

Stuart Delmonte says that his Manchester Maccabi 1st side will try to pull out all the stops to avoid a mauling against London Maccabi Lions in Sunday's Peter Morrison Trophy tussle.

The Tameside League side will travel down to Rowley Lane for a 2pm kick-off without four first-team stars and fears over being overrun by a Lions side desperate for cup glory.

And London-born Delmonte concedes his side face an uphill task if they are to book their place in the quarter-finals of the competition.

"This is the game we didn't want because they're one of the toughest teams we could have faced," said the Maccabi boss.

"We might have to park the bus in front of the goal or bore them into submission but hopefully we can do the job.

"I'm certain Lions will draft in a few players from their Saturday side and that will make it very difficult for us.

"On any other day then I think we could give them a really good game but with so many players out, I think it will be hard." Delmonte did not confirm whether or not Maccabiah stars Michael Sacks and Adam Lavin would travel.

Manchester warmed up for the tie with a 4-0 win over Astley Arms to move to within two points of league leaders Houldsworth, with two games in hand.

A brace from Jacob Richler-Kleiman, making it 11 goals in his last five games, plus one apiece from Rafi Leker and Adam Tauber sealed the victory.

Delmonte says that Sunday will be Manchester's toughest game of the season. "We're away from home, we've lots of travelling to do and everything is going against us," he said.

"Having said that, we're going to go out there and give it a really good go. We've got some very good players and hopefully we can put in a good performance and get a result."

Elsewhere, Oakhill Lions face a formidable foe in Redbridge Jewish Care A in another last 16 clash.

The Londoners top the JC MSFL table with eight wins from their 10 league games and are hoping to pull off a stunning league and cup treble.

Oakhill sit just four points off the bottom of the MJSL Premier Division and were beaten 4-1 by league leaders Manchester Maccabi 3rd last week.

But Lions boss Dan Berkley insists his men are going out to enjoy the game and give their visitors a red-hot reception.

"We know they're top of their league and a good side but it's going to be a really interesting challenge for us," said Berkley.

"Our main focus is on the Feldman Cup so this can be a bit of fun for us and we're determined to enjoy the occasion.

"We have home advantage and hopefully that can help but we're just going to go out there and have some fun with it. It has been an inconsistent season but we're confident we can still finish on a high."

Last updated: 1:34pm, February 10 2011