Experience key as UJIA see off Athletico

By Danny Caro, February 19, 2012

UJIA 3 Athletico Finchley 2

UJIA, last season's runners-up, made a winning start with goals from Assi Avital, Ben Nassim and Gavin Sherman enough to see off fourth division Athletico.

The first half did not provide much with both teams failing to create many chances. However, UJIA went 1-0 up after some sloppy defending from a free-kick towards the end of the half.

Athletico dominated the first 15 minutes of the second half and were finally rewarded when Ben Mandell snatched onto a weak back-pass to the UJIA keeper and put the ball across the goal for Joel Barnett to calmly slot the ball into an empty net.

UJIA went 2-1 up after one of their players leaped to head the ball into the back of the net from a corner.

Athletico kept knocking at the door as recent signing Daniel Mattey forced three great saves from the UJIA keeper and put in two sublime crosses into the UJIA box.

However, UJIA's third goal came after one of their attackers took the ball past a defender, away from the keeper, onto the by-line, before turning round to avoid the keeper once more. He then took a shot which was helped in by another UJIA player.

With only 10 minutes remaining, Athletico tried to step up a gear and risked playing three at the back to push more players up-field.

They were rewarded after Margolin brought the ball forward, found Mattey on the edge of the box in space who slotted Jack Wagner in on goal who smashed in Athletico's second with the last kick of the game.

Athletico chairman Zach Margolin told JC Sport: "I think we can take a lot of positives from today. UJIA are doing well in the league above us, yet we still controlled a lot of the game and managed to score two good goals.

"Once again sloppy defending cost us a goal which is a shame but we certainly feel we can get a win against Boca Jewniors next week!

"The returning Jake Barnett at centre-back and debutant Daniel Mattey at the right of midfield really showed their worth today. Two great additions to the squad."

Last updated: 10:11pm, February 19 2012