Oakhill given final warning
While Sporting JLGB were celebrating a 3-0 victory, Oakhill Lions had more pressing matters to deal with off the pitch as they were threatened with expulsion from the Manchester Jewish Soccer League after they were found guilty of fielding an ineligible player for the second time this season.
But unlike the recent case in the MSFL in London, where Holy Mount Zion resigned over registration irregularities, the Manchester students-based team made a simple administration error. They fielded the unregistered Joe Burns in a victory against Westdene 1st in January. Oakhill have been fined and hit by a three-point deduction. They have been ordered to get their house in order.
League secretary Paul Rose said: "It is not necessarily their integrity which is a concern, but their administration. If Oakhill fielded another ineligible player this season, the executive would have to meet them again.
"I can't speak for a 12-man committee but I think there would be a serious discussion."
Dan Cohen, assistant-manager of Oakhill, was left frustrated by the ruling and the paperwork required by the league. He said: "We just want 11 guys to play football. We do not understand the layers of bureaucracy behind it."
Things were no better on the pitch for the beleaguered club as they were beaten by Sporting JLGB in the quarter-final of the Tony Cohen Memorial Cup. Alex Woolf struck twice for the visitors before a late goal from Jamie Bowden saw the visitors through.
Cohen said: "They wanted the game more than us. That was evident in the manner they approached it and the way they put in tackles."
Oakhill forged ahead when Woolf netted with a deflected half volley. Bowden doubled the lead with a header before Woolf wrapped up the win late on after rounding Oakhill goalkeeper Tim Leigh.
Sporting assistant-manager Ryan Sidle said: "We coped with the conditions better and although Oakhill edged the first half, they rarely threatened. We had them on the back-foot and managed to control the game."
In the Joan Collins Premier Division, Hyde Park Rovers are two points off top spot after a thumping 11-1 win over Crumpsall. David Cohen led the way with a four-goal salvo. There were also hat-tricks for Oli Grant and Dan Green. David James completed the rout. Shaya Halpern grabbed a consolation for Crumpsall.
Zevi Saunders, the Crumpsall manager, said: "We made too many basic errors against a very good team."
James Hudaly and a superb free-kick from Alistair Goldsmith helped Haroldeans come from a goal down to beat South Manchester Sports Club 2nd 2-1. Sam Cantor netted for South Manchester.
Haroldeans boss Ivan Gee said: "We were missing a few regulars but ran out worthy winners."
Hyde Park can dismantle long-time leaders Manchester Maccabi 3rd on Sunday when they take on basement battlers Westdene 2nd.