Ice-cool Oaks hold their nerve

By Danny Caro, December 6, 2011

AET (Oakwood won on penalties)

Oakwood held their nerve to beat Division One rivals Norstar on penalties to book their place in the last 16 after a pulsating affair at Parmiters.

A stunner from Dan Geey and one from Antony Kintish accounted for the Oakwood goals.

Norstar's goals came through Eli Houri and Simon Perlmutter.

With extra time unable to produce a winner, Geey, Dan Ash and Ilan Scorah converted from the spot in the shoot-out to send the Oaks through. For Norstar, David Shamash and Jonny Kay scored their penalties but Eli Houri, Josh Pistol and Jeremy Elster missed.

Delighted Oakwood joint-player-manager Ric Blank told JC Sport: "We're thoroughly delighted to be in the last 16 of the Morrison after a hard fought but well deserved victory over Norstar on Sunday.

"It was a heroic effort from the boys considering the lack of players available and the way we had to change the team round at the last minute when Dan Rose was forced to pull out with injury.

"We were the better team in the first half and should have been ahead but, as is the Oakwood way, we tend to make life difficult for ourselves.

"The first half was lit up though with a magnificent strike from Dan Geey. A corner was half cleared and came to him at an awkward height. He controlled the volley unbelievably from 20 yards and watched it sail into the back of the net. The brilliant thing was that the corner came as a result of another Geey volley form even further out. That one was magnificently saved by the Norstar keeper. That was a worthy contender for save of the week but DG's volley is definitely goal of the week.

"In the second half again we were on top, dominating in midfield with Blank and Geey with Tussie drifting onto the ball and creating chances through the running of Kintish and the phenomenal running power and strength of Dan Ash. He was sensational and should be in team of the week.

"Kintish put us 2-1 up but a sloppy free kick conceded saw us pegged back to 2-2. Norstar had a great spell then and the game was played in our half for the next 15/20 minutes.

Fortunately for us Eddie Manson and Ilan Scorah were absolutely sensational at centre half. They should both be in team of the week. Into extra time and we had the clearest chances and were always the more likely to score. James Abrams hit the post with a rasper from 20 yards and Dan Ash missed the chance to win it after the move of the match.

So it went to penalties which are always a lottery. Fortunately for us Oli Gee pulled off two outstanding saves and Scorah the King netted the winning pen.

"Tough on Norstar who are a good side that gave us another fantastic match. It was played in a good spirit and was a great advert for the MSFL and the PM.

"As I settled down to watch MOTD2 last night my phone started going - and I found out we'd drawn Leeds Maccabi in the last 16. This is the tie we wanted more than anything. With Dan Rose, Brad Wine and Rob Davidson all ex-Leeds players on the Oakwood books and Oakwood hero Steven Berke playing for Leeds, this is going to be an unbelievable game. We're all looking forward to it.

"Before that - Temple Fortune and a massive game at the Hive on Sunday. That will be a tough one but we're up for it."

Norstar boss Phil Peters told JC Sport: "We should have won it in the second half or extra-time - where we were stronger and fitter - but our finishing was poor and whilst we dominated possession, we couldn't find the cutting edge - something we've been guilty of all season.

"Good luck to Oakwood in the next round. They're an excellent team and to have beaten them twice and drawn once shows how much we've progressed this year."

Last updated: 12:03am, December 6 2011