MJSL preview: February 12
The MJSL will be hoping the weather holds with several sides looking to get their league and cup campaigns back underway.
Here, we look at all the big games in the MJSL, Shonn Trophy and Tony Cohen Cup coming up this Sunday.
Hyde Park Rovers vs Republic of Mancunia 2nd
Hyde Park boss David Domb has warned his players they’ll suffer a nasty surprise if they’re caught daydreaming about their quest for Peter Morrison Trophy glory.
Rovers were beaten at home in the MJSL by Manchester Maccabi 3rd just seven days before pulling off a stunning 2-1 win at MSFL club Shirley Park in the PMT.
And with a clash against holders Redbridge JC A on the horizon, Domb has told his men they cannot afford a repeat against Republic of Mancunia 2nd on Sunday.
“Last time we played a game before a Morrison match we were awful and that’s me being kind,” he said.
“It was a dreadful performance and I won’t accept that again. We must focus on the Republic match and make sure we go out there and do the business.
“Sunday is a great chance for all the boys to show what they can do and stake their claim for a place against Redbridge.”
Republic 2nd have played just once this year, earning a creditable 0-0 draw against second-place Oakhill.
Paul Levy’s men hit the woodwork three times during that encounter and will be hoping to leapfrog Rovers with victory in Leeds on Sunday.
Prediction: Hyde Park 2 Republic of Mancunia 2nd 2
Key Man: Josh Lewis (Hyde Park)
Sporting JLGB vs Oakhill Lions
Oakhill’s title hopes look dead and buried following their brutal 4-0 defeat against league leaders Haroldeans.
Zack Gothelf and Josh Daniels have done a fine job with the Manchester student side and they’ll be hot favourites to see off Sporting.
The Lions are 11 points adrift of the leaders but have lost just twice this season and are still on the prowl for cup success.
Marc Woolfe and Marc Maynard have both impressed and should be too hot to handle for Sporting.
“The league will be a tough ask and although we’ve not given up I think our best chance of success will be in the cups,” said Gothelf.
“We want to finish the season as high as we can. We know it will be a tough game against Sporting but we’re looking forward to it.”
You can never write off Gavin Sharpe’s Sporting, although they may be a touch rusty having not played a competitive fixture since December 4.
Adam Herman has scored nine times this season, while Moshe Hasid is always dangerous in attack.
But a lack of match practice could be Sporting’s undoing, although nobody can doubt their commitment, energy and desire to win.
Prediction: Sporting JLGB 2 Oakhill 4
Key Man: Marc Woolfe (Oakhill)
Shonn Trophy Round Two – Manchester Maccabi 3rd vs Haroldeans
Haroldeans might have the league title wrapped up but they face an almighty task to progress into the next round of the Shonn Trophy.
Ivan Gee’s men are 11 points clear at the top of the MJSL and have lost only once this season – a 2-1 defeat against Maccabi back in November.
The Merseysiders are desperate for revenge and have already shown they mean business following their 4-0 thrashing of nearest rivals Oakhill.
But Maccabi have been in impressive form in recent weeks, recording victories over Hyde Park and Broughton to leave them third in the league.
Jake Kelly has been scoring goals for fun, while Haroldeans hitman Jamie Harris has also been on a hot-streak.
But much rests on how Maccabi stalwart Sheldon Lee can marshal his defence against the likes of Harris and Bobby Abrams.
Lee has been one of the players of the season so far and if he holds firm then expect Maccabi to edge home. Just.
Prediction: Manchester Maccabi 3rd 2 Haroldeans 1
Key Man: Sheldon Lee (Manachester Maccabi 3rd)
Tony Cohen Trophy – Broughton vs Leeds Maccabi 3rd
The bottom two in the MJSL go head to head in the Tony Cohen Trophy with Broughton looking for their first win of the season.
Basement boys Broughton have improved markedly under the guidance of new boss Sidney Fulda, but they are yet to break their duck, losing all 13 league games.
Maccabi’s only win this season came against Broughton, a 6-4 victory which gave boss Alex Ullmann a huge boost after a slow start to the season.
Leeds will start as favourites with talented teenager Dan Davidson impressing for Leeds 2nd team in recent weeks.
Davidson hit a hat-trick against Broughton in their last meeting and boss Ullmann is looking for more of the same from his side.
“We are excited to play Broughton this weekend,” he said.
“We had a competitive fixture at home back in November and the squad is excited for another good game.
“As this is a cup match, there is an extra incentive to win and we will be pushing for a victory from the start.”
Prediction: Broughton 2 Leeds Maccabi 3rd 5
Key Man: Dan Davidson (Leeds Maccabi 3rd)
Tony Cohen Trophy – Republic of Mancunia 1st vs South Manchester SC 2nd
South Manchester SC 2nd will be hoping to bounce back from their embarrassing exit in the Shonn Trophy.
Neil Collins’ side have endured a stop-start campaign but they never got going against Crumpsall as they crashed out 5-2 against the MJSL’s very own version of Jekyll and Hyde.
South have struggled for consistency is terms of form and personnel with Collins having to partner his son Mark in defence on a couple of occasions.
Jack Lee and Oli Black have both impressed for South in attack and Collins will need both men firing on all cylinders in the second half of the season.
Republic have also failed to shine so far this season following a dismal start to the season.
But cup success is not beyond Les Blackston’s men and they will fancy their chances of getting through this tie.
Paul Basger and Jonny Alexander have been two of the shining lights for Republic this season and could have a huge influence on the game.
The two teams played out a 2-2 draw in their previous league meeting and a similarly tight game will be expected here.
Prediction: Republic of Mancunia 1st 3 South Manchester SC 2nd 2
Key Man: Jack Lee (South Manchester SC 2nd)